Those brave souls who enter into legal battles usually do so because the potential winnings - custody of your children, access to your family fortune - are so valuable.

Most people are ambivalent about bottled water, but it's the unlikely subject of a vicious legal stoush between sparkling water company SodaStream and the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), which represents brands including Nestle and Fiji Water.

SodaStream's new ad, titled Shame or Glory?, enlists the help of two Game of Thrones' characters to send a message that bottled water is bad for the environment.

The clip, which has more than two million views on YouTube, depicts a man buying bottled water from the supermarket, only to then find himself busted by Game of Thrones' Shame Nun. He later receives a dressing down from The Mountain, played by Icelandic actor Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson.


"Why are you carrying shameful polluting plastic bottles? Don't you know you're hurting Mother Earth?" The Mountain asks the man.

"With SodaStream you can make sparkling water at home, at the touch of a button ... without carrying heavy plastic bottles and pissing off Mother Earth," he says.

More than one billion beverage bottles are used every single day around the world, the overwhelming majority of that plastic ends up in our landfills, parks and oceans, according to SodaStream.

"Millions of people are already using SodaStream and doing their part to reduce ocean-killing plastic waste - that's why we're the world's largest sparkling water brand - and we hope you will join the revolution," the company says. "Will you choose Shame or Glory?"

The Mountain does not approve of your choice to drink bottled water. Photo / Youtube
The Mountain does not approve of your choice to drink bottled water. Photo / Youtube

But the IBWA "demands" SodaStream immediately "cease and desist" showing the video, arguing the ad makes "false, misleading and disparaging" statements about bottled water.

"While claiming environmental concerns about plastic bottles, your company's video singles out bottled water products for criticism, but not less-healthy sugary beverages that are also packaged in plastic - such as carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks, and juices," the cease and desist letter states.

"In fact, bottled water has the lowest environmental footprint of all packaged beverages. In particular, the amount of water and energy used to produce bottled water is less than any other packaged drink. And all bottled water containers are 100 per cent recyclable."

The IBWA says people should not be "shamed" for "making smart and healthy beverage choices".

"Instead, they should be commended," the letter states. "Water is always the best and healthiest choice for hydration, whether from a bottle, a filter, or the tap. People are making greater efforts to choose healthier foods and beverages.

"It is not, therefore, in the public interest to discourage consumption of bottled water - a safe, healthy, and convenient product."

SodaStream argues the IBWA is simply worried it will lose profits if people stop buying bottled water.

"We will not let the IBWA's threats stop us from trying to save the planet," SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum said in a statement.

"The IBWA, a front for major plastic manufactures like Nestlé - the world's largest producer of bottled water - is nothing more than an elite group of like-minded corporate sponsors who prioritise their own profits over the care of our planet.

"I don't know what's more offensive: The notion that a huge corporate organisation thinks it can silence a small company or that the message they want gagged is that plastic bottles represent a real threat to the environment."

Mr Birnbaum says the IBWA wants to "silence ... the truth".

"This profiteering group, whose financial gains are a direct result of the two hundred million plastic water bottles their industry makes every day, wants to silence us from telling the truth," he said.

"Even more disturbingly, the IBWA want to convince consumers that there is something wrong with the high-quality, delicious tap water that is available in most homes in America.

"The documented and real threat we face is from single-use plastic bottles. If anyone is trying to mislead consumers it is the IBWA, not SodaStream in its campaign. So, no. We will not be gagged and we will not be silenced."