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Coca-Cola drops plans to reintroduce Dasani to the UK

LONDON - Coca-Cola has halted plans to reintroduce its purified tap water brand Dasani back into the UK after last week's health scare, and has frozen plans to launch the drink in France and Germany.

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The news follows last Friday's health scare that saw 500,000 bottles pulled off UK shelves after it was revealed that Dasani contained higher-than-expected levels of the chemical bromate, which could cause an increased cancer risk.

In a statement Coca-Cola said it had full confidence in Dasani despite the setback and did not rule out reintroducing the drink into the UK at some future date.

"Dasani is a proven success story in other parts of the world and we see no reason why it could not be so in Europe. But now is not the right time to bring it back to the market," Coca-Cola said in its statement.

However industry analysts have said that the brand could have suffered irreparably in UK, hit first by the news that Dasani was little more than filtered tap water and then by a health scare.

Marketing consultant Allyson Stewart-Allen said: "It's now going to be next to impossible for Coke to relaunch Dasani in the UK."

The French and German launches were seen as key markets for Dasani but the problems in the UK have tainted any launch, making it a difficult uphill struggle.

In the UK Coca-Cola had already spent £1.75m of a planned £7m launch advertising campaign created by Lowe & Partners.

The launch was blown out of the water only weeks after it debuted when it was revealed that Dasani is made from Thames tap water at a factory in Sidcup, Kent.

Coca-Cola defended the brand saying that it put the water through a "highly sophisticated purification process".

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