Pepsodent from the HUL stable launched its latest ad on August 9, making a direct claim that Pepsodent Germicheck is 130 per cent better than Colgate – the current market leader with a 54.2 per cent market share in the Rs 5050 crore Indian toothpaste market. Quite clearly, it made the best of the long weekend and created more than a buzz, as reported by exchange4media earlier Pepsodent vs. Colgate: The legal angle .
The Delhi High Court dismissed the injunction petition filed by Colgate against Pepsodent Germicheck Superior Power advertisement last evening, concluding that Pepsodent does not degrade competition brand Colgate in its advertising.
“We are pleased with the court decision. We are awaiting the copy of the court order,” said a HUL company spokesperson.
Following the Delhi High Court’s decision, the commercial will continue to air on television.
“Pepsodent Germicheck Plus Superior Power is a breakthrough innovation which is scientifically proven to have 130 per cent germ attack power benchmarked against Colgate Strong Teeth. This is a breakthrough technology which we have brought for the first time in the mass segment. The advertisement brings this alive to the consumers in a manner that is most relevant to them and enables them to make a more informed choice of the toothpaste that they buy for their families. We have done this as a truthful representation of our scientific tests in a very responsible manner,” added the spokesperson.
This is not the first time the two companies are embroiled in a legal battle. They were earlier involved in a war of comparative advertising under the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practice Act, few years ago.
FMCG major HUL has no qualms about taking the direct route. In 2010, it took on Tide from the P&G stable with its brand Rin, which was also released over the long weekend of Eid, with a direct claim in the ad stating ‘Tide se kahin behtar safedi de Rin’.
Comparative advertising is seemingly the flavour of the season. Quite recently, Reliance was heard taking on competitors Vodafone and Airtel in its 3G campaign with a radio initiative infused with a generous does of humour, using Airtel and Vodafone’s taglines ‘Happy to Help’ and ‘Har ek friend zaroori hota hain’ to promote its 3G, with subtle innuendoes that needed no imagination from the listener to discern which brands were being spoken about.
With an increasing number of examples of such aggressive advertising being used tactically, comparative advertising may soon become the mainstream strategy for brands.