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HLL asked to modify Pepsodent advertisement

28-August-2001
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HLL asked to modify Pepsodent advertisement

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), has asked Hindustan Lever Ltd. (HLL) to modify its new television commercial which was launched to promote its ‘New Superior Pepsodent Toothpaste’. Complying with ASCI’s demand, HLL has modified the television commercial.

The complaint was made three months ago by a leading herbal toothpowder manufacturer. In his complaint, the advertiser had requested for a ‘review’ of ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC)’s decision on two specific issues: “The said commercial was similar to another advertiser’s advertisement in terms of sound effects. Also, the said commercial took unfair advantage of the goodwill acquired by the complainant’s herbal tooth powder.”

The Pepsodent advertisement in question has been created by Lowe Lintas & Partners. The issue was on the usage of the expression dishoom-dishoom in the Pepsodent TVC.

As for the complainant’s TVC, the leading herbal toothpowder manufacturer has been airing an aggressive television campaign which shows a man who has brushed his teeth with their herbal toothpowder enjoying a ‘sock-up’ between the germ fighting toothpowder and bacteria inside his mouth with a loud verbalisation of a fist fight sounding as ‘dishum dishum’ heard in the background.

According to the complainant, this feature of the said commercial—dishum dishum— imparted it a highly distinct character which the consumers and the trade began to recognise as that of the complainant’s herbal powder and they identified the slogan\copy “Kitanum ke beheatar dishum dishum karta hai’ as being synonymous with complainant’s herbal powder.

According to ASCI’s CCC report, the intra-industry complaint was upheld after the council reviewed the matter. The ASCI decision on review states: “The advertisement took unfair advantage of the goodwill acquired by the advertising campaign of another firm (complainant). The advertisement was similar to another advertisers (complainant) earlier run advertisements in sound effects—dishum dishum— as visually depicted in the mouth of the character in the advertisement.”

With the issue raised on the usage of the expression “dishoom-dishoom” in its Pepsodent television commercial, HLL has now modified the TVC by using a new expression — “dishkyaon-dishkyaon”. While dishoom-dishoom is a sound effect used to connote a fisticuff, dishkyaon-dishkyaon is an expression used for a gunshot.

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