Friday, July 28, 2006

Not bottled in Cleveland

CLEVELAND -- A bottled water company has dropped its ad campaign that poked fun at Cleveland. In national magazines, Fiji Water boasted that "The label says Fiji because it's not bottled in Cleveland."

The company has e-mailed an apology, saying the ad was supposed to be funny but clearly didn't meet that goal. Fiji Water had intended to continue the campaign until the end of the year but now says it will stop.

The back of the Fiji bottle contains information about trade winds purifying island water -- water not affected by acid rain and other pollutants, Cleveland TV station WEWS reported.

Cleveland's Water Department was so bothered it ran tests. It said it found the tap water contained no measurable arsenic -- but Fiji Water had much higher levels, though still within federal limits. The department said Fiji water also had higher levels of other contaminants.

The Cleveland Water Department said their test results showed Cleveland's treated drinking water is better quality than Fiji Water.

WEWS-TV held a blind taste test.

"I never had Fiji Water. I thought Cleveland was much more refreshing," one tennis player said.

The taste testers preferred Cleveland water.

"Just not as good as I thought it would be and not worth the price," one man said.

Fiji president Edward Cochran said his company's tests have found much lower levels of arsenic in Fiji Water than Cleveland did. He questions the validity of the city's study, saying it was not an independent test.

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