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Reckitt Benckiser gets injunction against Patanjali over TV ad on soaps

LiveMint logoLiveMint 05-09-2017 Saumya Tewari

New Delhi: Consumer goods firm Reckitt Benckiser India on Tuesday stated that it has obtained ‘ad interim injunction’ against Patanjali’s toilet soap TV ad which allegedly disparaged its soap brand Dettol.

The Delhi high court has asked Patanjali Ayurveda to stop airing the said advertisement till the next date of hearing scheduled on 18 September.

“We have succeeded in getting ad interim injunction against Patanjali’s said television commercial/ advertisement from the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi. We would not like to make any further comments as the matter is sub-judice,” said Reckitt Benckiser spokesperson in a statement.

Hindustan Unilever has also secured “ad interim injunction” against the above mentioned television commercial by Patanjali from the Bombay High Court on Monday. The ad, which has been removed from digital platforms such as YouTube, played on the names of HUL’s soap brands like Lux, Pears, Dove and Lifebuoy urging consumers to stop using “chemical-based soaps”.

“We confirm that the Hon’ble Bombay High Court has granted ad-interim injuction to the advertisement that was being aired by Patanjali Ayurved Limited. Since the matter is sub-judice, we will not be able to offer any further comments,” said a HUL spokesperson in an emailed response.

The ad indirectly took a dig at HUL’s soap brand Lux which is promoted by Bollywood stars stating that ‘Filmstars ke chemical bhare sabun naa lagao (Do not use chemically loaded soaps of filmstars). It also made indirect reference to the brand Pears—’tears badhaye fears’ (tears increase ones fears).

“I do not know which television ad they are referring to. As per our communication strategy, we promote natural, herbal and ayurvedic products. Our objective is to inform masses about the consequences of using harmful chemical based products in all our television campaigns. Since this matter is sub-judice we will seek the details and give the reply to the Hon’ble court,” said Patanjali Ayurved Ltd’s spokesperson S.K. Tijarawala.

Founded by yoga guru Baba Ramdev, Patanjali Ayurved’s turnover stood at Rs10, 561 crore in March this year. The company has adopted an aggressive advertising and marketing strategy to take on the leading FMCG players in the market. It offers a wide variety of product range including edible oil, toothpaste, hair oil, soaps, biscuits, noodles, juices among others.

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