Mumbai, September 6: Baba Ramdev-led home-grown FMCG major Patanjali Ayurved got into another soup after the Bombay High Court directed Ramdev’s Patanjali to stop airing its toilet soap advertisement. Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has obtained an ad-interim injunction against Patanjali ‘s advertisement, which allegedly disparaged HUL’s soap brands that include brands like Lux, Pears, Dettol, Lifebuoy and Dove. In its advertisement, Patanjali indirectly tells consumers to reject “chemical-based soaps” and adopt natural ones.
On Monday, HUL approached the Bombay HC and have secured “ad interim injunction” against the above-mentioned television commercial by Patanjali. The advertisement has also been removed from digital platforms such as YouTube. The names of HUL soap brands have been changed in the Patanjali advertisement. Lux is named as Flux, Pears is Tears, Lifebuoy is Lifejoy, Dettol is Dhitol and Dove is Glove. Justice KR Shriram passed the order after fixing the matter for hearing once it was mentioned by plaintiff’s lawyers at 2 pm.
Hinting at indirectly hinting at Hindustan Unilever’s leading beauty brand Lux, which has over the years been endorsed by several Bollywood stars, the Patanjali soap advertisement says, “Filmstars ke chemical bhare sabun na lagao”. It also refers to HUL’s other soap brands like Pears saying ‘Tears’ badhaye fears” and Lifebuoy with “Lifejoy na lao near”. The high court has directed Patanjali Ayurved to stop airing the said advertisement till the next date of hearing. The court will hear the matter on September 18.
Patanjali Ayurved Ltd’s spokesperson S.K. Tijarawala was quoted by Livemint saying, “I do not know which television ad they are referring to. As per our communication strategy, we promote natural, herbal and ayurvedic products”. He further added saying that Patanjali’s objective is to inform masses about the consequences of using harmful chemical based products in all our television campaigns.
Patanjali Ayurved’s turnover stood at Rs 10, 561 crore in March this year. The company has adopted an aggressive advertising and marketing strategy to take on the leading FMCG players in the market. In India, around half of the Rs 15,000-crore toilet soaps market is controlled by Hindustan Unilever. This year in May, Patanjali posted a turnover of Rs 10,561 crore surpassing other major competitive firms like Nestlé India (Rs 9,159 crore) and Godrej Consumer (Rs 9,134 crore) and Dabur (Rs 7691 crore). The turnover was almost five times its 2014-15 sales of Rs 2,006 crore. Earlier this week, Patanjali announced that it is preparing to launch packaged drinking water under the brand name ‘Divya Jal’ this Diwali. Tijarawala on Wednesday said the goal is to provide a healthy and economically prized product that can be accessed by every class of society.