[HUL – Sebamed Ad War] Bombay High Court Passed Injunction; Permits Sebamed Ad Against HUL’s Dove

The ad war between the German personal care brand Sebamed and the consumer goods giant Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) has come to an end.

On January 19th, Bombay High Court passed an injunction order permitting the Sebamed ad against Hindustan Unilever’s Dove without any changes. It was observed that Sebamed ads were backed with evidence-based data. However, Sebamed was ordered to put an end to its advertisement that compared HUL soap bars Lux, Pears, and Santoor with Rin and detergent category.

Sebamed spokesperson told the Advertising and Media Insider that they welcome the decision taken by the Bombay High Court and said that truth and transparency are their key building blocks. He went on to say that their company has a legacy of 50+ years and has always been giving high-quality products to 80+ countries. Its entire argument and portfolio of skin and hair care products and their pH value are backed with robust scientific research. He says that they will continue to educate the customers regarding the benefits of pH 5.5 and continue to serve them quality products.

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The legal team further commented that the judge acknowledged the need to educate the consumers on pH levels and their harmful effects on the skin. The judge also agreed to the fact that comparison can be done as long as there is good scientific backing for the benefit of the consumers.

In its advertising campaign on January 8th Sebamed compared its products to HULs products such as Dove, Pears, Rin, etc, and claimed their product to be better. Furthermore, it compared soaps of the HUL to the detergent implying that the HUL products are much more harmful to the skin than Sebamed. In response to this HUL released a print ad that Dove is a dermatologist’s number one choice.

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On January 11th, the Court had passed an injunction order restraining the USV private limited and their advertising agencies from telecasting, broadcasting, or communicating to the public the TVC, hoardings, newspaper ads, or any such other material in any such language or content of similar nature.

The matter turned into a war when Sebamed blamed HUL for taking the issue to the court without even giving prior notice.


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