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Emami appeals against HC order on Amritprash TV commercial

24-June-2004
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Emami appeals against HC order on Amritprash TV commercial

Firing yet another salvo in the chyawanprash wars, Emami Ltd has filed an appeal before a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court against its May 28 order, which restrains Emami from telecasting the Himani Sona Chandi Amritprash television commercial till a final judgement is delivered on the matter.

In the appeal, Emami has contested the claim by Dabur India Ltd (DIL) that the Amritprash advertisement was `disparaging,' saying chyawanprash is a generic term used as such by all manufacturers of the product and "no one has any monopoly over the term." Emami has also contended, "To say that the appellant (Emami) has disparaged the goods of the respondent (DIL) a condition precedent is that the advertisement must make a reference to Dabur Chyawanprash either expressly or implicitly. It is a fact that the impugned ad does not make even a remote reference to Dabur Chyawanprash."

Further, Emami has pointed out that if it were assumed that it intended to disparage chyawanprash, it would amount to disparaging its own (Himani Sona Chandi Chyawanprash) as well!

The fresh appeal has been filed even as a contempt petition by DIL seeking a show-cause from Emami for not abiding by the HC order to stop telecast of the advertisement is slated for hearing on July 14.

While appealing against the Delhi HC order of May 28, however, Emami failed to get an interim relief in the matter, which means it will not be able to telecast this advertisement till at least the next hearing, which has been fixed for July 6. In its May 28 order, the Delhi HC had restrained Emami Ltd from telecasting the TV commercial starring Bollywood actor Sunny Deol in an army outfit to promote its chyawanprash.

The court had upheld Dabur's contention that the commercial telecast on various TV channels by Emami for its chyawanprash showing Dabur's chyawanprash as "bad for use in summers" was "disparaging." Dabur had contended that Emami's TV commercial using the phrase "Forget chyawanprash in summers, eat Amritprash instead" was disparaging as it was a negative campaign with an effort to "insinuate" its product.

When contacted, spokespersons of both Emami and DIL declined to comment on the issue since the matter is sub-judice.

Emami launched the Rs 25-crore Himani Sona Chandi brand four years ago. The brand comprises only Himani Sona Chandi Chyawanprash and the Amritprash was launched just this summer. Emami claims 12 per cent share of the Chyawanprash market.

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