Bombay High Court orders Sebamed to take down campaign

Court states that Sebamed wasn't promoting its own products and discouraging HUL sales

Jan 11, 2021 04:11:00 PM | Article | Campaign India Team

The Bombay High Court has granted an ad-interim ex-parte injunction to Hindustan Unilever (HUL) after the FMCG brand filed a suit against a recent Sebamed campaign. 
The ads, which were released on 7 January, claimed that Sebamed's cleansing bar had the perfect pH for sensitive skin. The brand claimed that HUL's Dove, Lux and Pears had higher pH, which harmed sensitive skin. Lux and Pears were compared to Rin, a detergent bar marketed by HUL.
The injunction order was passed by the Bombay High Court, after HUL showed the campaign. 
HUL had also responded to Sebamed's campaign with a print ad to show Dove is safe to use.
According to a statement by HUL, the court recorded the submissions of HUL that the advertisement campaign denigrates its brands and products, does not take into account the full formulations of the products in question, and misleads consumers only on the basis of pH. 
The court order further stated that the advertisement’s purpose was not to promote a product by Sebamed but to discourage the consumer from purchasing HUL’s products – which is not permissible.
Sebamed and its advertising agencies have been asked to stop running the campaign across any media. The matter will now come up on 14th January.
Dev Bajpai, executive director, legal and corporate affairs, HUL, said, “HUL’s brands are time-tested and have always delivered on the promise they have made to their consumers. 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. However, Sebamed’s advertisement in question is misleading consumers on soap efficacy during these difficult times, and further denigrating and disparaging well-known brands like Lux, Dove, Pears and Rin."
At the time of writing this story, Sebamed's films were still running on YouTube.