Delhi HC dismisses suits over disparaging advertisments by HUL, P&G

Hindustan Unilever, Proctor & Gamble had filed suits against each other and claimed that the other’s ads such as HUL’s Clinic Plus shampoo and P&G’s Head & Shoulders shampoo were disparaging its brand


Both the companies had filed suits against each other and claimed that the other’s ads were disparaging its brand. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Both the companies had filed suits against each other and claimed that the other’s ads were disparaging its brand. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Friday dismissed three suits by FMCG majors, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) and Proctor & Gamble (P&G), who had approached the court seeking to stop the other from airing their shampoo advertisements, alleging that these advertisements are “hurting their reputation and goodwill”.

With this, the companies’ bitter battle over numerous advertisements in the form of cross-suits comes to an end.

Both the companies had filed suits against each other and claimed that the other’s ads were disparaging its brand.

The brands in question are HUL’s Clinic Plus shampoo and P&G’s Head & Shoulders shampoo.

“All three suits have been dismissed,” said justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw.

Damages of over Rs2.9 crore have been sought by HUL in its original suit against P&G for allegedly ‘tarnishing its goodwill and reputation’.

On 9 September, the Delhi high court restrained HUL from airing any advertisements of Clinic Plus.

The matter did not end there as HUL took the shampoo advertisement battle ahead through a cross-suit against P&G. This was based on a total of seven advertisements being aired by P&G since April, which compare Clinic Plus’s shampoo sachet with Head & Shoulders and say that the latter was more effective on dandruff.

HUL stated in its cross-suit that the company had a copyright over the Rs1 sachet of Clinic Plus shampoo.

The comparison sought to be made was deemed to be one of “comparing apples with oranges”, P&G had submitted during an earlier hearing. They added that it would encourage unfair competition because Clinic Plus is a non-anti dandruff shampoo and never claimed to remove dandruff, unlike Head & Shoulders, which has always pitched itself as an anti-dandruff specialist.

Another cross-suit was subsequently brought by P&G.

The detailed order is awaited.

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