After forcing carmaker Maruti to stop using contents of a survey for its print advertisement that showed it in poor light, Hyundai Motors India Ltd has moved the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) seeking to stop its rival from using the same study in posters and pamphlets.
Hyundai Motors India Limited (HMIL) has sought to amend its original petition filed before the MRTPC to include posters and pamphlets in the purview of its prayer.
The Commission had in August directed Maurti Udyog Ltd (MUL), India’s largest car manufacturer, against using the findings of a disputed TNS/TSC study in newspaper advertisements.
During the proceedings last week, HMIL alleged that Maruti was still using the contents of the TNS/TSC study, but through publicity bills to woo potential Hyundai customers and argued that the practice was unfair.
“MUL is distributing pamphlets and posters to its dealers and distributors for circulation among our potential customers,” HMIL alleged.
MUL, which submitted that it had stopped using findings of the survey in print advertisements since August 31, however, argued that there was no bar on using the same in posters or publicity hand-outs.
HMIL had not mentioned about pamphlets and posters in its petition filed in August, the counsel for MUL contended.
Replying to this, HMIL’s counsel said that at the time of filing of the petition, his client was not aware of such practices (pamphlets/posters) and sought to amend the petition.
Accepting the argument, the MRTPC bench, comprising MMK Sardana and DC Gupta, directed HMIL to file the amendment petition within two weeks.
The Commission also directed MUL to file their reply in two weeks after HMIL had filed the amendment petition and listed the matter in the first week of January for next hearing.
Earlier on October 12, MRTPC had advised MUL and HMIL not to target each other in advertisements and asked MUL to file its reply on whether it had discontinued the advertisement.
MRTPC is hearing Hyundai’s petition, which says its products were shown in poor light in campaigns of MUL, which came out in the media in August.
The advertisement in question had drawn comparisons between cars manufactured by Maruti and those of competitors, including Hyundai, on various parameters like resale value and mileage.
Hyundai had alleged that MUL’s advertisement was a fit case of ‘unfair trade practice’ and was intended only to mislead the consumers.