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Fiji Water Further Muddies the Waters of Hollywood with Murky Sponsorship Stunt


The Golden Globes celebrated the best and brightest in Hollywood last Sunday, but one viral sensation appeared to steal the show: The Fiji Water Girl that sparked her own hashtag and more than 50,000 tweets during the awards. Orchestrated to appear as an organic snafu, the stunt involved model Kelleth Cuthbert standing directly behind celebrities while shooting knowing looks to camera and holding a tray of strategically placed bottled water.

Fiji Water Created a “Moment” to Get Free Publicity for Bottled Water

Jezebel quickly released an article detailing the practices of sponsored content, or “spon con,” and hypothesized that Cuthbert had been instructed by event sponsor Fiji Water to aggressively photobomb as many celebrities as possible for elevated visibility. This proved to be accurate when Cuthbert herself later admitted it was all a carefully executed marketing gimmick.

Star Jamie Lee Curtis issued a scathing critique of the maneuver via her Instagram, where she recounted that she “moved away from the blatant promotions by Fiji… where young women with their trays filled with their wares stood near a designated camera. I knew why there was a photographer poised there and I moved away as I said out loud that I didn’t want to be doing advertising for either.”

Hollywood, Conservation, and Bottled Water

Many stars in the entertainment industry use their exposure and following to raise awareness of environmental issues and to advocate for conservation and sustainability. While Hollywood is not a monolith, having one celebrity at the event speak out against the bottled water PR stunt after dozens were photographed with Fiji Water paints an unsettling picture.

Leonardo DiCaprio recently produced a documentary about climate change entitled “Before the Flood” in an effort to educate citizens about the realities of our worsening environment. However, as the New York Times notes in their review of the movie, “this film promises early on to set itself apart by detailing specific things individuals can do to mitigate the environmental damage, but those suggestions end up being disappointingly few.”

Many celebrities have attempted to raise awareness for issues, but when gaffes like the Golden Globes bottled water debacle happen it reminds us that we can’t rely on famous figures to course correct our culture.

Fighting the Harmful Effects of Bottled Water at Home

Instead of relying on Hollywood to lead the way, make changes in your daily life to combat the devastating effects (and cost) of bottled water in your home. Bottled water companies have been criticized by many environmental groups for wasting a tremendous amount of resources bottling and shipping their overpriced water around the world

You and your family can help the planet by choosing to filter your water at home and bringing a reusable glass water bottle with you when you leave your home. Systems like our Drinking Water Purification System filter common contaminants like chlorine, bacteria, cysts, lead, and viruses at a rate of 98% or greater to deliver purer, fresher drinking water. This switch will also help you save big by eliminating overpriced bottled water from your shopping list. Or, for as little as $75, you can order a 2-Stage Pelican Drinking Water Filter that will reduce 60 contaminants including PFOS and PFOA. Eliminate wasteful bottled water from your daily routine and enjoy cleaner, purer water straight from your tap when you install a water filtration system from Pelican Water.

Pelican Water fights to protect our most precious resource. As part of our mission to provide families with cleaner, safer, better-tasting water in their homes in an environmentally friendly way, Pelican Water has taken steps to go green — first, we provide every employee with a reusable water bottle, either glass or stainless steel. No plastic bottles are allowed at Pelican!

We also encourage our customers to utilize reusable water bottles whenever they can to conserve this resource. Protect the environment and save thousands of dollars over the course of your life by filtering your water at home and bringing a bottle with you wherever life takes you.

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