Don’t drink the water

Or at least, do drink the attractive-looking, ubiquitous, heavily advertised Vitamin Water, in all of its lovely flavours with dynamic names (Spark, Revive, Defence), if you want to give money to the Coca Cola company, who manufacture it but – oddly – don’t make a very big fuss about the fact that they do on the drink’s website. Presumably, this caginess is connected with the fact that they don’t wish to put off the kind of trendy, health-conscious modern potential customers who think themselves a cut above the Coke-swilling masses and ordinarily despise the sort of monopolistic multinationals who have been accused of but categorically don’t employ paramilitaries to intimidate union organisers in South American countries and deplete the water table of countries like India and increase the toxicity of the water supply with liberally applied pesticides.

I did not go to the bother of putting this blog entry up to increase traffic to my website by touching on yet another “contentious” issue, or indeed to congratulate myself that I am the first person to spot that Vitamin Water is made by the Coca Cola company. I live in London. Yesterday, one of our free newspapers, the kind that are thrust into the hands of commuters in order to sell advertising, was “wrapped” in a colourful advert for Vitamin Water, selling it as a refreshing but healthy elixir in a plastic bottle. I got sick of seeing it, left on train seats and strewn all over London’s streets, so I thought I’d pass on the information above to anybody who doesn’t look into this type of thing. I have no interest in increasing the traffic to my website. It carries no ads. It earns me no money. I only write the blog because I enjoy it. By using Google Analytics, I can monitor every single visitor and hit, and I’ve been hovering between 150 and 250 visitors a day for as long as I can remember; this only went up when I wrote about The Apprentice, and when Mark Kermode mentioned the website on Five Live. Then it went down again. I don’t care. I do care about large companies buying smaller companies to make their shareholders happy by literally buying into something they consider good for their image. Clearly, in buying Glaceau, the company who manufacture Vitamin Water and other energy type drinks, Coca Cola thought they were doing this, but you’d be hard pushed to find that fact out on the Vitamin Water website. That is all.


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