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SodaStream Expands Controversial UK-Banned Ad Into 59 Countries

AIRPORT CITY, Israel, Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Starting today, the UK-banned SodaStream commercial will be seen on Eurosport, which airs in 59 countries across the globe. This is in addition to the countries where it is viewable on other channels in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  Since the ban was announced on Nov 22 nd, the spot has been viewed more than 2 million times on YouTube ( Youtube.com/SodaStream).

The ad, which was approved to air during the Super Bowl in the US on February 3 rd but has been banned in the UK, shows different scenes of soft drink bottles disappearing instantaneously as people use SodaStream, and delivers a powerful message about waste and sustainability.  Clearcast, the organization that pre-approves UK TV advertising and is jointly funded by the UK's major broadcasters, offered the following reasoning for the original ban: "The ad could be seen to tell people not to go to supermarkets and buy soft drinks, instead help to save the environment by buying a SodaStream. We thought it was denigration of the bottled drinks market." Upon hearing SodaStream's appeal on Dec 3 rd, the 'Copy Committee,' which includes senior representatives from the broadcasters' sales departments, upheld the ban.

"The UK is the only country in the world where the ad was banned," stated Ilan Nacasch, CMO of SodaStream. "We hope UK broadcasters will finally understand there is nothing denigrating in this advertising, except exposing a truth that might make certain companies uncomfortable."

Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream, added: "This decision is totally absurd. Instead of banning the advertising of bottled beverages for devastating the environment, the UK broadcasters banned our ad. By doing so, they chose to protect the beverage industry that spends £39 million annually on TV ads."

SodaStream International Ltd. also announced that in response to the final ruling from UK broadcasters denying the Company's appeal, it is taking the story to the streets, bringing the debate to public opinion in order to show Clearcast that its decision should be reversed.

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