Nestle Waters North America is threatening to sue Miami-Dade County for a radio ad that touts the county’s tap water as cheaper, purer and safer than bottled water, Miami Herald reports.
The county considers the legal issues moot and defended its right to tout its tap water. The law suit threat is believed to be a first against the state’s largest utility. Environmentalists say the threat is a warning from an industry worried about slow sales after years of gushing growth.
Nestle’s spokesman Jim McClellan told Miami Herald that the company has never challenged utilities promoting tap water as cheap and safe, but is doing so now because the county has stepped over the line by damaging the reputation of bottled water.
The International Bottled Water Association is considering similar action.
In July, Nestle Waters bottling plant faced carbon scrutiny.
Last year, the company’s president and CEO, Kim Jeffery, wrote an opinion piece for Hearst Newspapers countering criticism of the bottled water industry.