Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali has locked horns with home-grown FMCG major, Dabur yet again. This time, the ads do not target Dabur Honey but it’s other product portfolio, Real Juices. And Dabur is not alone, consumer durables major Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) is Patanjali’s new found rival.
The new advertisement compares the price of Patanjali’s juices directly with the prices of Dabur’s range of juices. “Will you still drink expensive juices with less fruit pulp or drink cheaper Patanjali juices with more fruit pulp, for good health and more savings,” said the advertisement that appeared in all leading newspapers.
On its part, Dabur India has tried to return a fair punch in the escalating advertising war by dragging the Patanjali’s advertisement to ad-watchdog, the Advertising Standards Council of India’s (ASCI) .
Upholding the complaint by Dabur India Ltd, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) has directed Patanjali Ayurved ‘to withdraw or modify its advertisements for Patanjali range of packaged juices’. “We have advised the advertiser to withdraw or modify the said advertisement. If you continue to see the advertisement kindly bring the same to our attention,” ASCI said in a mail sent to Dabur.
Mail also said:“The CCC did not consider the objection regarding the product being in violation of the FSSAI regulations in terms of it’s composition to be in ASCI’s purview and suggested that the complainant should approach the FSSAI for the same.”
Meanwhile, HUL has also written to the ad-watchdog, complaining about Patanjali’s advertising and marketing claims. “HUL has complained about misleading claims made by Patanjali with regards to three variants of shampoos and has requested intervention to ask Patanjali to withdraw claims with respect to shampoos to protect interest of consumers and competition,” said a source familiar with the development.
“We would not like to comment on intra industry issues. Advertising claims must be truthful, non-misleading and backed by scientific evidence. We follow these principles rigorously and expect all industry members to do the same,” said spokesperson at HUL.
While HT is still awaiting response from ASCI and Patanjali; the ad watchdog, in another press statement said that Patanjali Ayurved “unfairly denigrates” products of its rivals in the advertisements.
ASCI pointed out that CCC has found that Patanjali’s claim for its ‘Kachi Ghani Mustard Oil’ that rival makers are selling mustard oil “adulterated with oil made by solvent extraction process with neurotoxin containing Hexane”, was not substantiated. “Also, the claim is grossly misleading by exaggeration,” the ad regulator said.