Mumbai: The Madras high court has asked Procter and Gamble Home Products Ltd (P&G) to modify its Tide Natural advertisement as it is misleading consumers with the claim that the detergent contains natural ingredients.
The court passed the order on 1 March in response to a suit filed by Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), challenging Tide’s claim. The Tide advertisement had made incorrect and misleading claims that the product contains natural ingredients such as lemon and ‘chandan’ (sandalwood) while merely fragrances have been used, which don’t provide the claimed benefits of whiteness in cleaning or softness to hands, the HUL suit said.
New twist: The Madras high court has passed the order in response to a suit filed by Hindustan Unilever. Abhijit Bhatlekar / Mint
The court has given P&G 72 hours to modify its advertisement saying this “does not contain lemon and ‘chandan’”.
A P&G spokeswoman said: “Tide Naturals promises great cleaning while keeping your hands soft, because it has the goodness and freshness like that of lemon and sandalwood. This claim does not in anyway lead the consumers to believe that any natural ingredients are present in the detergent.”
“Tide Naturals is not off air. We have actioned modifications,” added the spokeswoman.
HUL, the maker of Rin, Surf and Wheel detergents, is battling P&G on three fronts.
In January, HUL reduced the prices of its Rin and Surf brands by 10-30%.
On 25 February, it moved the Madras high court against P&G’s “natural” pitch and followed it up by launching an advertisement that took on the Tide brand’s claim on better whiteness, a key selling point in India and also used by HUL to sell its products.