L.A. Times Takes A Bath In Dirty Water With Icelandic Bottled H20 Scam

Source of an Epic FAIL

Image I’ve been seeing the bullshit full page ads for Icelandic Glacial water in the print edition of the  Los Angeles Times for months now and every time I do it pisses me off.  

If you know the Creative Greenius you know that I am easily pissed off by the charlatans, greenwashers and pompous posers who prey upon the ill-informed and gullible and that’s exactly what Icelandic Glacial water is and does.

icelandic waterI might have even kept it to myself if the shell that is left of the L.A. Times hadn’t delivered an actual bottle of this snake oil water right along with my newspaper last week.  

Unsolicited and unwanted I’ve now got to find a sustainable way to use this crap before I recycle their lying bottle which says the water is “Glacial” despite it actually not being.  But hey, it was “inspired” by glaciers in much the same way its “carbon neutrality” is inspired by a cynical and phony marketing ploy.

Icelandic makes a big deal about being 100% carbon neutral which means they have a self-certification from a new certification company they set up and are the first “customer” of.  But I’m betting they didn’t include the carbon footprint of shipping all the sample bottles to all the points of distribution for Times delivery people and then the footprint of all the cars and vans delivering all those subscriber papers inside of the plastic bags that were also required.  And I’m guessing they’re not counting that jet fuel for the contest winner’s flight to Iceland.  But hey, it’s the inspiration that counts, right?

While it’s true that this partner of Anheuser-Busch uses geothermal and hydro power in their bottling plant to put this water from halfway around the planet in single use plastic bottles before they ship it all the way to the United States and other markets around the globe, there is nothing carbon neutral about an unnecessary product being packaged in petroleum-based containers which wind up in landfills at an 80% of use rate.  No amount of carbon offsets that Icelandic Water pays for in order to call itself carbon neutral is going to make up for that.

The President of Icelandic, Jon Olafsson, likes to act like a superior, environmentally-driven smart guy but there’s nothing smart about a dude who didn’t learn the easy to understand lesson taught by the Story of Bottled Water way back in 2010.  I don’t want to say I’m sharper than mister money bags but I did write about this three years ago.

Do yourself and the rest of us a favor and get yourself a Brita filter and drink your own, tasty, already paid for tap water instead of this waste water from a rapidly melting country that will cost you 2000 times more than the stuff that tastes every bit as good.  

I know that’s a true statement because I figured out what to do with the bottle they sent me.  I used it to conduct a blind taste test with some friends of mine.  In one set of cups I put regular Hollywood Riviera tap water in the other set of identical cups I had Icelandic Glacial bottled water.  All three friends chose the tap water.  It’s no surprise.  They didn’t know they were drinking “premium” water and didn’t seem influenced by Icelandic’s brand positioning as outlined by Olafsson in a 2008 interview:

snakeoilWe are a premium brand. We have stylish, stand-out packaging, award-winning taste, exceptional purity and leading environmental credentials. Other brands do not share the same premium nature as us; therefore I feel that we are extremely well positioned compared to the competition.

Icelandic Water’s ads say it’s the “Source of An Epic Life.”  Can’t you just hear a carnival barker calling that out as he tries to hustle you into the tent to experience the amazing powers of this magical water?

The same ads offer to fly the winner of the new L.A. Times cross promotional contest with Icelandic all the way to Iceland.  Very carbon neutral of both the dying Times and the aspiring Icelandic, don’t you think?  

Shame on the Times for being such a clueless enabler while their own coverage of the epic climate crisis is as weak and flacid as their paid circulation numbers are.


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