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Strategic Naming

Examples of Misleading Naming: (Water Bottle Companies)

How Are These Names Potentially Misleading?

To break this down we are going to use the Statis Theory. The theory is designed to break down situations to reveal the truth by questioning it. Per the questioning format of the Statis Theory, we will start by questioning the facts and then move on to the definitions. After the definition, we will need to question the quality and then finally the current policy.

The Facts

Well pick on Oregon because that is the most applicable state at the moment.

As you can see from the pie chart ~50% of the water being bottled in Oregon is purified tap water. The second biggest category is well water at ~19%. The majority of the water is a bottle in Oregon is using tap water.


Freshwater includes water in ice sheets, ice caps, glaciers, icebergs, bogs, ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, and even underground water called groundwater. So technically well water is fresh water


The quality of tap water is the same as what people have in their houses.

The Policy

A name might not seem like a very big deal, but names are actually more important than you might think. There is a federal standard 18 U.S. Code § 709. False advertising or misuse of names to indicate Federal agency instated in 2012. But the way the bill was written there is some ambiguity in the language that is often taken advantage of.

Water bottle companies often are strategically placing misleading images on the label of their bottles such as mountains or lakes as if to imply that is where they are sourcing the water from.

Similar Cases

Oil funded environmental organizations often have vague names that might insinuate entirely green motivations while still holding that agenda of the companies that fund them. The Environmental Partnership is a great example of one such organization because they are actually primarily funded by The American Petroleum Institute.

The Environmental Partnership Official YouTube ad


Bruce Clark a professor from North Easter University stated: “At its most fundamental, a brand name is building a set of associations in customers’ minds.” The company behind the article might have an alternative agenda, whether it is controlling environmental groups or insiuating the luxgurious product. The intention is still the same deception.

Published inRhetoric of Science and the Public

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