FMCG Majors HUL And Procter & Gamble File Cross Suits Over Shampoo Ads
Two fast moving consumer goods giants – Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUL) and Procter & Gamble Home Products Private Ltd. (P&G) – are fighting it out in court over shampoo advertisements. Both companies have approached the Delhi High Court with cross suits to stop the other from airing their shampoo advertisements, alleging that these advertisements are “hurting their reputation and goodwill.”
The products in question are HUL’s Clinic Plus and P&G’s Head and Shoulders.
The Delhi High Court on Friday did not grant any interim order on HUL’s suit but issued a notice to P&G. The court will hear the matter and consider HUL’s plea for suspending P&G’s shampoo advertisements on September 30.
On September 9, the Delhi High Court suspended HUL from airing advertisements of Clinic Plus on any forum.
It is deemed appropriate that the defendant, with immediate effect and till the next date of hearing, suspends airing the advertisement ofthe “Clinic Plus Shampoo with model Sakshi Tanwar” in the Zee Marathi Television Channel or through any other medium.Delhi High Court’s September 9 order on P&G versus HUL
Both HUL and P&G have alleged that the companies are airing advertisements that are trying to show the other’s product as ineffective which in turn disparages their reputation.
HUL has alleged in its suit that P&G showed an identical sachet of its Head and Shoulders shampoo in its advertisement. “The same blue and dark blue curves appearing in the Clinic Plus sachet are shown in the TVC (Head and Shoulders) sachet. A price of Re 1 is printed on the top right of both sachets,” the petition said.
HUL has further stated in its suit that the company has obtained copyright over the artwork on the Re 1 sachet of Clinic Plus shampoo.
In TVC the P&G sought to compare its Head and Shoulders product, which is a specialised anti-dandruff product, with HUL’s Clinic Plus shampoo, which is not an anti-dandruff product, but a shampoo which promises strong hair for its consumers. The comparison sought to be made was an apple to orange comparisonHindustan Unilever’s suit filed in Delhi High Court
HUL has sought a court order directing P&G to pay damages worth Rs 10 lakh and special damages for “tarnishing its goodwill.” According to information given by HUL to the court, Clinic Plus is the leading Re 1 sachet shampoo with a market share of over 30.58 percent and the same product has over 28 percent market share in the overall shampoo segment. Head and Shoulders, on the other hand, enjoys a market share of 8 percent, HUL said.