Last update : August 2009
The US magazine Mother Jones features several articles on bottled water (“Spin the Bottle”), including a piece by Anna Lenzner on FIJI Water, which recently became the most popular imported brand in the US.
The article gives a thorough account of Fiji Water’s marketing strategy, which epitomises all the tricks and gimmicks used by the bottled water industry to attract customers: seemingly casual photographs of stars or politicians sipping bottled water, promotion targetting ’hype’ events, emphasis on the so-called ’purity’ of Fiji Water compared to tap, claim that buying Fiji Water contributes to the development of a Third World country and even to mitigating climate change...
Anna Lenzner demystifies all these claims. Fiji Water operations are by no means carbon neutral and actually even worse than those of the competition under certain aspects. The articles gives insights into the connections between the business’ owners and executives and high-ranking Democratic politicians. It provides details about the complex relations between the firm and local populations in Fiji (who often lack access to water), and with the current government of this very unstable country (these days, a military junta). The influence of the firm has grown to such an extent that its owners can disregard Fijian officials and even manage to register the actual name of the country in capitals, FIJI, as a trade mark in several countries.