HUL vs Amul, new wine in old bottle
Amul and Hindustan Unilever Ltd are currently embroiled in a legal battle over the charges of 'disparaging others' products in an ad, initiated by HUL. However, this is not a new phenomenon and is rampant among competing firms in the same product segment as the stakes are high. Here are some of them which may seem trivial but affected the firms dearly.
HUL vs Amul, the not so "yummy" battle
An ad depicting frozen dessert turning from a semi-solid structure to liquid oil has landed Amul into legal trouble. HUL has accused Amul of disparaging their Kwality Wall's frozen dessert and a proper verdict is expected soon. However, it appears now that Amul is mulling on taking HUL to court owing to latter's recent ad comparing nutritional value of ice creams and frozen desserts.
Dettol and Vim Liquid fight over "harsh antiseptic" remark
Dettol, a subsidiary of Reckitt Benckiser and Vim Liquid owned by HUL got into a tiff as the ad of the latter painted Dettol's Healthy Kitchen as a "harsh antiseptic" and claimed that it was unsuitable for kitchen use. Justice M.L. Mehta agreed that HUL's Vim ad was disparaging to Dettol's product and the Vim ad was removed.
Good Knight vs Odomos
The ad by Godrej Sara Lee's Good Knight Naturals cream came under the radar when Dabur India, makers of Odomos mosquito repellent cream accused that it disparaged their product by indicating that it causes rashes while the former's doesn't. The accused ad was not brought down as judges felt that the it was only citing Good Knight Natural's benefits and was detrimental in nature.
Dabur and Emami fight over chyawanprash
Sona-Chandi Amritprash made by Emami Ltd ran ads claiming that chyawanprash is not suitable for consumption during summers while theirs is a safer and better choice. The ads were discontinued following Dabur's plea of product disparagement by Emami in court, as the judges felt they were indeed affecting people's choices of buying Dabur Chyawanprash.
Soft drink dispute between Pepsi and Coca-Cola
An ad by Thums Up owned by Coca-Cola India parodied rival Pepsi company's tagline "Yeh Dil Maange More," showed a product looking similar to Pepsi and called it "Pappi", and claimed that Thums Up was a stronger drink compared to "Pappi", which is only suitable for children. Needless to say, the court discontinued that ad by Thums Up on the grounds of disparagement.
Ujala vs Robin landmark judgement way back in 1999
A 1999-ad by Ujala claimed that it was better than other blue whiteners as it does not leave blue patches on white clothes. The ad featured a product called "neel" which Reckitt & Coleman felt mimicked Robin Blue as "neel" sported similar packaging and price. The judgment was one of the first of its kinds that ordered Jyothi Labs to discontinue the ad.
Showing things in a bad light
The legal battle over product disparagement goes as far back as to 1999 and still continues to be a practice among companies when they feel that their products are being shown in a bad light. Things are really heating up over desserts and ice creams with Amul vs HUL battle in this blistering summer and only time will tell who wins the argument.