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Dettol accuses Baba Ramdev of misleading consumers?

The hand sanitiser giant responds to Baba Ramdev's tweets with the present pricing figures and asks to refrain from spreading fake news.

Reckitt Benckiser's Dettol has responded to Baba Ramdev's tweet wherein he took a dig at the hand sanitiser giant over the pricing of its 50ml bottle.

In the tweet, the yoga guru turned entrepreneur said Dettol has priced its 50ml hand sanitiser bottle at Rs. 82 while Patanjali, Ramdev's Ayurveda based consumer goods company sold 'double' the quantity – 120ml for Rs. 55. To reiterate his statement, he posted a photograph of a Patanjali sanitiser next to a Dettol sanitiser to compare prices.

In response, Dettol posted a series of tweets saying, "Dettol has been a gold standard of protection for over 80 years and continues to be the most trusted protector of health in India."

And it also mentioned the new prices at which Dettol hand sanitisers are being sold, " Rs. 25 for 50 ML, Rs. 30 for 60 ML & Rs. 100 for 200 ML. This is in line with Govt of India recommendations."

“Dettol Hand Sanitizer is being sold at Rs. 25 for 50 ML, Rs. 30 for 60 ML & Rs. 100 for 200 ML. This is in line with Govt of India recommendations. All our partners have been notified about this price change and they have been told to sell at new prices. Anyone selling the products above the regulated prices is illegal and not supported by Dettol”
Dettol spokesperson in an email

And in a direct dig back at Ramdev (without naming him), the hand sanitiser giant said, "Any communication suggesting otherwise/higher price is misleading and ill-intended. In this need of the hour, our efforts should be focused on fighting the danger of COVID19, together and refrain from acting malafide or spreading fake news."

An important point to note here is that on March 13, 2020, the Government of India, in a press release said, it had brought masks and hand sanitisers under the Essential Commodities Act which meant the government had the power to regulate its production, quality, and distribution.

Also, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan tweeted on March 20, 2020, that 200 ml hand sanitiser bottles won’t cost over Rs. 100 and other sizes of bottles will be priced in the same proportion.

It appears as though Baba Ramdev picked up an old 50 ml bottle of Dettol sanitiser for his tweet. We're left wondering if that reflects lack of information or whether it's a deliberate attempt at bending the facts to take a jab at Dettol.

Also Read: India’s hand sanitiser category sees more entrants as demand surges…

Right now, consumers are concerned about the availability of hand sanitisers at the stores because there has been a mismatch between demand and supply. Many of the popular brands are unavailable and it has led to regional or less popular brands finding visibility and sales but their pricing is not in line with government orders.

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