EMAMI v. HUL: The AD WAR FOR THE BEST MEN’S FAIRNESS CREAM ENSUES

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Hindustan Unilever Limited (“HUL”) recently found itself strapped in legal trouble when Kolkata based Emami Limited (“Emami”)  filed an ex-parte suit for interim injunction restraining HUL from circulating and displaying its television commercial (TVC) for its brand Men’s Fair & Lovely.

As per reports, HUL has been restrained from publishing the concerned advertisement or its parts through printing and any other means which purports to demean, disparage or denigrate Emami’s product, Fair and Handsome Fairness Cream for Men with immediate effect. The ex-parte ad-interim order granted by the Serampore Court in Hooghly district of West Bengal will remain effective till 6th July 2018, as per a press statement issued by Emami.

Reportedly, HUL had recently filed a caveat petition in the High Court of Bombay against Emami anticipating the rival brand in men’s fairness cream to approach the court against an HUL advertisement that takes a dig at Emami’s fairness cream for men.

HUL had recently started airing a TVC for its Men’s Fair & Lovely product claiming their product to be the original one and by displaying and identifying Emami’s product directly in the campaign, thereby causing direct disparagement to Emami’s Fair and Handsome cream.

The battle between the two companies in fairness segment is not a new one with HUL earlier filing complaints to ASCI against Emami’s Fair and Handsome campaigns. However, the self-regulatory organisation ASCI had dismissed HUL’s three complains against Emami’s campaigns.

Back in 2013, Emami had secured another favourable order when Civil Court at Kolkata had restrained HUL from using the word “Boro” in the advertisement campaign for its brand “Vaseline”, thereby preventing any disparagement to Emami’s brand “Boro Plus”.

It is interesting to note that the shares of both HUL and Emami have dropped by 1% each as the ad war between the two major FMCGs further intensifies.

Image source: here