Ellen DeGeneres Vitamin Water Ads Draw Criticism

bottled water controversy

Ellen’s Caught Up in Vitamin Water Criticism

You can add talk show host Ellen DeGeneres to our list of celebrities who promote bottled water. Ellen is the newest sponsor of Vitamin Water, joining the ranks of other celebrities like 50 Cent and American Idols Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.

The bottled water debate has been going on for some time, so it’s hardly surprising that yet another celebrity is promoting bottled water. However, it has come as a shock to many of Ellen’s fans, who temper their criticism with kindness.

For instance, Beth Terry over at Fake Plastic Fish began her article thusly: “I love Ellen, but I want her to dump her bottled water advertising contracts.”

Juli Borst, a self-confessed fan of Ellen DeGeneres and blogger at PlasticlessNYC , formed the Facebook group Tell Ellen Degeneres To Dump Bottled Water Advertising! On the group’s page, Juli writes, “We love Ellen Degeneres. But we hate that she is lending her personality to advertisements for bottled water–an industry that is damaging to people, animals, and the planet.”

Stephanie Soechtig, the director of the film Tapped, wrote a piece for the Huffington Post just yesterday entitled, “I’m Done with Celebrity Endorsements“. Having extolled the environmental dangers of bottled water waste in her film, it wasn’t long before Stephanie turned her attention to Ellen DeGeneres and her newfound promotion of bottled water: “We’re so quick to condemn the big corporations that pollute our natural resources, yet we glamorize the very people that endorse the product those corporations are selling.”

From all of the comments in the Facebook group and these articles, it’s obvious that many people do glamorize Ellen Degeneres. She’s not glamorized in the same way as the rest of her Vitamin Water compatriots, nor is she a sex symbol for the brand, like Jennifer Aniston is with SmartWater.

No, Ellen’s fans idolize the talk show host for her kindness, quirkiness, and her compassionate voice. Perhaps they see her as a more down-to-earth celebrity, and for that reason they are dismayed at why she of all people would sponsor Vitamin Water. They want Ellen to use her voice for good.

If you want to make your voice heard, Juli has composed a list of ways you can contact Ellen to urge her to stop promoting bottled water.

Celebrities For Bottled Water

“Bottled Water is bad.”  That’s the message most environmentalists have been trying to spread for many years. The plastic packaging hurts the environment as well as the beverage itself.  Most bottled waters are no better for you than filtered tap – in fact, some bottled water is nothing but purified tap water.  But you’ve heard all this before.

It seems that in the wake of environmentalist efforts, bottled water companies are desperate to save their brands, and out of that desperation comes advertisements that make this everyday commodity – you guessed it – sexy.  Sexy celebrities could probably sell snow to an Eskimo.  (If you’re lost, please, read on…)

Jennifer Aniston and Tom Brady – Smart Water

Actress, Jennifer Aniston has been a spokesperson for Glaceau’s Smart Water since 2007.  In her most recent ad, she bares her tight stomach, (apparently a result of yoga) but denies to the press the rumors that she has been on a baby food diet.  Smart Water, then, is the assumed culprit – giving the brand a sexy, healthy lifestyle image.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady joined Aniston in the Smart Water campaign in the same year, adding his muscular build to the brand’s image.  This was a Smart move (pun intended) on the part of Glaceau, as the electrolyte-enhanced water presumably eases muscle fatigue in athletes.

50 Cent , American Idol and Justin Bieber – Vitamin Water

In 2004, Glaceau named a Vitamin Water Flavor – “Formula 50” – after rapper, 50 Cent, who, in addition to being a shareholder, personally endorsed the brand.  Later, when Coca-Cola bought the drink in 2007, 50 made over a million on the deal.

With Vitamin Water Focus, Kelly Clarkson soon joined 50 Cent as another artist to have a flavor created with her name on it, followed by Carrie Underwood with Vitamin Water Energy.  But it wasn’t enough to stop at these two American Idols.  Ellen DeGeneres’ endorsement of Vitamin Water Zero became apparent when she joined the judge panel this past season, as the Glaceau brand replaced the judges’ famous, red, Coca-Cola cups during Hollywood week.

Rumor has it Justin Bieber’s favorite bottled drink is Vitamin Water. There is even a Facebook page titled, “I Now Like Vitamin Water Because of Justin Bieber.”  (Never mind that it only has twelve “Likes”…)

Mark Wahlberg – AquaHydrate

Mark Wahlberg endorses this high performance sports water in a commercial that features him in the middle of an intense workout.  Recently, Wahlberg teamed up with IZOD and AquaHydrate in a strategic marketing partnership to promote the brands through the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Ashley Greene – SoBe Lifewater

Twilight Actress, Ashley Greene, endorses SoBe Lifewater in an ad that features her wearing nothing but body paint.  The photo shoot was featured in a February edition of Sports Illustrated earlier this year.

Sylvester Stallone and Donald Trump – Sly Water and Trump Ice

Both Sylvester Stallone and Donald Trump were among the first to launch their very own brands of bottled water – Sly Water and Trump Ice – back in 2006. Today, however, Sly Water is no longer listed as part of the Glacia Nova product line, and the website for Trump Ice water is no longer active.  Sorry guys – I guess you’re just not what the media considers “sexy” anymore.