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Home >Industry >Advertising >HUL vs Sebamed: Bombay HC to give main order on 19 January

The Bombay High Court (HC) on Wednesday said that it will release the main order on the ongoing advertising-related battle between fast-moving consumer goods major Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) and German personal care brand Sebamed on 19 January.

“The arguments were concluded on the matter, and the order is awaited on Tuesday," said a spokesperson of HUL.

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The court recorded the submissions by both the companies around the aggressive advertising campaign launched by Sebamed on 8 January, comparing HUL's Lux and Dove to detergent brand Rin, and claiming that the beauty soaps did not maintain the optimal 5.5 pH level meant for sensitive skin. Sebamed ads claimed that its cleansing bar had the perfect pH for sensitive skin.

"The Judge has now reserved his order and will release the main order on coming Tuesday -19 January," said Sebamed's spokesperson.

Earlier, Sebamed blamed rival Hindustan Unilever for taking the matter to court without giving a prior notice. It also said that it stands by its advertising claims and will back it up with data.

On 11 January, the Bombay HC granted an ad-interim ex-parte injunction against the Sebamed ads restraining USV Pvt. Ltd, which retails Sebamed in India, and its affiliates, and advertising agencies from using, telecasting or broadcasting or communicating to the public through TV, newspaper, hoardings and other material, or in any language of similar nature.

Sebamed’s comparative advertising both on mainstream and social media raised a Twitter storm and upset HUL, which had promised suitable action. It also retaliated with a campaign on 10 January highlighting the trust of dermatologists on its soap bar Dove though it did not name Sebamed in its ad. pH is a measure of how acidic a product is, that is, the lower the pH value, the better it is for the skin.

The court recorded the submissions by HUL that the ad campaign denigrates its brands, and does not take into account the full formulations of the products, besides misleading consumers only on the basis of pH.

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