Press Clips: The Pepsi Challenge Returns; Nuclear Water Makes its “Debut”

pepsicanPepsi Revamps a Classic   

Pepsi is reviving its famed Pepsi Challenge today in what will be the start of a year-long marketing campaign geared towards those social media savvy millennials. The New York Times reports that the company has tapped a gang of celebrities, including Usher, Serena Williams, Usain Bolt, as well as international soccer star James Rodriguez to take part in the modern day Pepsi Challenge. The company hasn’t revealed exactly what these challenges will entail but PepsiCo execs did let it slip that Usher be shown in a video that involves footage from outer space. But he won’t actually be performing from outer space, which we have to admit is a bit of a buzzkill.

Nuclear Water for Sale!

Watch out, FIJI and Evian, there’s a new premium imported bottled water in town. Well, actually there isn’t, but in an effort to raise awareness of the water pollution caused from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, a group of Berlin art directors have created a digital campaign for a fictitious water brand called Fukushima Water. With a website and YouTube video featuring a tour of the nuclear site-sourced water’s “bottling facility” the collaborators behind the satirical campaign hope their efforts will trigger discussion surrounding the maintenance of the nuclear plant, which continues to leak into the Pacific Ocean.

The Ongoing Battle for San Francisco

When San Francisco voters failed to pass a measure that would impose a two-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks last year, industry trade association CalBev won the battle, but they’re still knee-deep in the trenches of a much larger war. In the latest effort to take down sugary drinks in the City by the Bay, San Francisco Supervisors Malia Cohen, Eric Mar, and Scott Wiener introduced legislation yesterday that would require warnings on ads for all sugar-sweetened beverages with 25 or more calories per 12 ounces. Additionally, the legislation proposes a ban on advertisements for sugary drinks on city property, as well as a ban on the use of city funds to purchase them.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, CalBev has responded to the Supervisors’ proposed legislation, calling it “anti-consumer choice” and saying it will mislead the public into believing soda bans and label warnings are the solution to the United States’ growing obesity and diabetes epidemic.

The Price of Water is too Damn High

Two airport retailers are at odds and somehow bottled water’s gotten itself involved in the fray. According to Fox News, boutique retailer Kitson Stores filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court last week against Hudson Group, North America’s largest airport newsstand chain. In its complaint, Kitson says its two shops are being forced out of LAX over a dispute surrounding the price of its water. Hudson Group, which operates Kitson’s airport locations, is charging $5 a bottle despite Kitson’s intentions to charge $2.55.

“Water is one of the most basic necessities for travelers and Hudson is taking advantage of the post- 9/11 airport restrictions,” said Kitson attorney Steven Bledsoe. “We believe that Hudson has breached its contracts with Kitson and has no right to close the Kitson stores.

Attorney Brian Timmons, who’s representing Hudson Group in the matter, called the lawsuit a publicity stunt designed in an effort to divert attention from Kitson’s failure to meet its other contractual obligations with the New Jersey-based retailer.

Claim All Natural At Your Own Risk

Even the attendees at Natural Products Expo West aren’t exactly sure what makes a product “natural.” The Washington Post covered last weekend’s trade show in Anaheim and a presentation by attorney Michele Simon, who warned brands to be careful before claiming their products to be “all natural.” The FDA has not developed a set criteria for the term, while the U.S. Department of Agriculture has given a loose definition that natural foods “must be minimally processed.