Kolkata High Court bans 'misleading' Rin advertisement

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | March 08, 2010
As per the ruling, the Rin ad is to be taken off-air effective immediately. The commercial directly attacked the brand's competitor, Tide Naturals

Finally, the inevitable has happened: the recently released controversial Rin commercial will no longer enjoy airtime on television. The Kolkata High Court has passed an ad interim order, restraining Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) from airing the recent Rin commercial.

As many would know, the commercial takes a potshot at competitor Procter & Gamble's fabric care and detergent brand, Tide Naturals. It has two mothers picking their school-going children up at a bus stop - the one whose mother uses Rin has a sparkling white shirt and the other's (whose mother uses Tide Naturals) has a visibly dull shirt. The Rin commercial not only shows a pack-shot of Tide Naturals, but also has voice mentions of the brand name, and a none-too-subtle poke at its positioning line, 'Chaunk Gaye?'.

The Court has supported P&G's belief that the advertisement is "disparaging" and has instructed HUL to take it off-air immediately. The court has also stated that HUL is barred from showing any such advertisements in the future.

In a statement released to the press, Sumeet Vohra, marketing director, P&G India, states, "We are pleased that the Honourable Court supports our view that the recent Rin advertisement is misleading, and the comparison made by HUL in their Rin advertising is false and incorrect."

Further, he clarifies that the court's order restrains HUL from airing the Rin ad effective immediately, while allowing P&G to continue airing the Tide Naturals commercials. "It is very heartening to see the court uphold the breaking of certain rules and guidelines that all advertisers have been following in this country thus far," adds Vohra.

P&G adds that following the airing of the Rin commercial, there has been tremendous support from the company's partners and consumers, who have written in to express their trust in Tide, a brand that operates in the mid-tier detergent space in India.

HUL spokespersons were unavailable for comment, in response to the court ruling.

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