Patanjali Ayurved, one of the fastest growing consumer goods company in India, which has witnessed a revenue growth from about Rs 450 crore in 2011-12 to over Rs 2,000 crore by end of 2014-15, has run into controversy over its latest toothpaste campaign.
Patanjali’s latest newspaper advertisement for Dant Kanti urges customers and shopkeepers to "use our products like crores of deshbhakt Indians and contribute in the service and prosperity of the country. Using our products will help in fulfilling the dreams of great personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh and Ram Prasad Bismil who wanted citizens to use swadeshi (indigenous) products."
The new campaign has not gone down well with a Bareilly-based lawyer who has filed a case with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) citing violation of rules.
Mohammed Khalid Jilani, the consumer affairs advocate, has alleged that the Patanjali ad questions the patriotism of millions who do not purchase Patanjali products. According to him the advertisement conveys that one needs to use Patanjali products to prove his/her patriotism and has also unethically misused the names of eminent freedom fighters to sell their products.
According to media reports, ASCI has registered a complaint in this regard and an email has been sent to the advertisers for their response. Based on the response the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) will consider the complaint.
The Haridwar-based Patanjali Ayurved is giving tough competition to established FMCG players and has already impacted the market share of MNC giant Colgate Palmolive in the toothpaste segment. According to Baba Ramdev, Dant Kanti, Patanjali’s neem-based toothpaste will overtake Colgate by end of the year.