(Cleveland, OH) The Fiji Water company has irritated Cleveland residents with an ad campaign that mocks the city's old reputation for unhealthy water.
The Fiji ads, placed in print and Internet vehicles, announce that "The label says Fiji because it's not bottled in Cleveland."
Fiji president Edward Cochran grew up outside of Cleveland in Bay Village, and he took credit for the ad.
"It is only a joke," he said. "We had to pick some town."
Cleveland Public Utilities Director Julius Ciaccia, however, procured a bottle of Fiji and tested the water for impurities. The tests measured 6.31 micrograms of arsenic per liter in the Fiji bottle. Cleveland tap water, plus Fiji competitors Aquafina, Dasani and Evian did not show any traces of arsenic.
Fiji also showed the highest levels of all the samples for the toxic chemicals styrene and toluene.
Cochran dismissed the findings, saying that his own company's tests found much lower levels of arsenic in Fiji Water. He also questioned the validity of the tests, noting that an independent testing facility should have been used.