Thames Water is distributing bottles of water with its brand printed on them to London schools, in an effort to promote the benefits of drinking sufficient tap water.
The scheme is part of Thames Water’s Be Cool – Drink Water campaign, a pilot project in two schools, being run in partnership with the Berkshire NHS Healthy Schools Team.
Thames Water is considering extending the project to more schools in the Thames Water region, which includes London and the Thames Valley.
A spokesman for the utility company says: “The project is not about telling consumers that tap water is better than bottled water, but about providing a healthy alternative to sweet and fizzy drinks.”
Last year, the company had its knuckles rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over claims that its tap water tastes better than bottled water (MW March 1, 2001).
The Consumers’ Association and the Natural Mineral Water Information Service complained about a series of press ads, created by Bates, which stated that: “Thames Water came out top for taste against bottled varieties” in a Which? magazine health survey.
Rival company Yorkshire Water is issuing empty reusable bottles for consumers to fill up at home and take out with them. The branded Yorkshire Water bottles can be ordered through the company’s website.