I think you have hit upon a marketing scheme that has no basis or truth. For example 'bottled using only the finest local water...' a common phrase on any bottle of whisky is it not. But you and I know that most whisky is bottled in Glasgow or Edinburgh etc etc and therefore uses local water. After all, an Orkney whisky is not going to ship thousands of gallons of orkney water to wherever they bottle.
You also pointed out that they make a big deal about using local water. Now this is the case when lowering the alcohol level before being casked. I think we need to look at the variables that affect whisky and are used to describe flavours - such as warehousing (Morrison-Bowmore) have huge warehouse facilities opposite the old St Magdalene distillery), bottling and barley.
Anyway, this has been going on for a long time so is it really a double-standard or is part and parcel of whisky as we know it?