Delhi High Court restrains ITC from bringing out ads against Pepsico

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As per reports, the Delhi High Court on April 6, 2018 restrained ITC from publishing and broadcasting its advertisements which allegedly disparage Pepsiso and Dabur’s juices.

Pepsico India Holdings Pvt. Ltd had moved the Delhi High Court [CS(OS)  141/2018]  after ITC which manufactures the juice product ‘B Natural’ came out with full page advertisments in national dailies and electronic and social media allegedly belittling its product ‘Tropicana’ and Dabur’s ‘Real’.

Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw sought an undertaking from ITC to keep under ‘suspension’ its advertisement campaign – #SayNoToConcentrate, and produce its revised advertisement before the court on April 9, 2018.

The impugned advertisement cannot be published in the print or electronic or social media until April 9 as per the order.

Pepsico had objected to the advertisement in which ITC states “Dear Tropicana and Real, come join us in making Indian juices concentrate-free. At 7pm on 9th April. Venue: Bandstand, Bandra West, Mumbai. Yours truly, B Natural”.

The Court said that the plea for restraining ITC from holding an event scheduled in Mumbai on April 9 evening will be considered on that day.

[Order not yet uploaded]

In my post here, I had covered the recent case of an Ahmedabad Court granting ex-parte interim injunction against salt brand’ Puro Wellness’ ad featuring Anil Kapoor which stated that all white edible salts available in market are made in chemical factories. I had also covered some of the leading cases on the issue of comparative advertising such as Reckitt & Colman Of India Ltd. vs Kiwi T.T.K. Ltd, Procter & Gamble Home Products vs Hindustan Unilever Ltd, as well as the recent Bombay High Court decision in Hindustan Unilever Limited vs Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited(Amul). In the Amul case, injunction was granted against Amul’s ‘real ice-cream’ against ‘frozen desserts’ advertisement which were depicted as allegedly harmful to consumers due to the presence of ‘vanaspati/ Vanaspati tel’. THE HUL vs Amul case referred to a list of judgments which categorically specify as to when a product can be said to have been disparaged.

Image source: here