The Bombay High Court on January 11 restrained Sebamed advertising campaign that targeted soap brands of Hindustan Unilever (HUL), claiming that its cleansing bar had the perfect pH for sensitive skin.
In their advertisement, Sebamed had claimed that Dove, Lux, and Pears, well-known soap brands that HUL has been marketing for decades, had higher pH, which harmed sensitive skin. In the advertisement, Sebamed also had compared Lux and Pears with RIN, a detergent bar marketed by HUL, and implied Dove was an inferior product due to being pH neutral.
Ad war: HUL hits back at Sebamed's campaign, says 'will take suitable action'
Following this, HUL had stated that it would take suitable action against Sebamed advertising campaign for targeting its soap brand.
The Bombay High Court on Monday passed an injunction order after HUL showed to the Court the disparaging campaign launched by Sebamed against HUL’s well-known brands. The Court held that HUL has made a strong prima facie case for grant of ad-interim relief.
The High Court bench also restrained the USV Private Limited and its affiliates, and their advertising agencies from, in any manner, using, telecasting or broadcasting or communicating to the public the TVC, newspaper advertisements, hoardings and such other material in any language or any other content of similar nature. The matter will now come up on January 14, 2021.
Meanwhile, HUL has confirmed the development and welcomed the court's order. "HUL’s brands are time-tested and have always delivered on the promise they have made to their consumers. He added that in the initial days of the Covid pandemic, HUL, as a responsible advertiser, had communicated to the masses that one could wash their hands with any soap as handwashing with soap is the first line of defence against Coronavirus," HUL Executive Director (Legal & Corporate Affairs) Dev Bajpai said.
"Our claims are based on solid science and we have robust information and data points to back it up. We have not been served any court order as yet. We are a responsible organisation and we abide by the law of land," Sebamed India issued an official statement on recent developments.