diamond geezer

 Friday, August 23, 2013

Yesterday morning, you may remember, was wet. It rained during the rush hour, and the temperature struggled. Not the perfect moment, then, for TfL to launch a special heatwave-related bottled water promotion. It's a interesting idea to give out bottled water on the Underground, indeed some of us might have suggested the same thing recently. But dishing it out on a cool day when there's plenty of free water falling from the sky, that's not so clever.

You may have seen the press release.
As the hot weather returns to the Capital this week, Transport for London (TfL) has teamed up with the UK's most ethical water brand B*** to give out bottles of water to customers, helping to emphasise the advice to carry water while travelling on the Tube during this particularly hot spell.
You've got to feel sorry for whoever put this campaign together. Someone had the great idea to run a campaign promoting safe travel advice and free water, and then the August weather failed to rise to the occasion. It's not been especially hot for the last three weeks, with the chances of a late summer heatwave rapidly declining. So someone must've spotted a heat spike this week and decided to go for it, pencilling in Thursday as the day to commit resources and launch. And then Thursday refused to play ball, turning out to be the coolest day of the working week, overcast and proper wet to boot. Never mind, TfL's press office circulated the press release with the phrase "this particularly hot spell" anyway.
B*** has provided London Underground with 43,500 bottles of water, which will be given out at some of the busiest stations on the network.
Well I didn't see any. The tube sees up to 4 million journeys a day, so yesterday's escapade will have touched less than 1% of the travellers on the network. A mere drop in the ocean, you could say.
The company is the exclusive bottled water partner of WaterAid, the international charity that transforms lives by providing access to clean water and sanitation to some of the world's poorest communities. B*** give all of their profits to WaterAid, and have committed to giving £1m by 2020
That a nice idea, to link a bottled water with an international sanitation charity. But I'm not sure where the idea came from that B*** is "the UK's most ethical water brand". I don't see how any bottled water brand can be ethical, what with all that pointless transportation of liquid from one place to another when you could just turn on a tap, and the unnecessary production of one-off plastic containers. More to the point, whilst I trust TfL to give opinions on transport-related matters, I don't think they're in any position to decree one bottled water brand more ethical than another.
B*** give all of their profits to WaterAid, and have committed to giving £1m by 2020
That's not true, that first part, it's a blatant lie. If you read further down the press release to the "Additional information", you'll see that B*** donate only 10% of their profits to WaterAid. The other 90% they pocket, as indeed any good business would. But by making out B*** to be 100% altruistic in the main body of the text, TfL are badly misleading their ethically-minded customers.
WaterAid will be holding bucket collections over the coming weeks at stations across the Tube network.
This is to be applauded. It just seems strange that the bucket collections didn't take place on the same day as the bottle giveaway. All that free water being given away, but no takings collected, so nobody benefits.
Phil Hufton, LU's Chief Operating Officer, said: 'We know travelling around London during the summer months can be uncomfortable, we are making real headway towards cooling the Tube and providing station cooling, with new air-conditioned trains being introduced on 40 per cent of the network by the end of 2016, but we know there is still work to do and cooling the deeper lines of the Tube remains a considerable engineering challenge.
There's an understatement. Cooling the deeper tube lines is verging on an impossibility, given the enforced narrowness of the trains. New surface level trains are a real boost, and are making conditions much more bearable without the need for bottled water. But the main factor keeping the Underground cool is the British weather. It just doesn't get especially hot in Britain very often. Like it didn't get hot on Thursday, for example.
'We are very grateful to B*** for supplying our customers with bottles of water. I'm sure it will be welcomed by customers as temperatures are set to rise, and I hope that it gets across the advice that we are giving to customers to carry water while travelling on the Tube. If this proves popular, we will look to develop similar partnerships for the benefit of our customers in the future.'
Customers always welcome a freebie, but I'm not convinced that many will have saved their bottle of water for today when it might actually be useful. And what's this about the possibility of future giveaways? Is this TfL edging closer to a more commercial-friendly outlook? And there was me thinking my Underground Water post was satire.
Karen Lynch of B*** said: 'It's essential to keep hydrated when commuting in the heat.'
Now stop right there Karen. Obviously it's important for the human body to contain water when travelling, otherwise we'd drop dead. But it is not essential to imbibe liquid on trains - millions of people manage non-drinking commutes every day without dying. Karen's product is a bottle of water, not an underground essential.
'We're excited to be working with London Underground and to be able to show Londoners that by buying B*** you can demonstrate you care about people and the planet whilst on the move.'
See how Karen slips in her brand message there. And again, she's talking b*****ks. Waving this particular bottle of water in a train carriage doesn't make you an eco-warrior, it just means you've paid over the odds for a natural resource.
Anissa Msallem from WaterAid said: 'The heat wave conditions we've been experiencing really bring home the importance of safe, clean water.'
Poor Anissa. She submitted her quote some time ago, expecting it to be released at London's sweaty peak. Instead her words limped out during a tepid rush hour, and her desperate non-sequitur has hit the deck.
'Together with B*** we want to raise awareness of the millions of people who still live without access to this essential resource. Hopefully from today, Londoners will think of choosing B*** as their bottled water choice, and help some of the world's poorest people to access clean drinking water.'
You have to be a true PR dunderhead to use a phrase like "choosing B*** as their bottled water choice" in a press release. As it is, I suspect 45000 people said thanks yesterday for a free bottle of water, and they won't be back, and most probably threw the bottle into landfill.
TfL gives the following advice to customers travelling on the Tube in the summer months:
• Carry water with you
I still have problems with this advice. If it's a very hot day, and you're on a long trip, and there's a risk your train might linger underground, then maybe. But I refuse to believe that London is populated by dehydrated wusses who can't survive fifteen minutes underground without gulping down half a litre of water. In particular TfL's recommendation to "always carry a bottle of water with you" smacks of official endorsement for pre-packaged H2O, so perhaps their latest press release should come as no surprise.

If it gets a bit warm on the tube today, as the last minor heatwave of summer kicks in, for heaven's sake don't waste your money on a bottle of B***. Fill a recyclable container from the tap instead, and send your donations to WaterAid direct.


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
life viewed from london e3

email    twitter    G+

my flickr photostream

What's on this weekend?
Sun 4 December (8am-10pm)
Tower Bridge fully closed
For one day only, cross the river by free passenger ferry!

twenty blogs
853
arseblog
ian visits
londonist
scaryduck
blue witch
city metric
the great wen
onionbagblog
edith's streets
spitalfields life
linkmachinego
in the aquarium
round the island
wanstead meteo
london museums
christopher fowler
ruth's coastal walk
london reconnections
dirty modern scoundrel

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
The DG Tour of Britain
Comment Value Hierarchy

read the archive
Dec16  Nov16  Oct16  Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

diamond geezer 2015 index
diamond geezer 2014 index
diamond geezer 2013 index
diamond geezer 2012 index
diamond geezer 2011 index
diamond geezer 2010 index
diamond geezer 2009 index
diamond geezer 2008 index
diamond geezer 2007 index
diamond geezer 2006 index
diamond geezer 2005 index
diamond geezer 2004 index
diamond geezer 2003 index
diamond geezer 2002 index

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
metro-land
capital ring
river fleet
piccadilly
bakerloo

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
boredom
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters
iceland

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
thunderbirds
routemaster
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
amsterdam
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
typewriters
doctor who
coronation
comments
blue peter
matchgirls
hurricanes
buzzwords
brookside
monopoly
peter pan
starbucks
feng shui
leap year
manbags
penelope
bbc three
vision on
piccadilly
meridian
concorde
wembley
islington
ID cards
bedtime
freeview
beckton
blogads
eclipses
letraset
arsenal
sitcoms
gherkin
calories
everest
muffins
sudoku
camilla
london
ceefax
robbie
becks
dome
BBC2
paris
lotto
118
itv