In January last year, Sebamed had rolled out a campaign for its cleansing bar
, claiming that HUL's Dove, Lux and Pears had higher pH, which harmed sensitive skin. Lux and Pears too, were compared to Rin, a detergent bar marketed by HUL.
Now, in a latest development, the Bombay HC has adjudicated the brand’s entire campaign based on the pH value of soap as disparaging. It passed an injunction restraining Sebamed from airing the advertisement in any manner.
The ruling states that the advertisement campaign by Sebamed denigrated HUL’s brands and misled consumers on the basis of pH, which is just one of the many parameters that go into manufacturing soap.
Both the parties were heard by Justice A.K. Menon, post which the order was passed.
In a press release issued by hUL, the brand stated that through this judgement, the court has acknowledged that the purpose of Sebamed’s advertisement was not to promote a product, but discourage the consumer from purchasing HUL’s products – which was not permissible.
Dev Bajpai, executive director, legal and corporate affairs, HUL, said, “We are delighted with the Hon’ble High Court’s ruling, which observed that Sebamed’s campaign unfairly seeks to discredit soap brands of HUL, and therefore, HUL deserves protection. We also found this campaign as one that was highly irresponsible, and that such misleading communication was issued during the pandemic, when the Government and health authorities had advocated hand washing with any soap.”