The British media last week had a field day at the expense of Coca-Cola's latest 'lifestyle marketing' wheeze, Dasani bottled water, when journos discovered it was sourced from the local public drinking-water supply in London's deeply unfashionable outer suburb of Sidcup [WAMN: 03-Mar-04].

Although Coke made no secret that Dasani is simply water straight from the faucet enhanced by reverse osmosis (a questionable process used to remove limescale) plus a few additives -- nor did it shout the fact from the rooftops. An omission rectified with undisguised glee by Britain's press, TV and radio.

Assuaged Judith Snyder, Coke's brand PR manager: "This is a new concept -- people will inevitably question it." She insisted, however, that the brand's future PR strategy remains unaltered.

But an unnamed Coke 'insider' conceded that sales will be hit in the short term. And in the longer term? Reliance on the tried and tested Coca-Cola marketing formula: "The key to sales of Coke brands," he confided, "is great distribution."

(But if Coke thinks the Brit media gave it a hard time, wait for the eruption when it launches Dasani in France! Or has it already had second thoughts?)

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff