afaqs! news bureau

HUL, Amul in legal battle over latter's ad

Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF, marketer of Amul) recently ran an ad for its ice cream brand. This irked HUL (a company that markets vegetable fat-based frozen desserts) because Amul's ad paints non-dairy fat-based desserts in poor light.

'Check for real ice-cream on the packs before buying them,' urges Amul, in a new advertisement. The film cautions against frozen desserts that are made using 'vanaspati tel' and urges consumers to opt for 'real ice-cream', that's made of milk, instead.

Hindustan Unilever (HUL), which markets frozen desserts, under the Kwality Walls brand, has initiated a legal battle against GCMMF.

As reported in Brand Equity, the HUL spokesperson said, "Amul has been airing a misleading television commercial since March 2017. This advertisement makes factually incorrect statements creating apprehensions among consumers of frozen desserts. The advertisement makes incorrect claims about the usage of 'vanaspati/vanaspati-tel' in frozen dessert products. We wish to clarify that Kwality Wall's range of 'frozen desserts' do not contain Vanaspati. In fact, Kwality Wall's range of frozen desserts contains milk/milk solids like ice creams. The only difference is that frozen desserts use vegetable fat instead of dairy fat, which actually makes them healthier as they have lower saturated fat and do not have cholesterol."

HUL, Amul in legal battle over latter's ad
HUL, Amul in legal battle over latter's ad
The same article quotes RS Sodhi, MD, GCMMF: "Frozen desserts are masquerading as ice creams. By using low-cost ingredients, they are misleading consumers who are looking for real products. We are trying to make consumers aware of the difference.... It is unfortunate that Indian companies which genuinely work in (the) interest of milk producers and consumers alike are being threatened with legal suits for airing facts..."

Srinivasan Swamy, chairman, ASCI, a self-regulatory body that propagates responsible advertising, says, "Both HUL and Amul have this long running dispute. This (dispute) is (about what lies) at the core of their product offering. Let them settle this in court..."

Neither HUL nor Amul is likely to be satisfied with the decision taken by ASCI's CCC (Consumer Complaints Council), he says.

Watch this space for more.

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