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Comparative advertising is an advertisement in
which a particular product, or service, specifically
mentions a competitor by name for the express
purpose of showing why the competitor is inferior
to the product naming it.
The advertised brand is explicitly compared with
one or more competing brands and the comparison
is oblivious to the audience.
Comparative claims are variable in nature.
a. Explicitly or implicitly.
b. Similarities (positive comparisons) or the differences (negative
comparisons) between the products.
c. Superiority claims or “as good as” the competitor’s (equivalence or parity
The aim behind this concept is to allow honest (i.e. not misleading )
comparison of the factors of one trader’s products with those of another;
such a comparison will inevitably involve the use of the trade marks
associated with the products.
Colgate (sub-brand of Colgate-Palmolive) is an oral hygiene product line
of toothpastes, toothbrushes, mouthwashes and dental floss.
Colgate was the first toothpaste in a collapsible tube, introduced in 1896
in New York when it had previously been sold in glass jars since 1873.
Pepsodent is a brand of toothpaste with a minty flavour derived from sassafras. The brand is
owned by Unilever.
The history of Pepsodent goes back at least to the 1920s.
Irium is another word for sodium lauryl sulfate, an inexpensive ionic surfactant.
The Pepsodent-Colgate ad war which started on
August 11 with the release of Pepsodent’s latest TVC
that blatantly used Colgate’s name in their ad
claiming 130 per cent better protection, led Colgate
to file a case in Delhi High Court on August 13,
2013. The court stated that the commercial does not
“denigrate” the product of the competitor Colgate.
Comparative Advertising is permissible, with
“Honest practices”- mandatory for Comparative advertising :
- Truthfully inform the consumer, and promotes market transparency.
Comparative Advertising is limited by Unfair Trade practices:
- False or misleading facts disparaging the goods, services or trade of another
In the electronic media the disparaging message is conveyed to the viewer by
repeatedly showing the commercial everyday thereby ensuring that the
viewers get clear message as the said commercial leaves an indelible
impression in their mind. But, it must be noted that a mere opinion, which is
not a statement of fact, would not attract Clause (x) of Section 36A (1).
A tradesman is entitled to declare his goods to be the best in the world, even
though the declaration is untrue.
He can also say that his goods are better than his competitor’s, even though such
statement is untrue.
For the purpose of saying that his goods are the best in the world or his goods
are better than his competitor’s he can even compare the advantages of his
goods over the goods of others.
He, however, cannot while saying his goods are better than his competitors', say
that his competitors' goods are bad. If he says so, he really slanders the goods of
his competitors. In other words he defames his competitors and their goods,
which is not permissible.
If there is no defamation to the goods or to the manufacturer of such goods no
action lies, but if there is such defamation an action lies and if an action lies for
recovery of damages for defamation, then the Court is also competent to grant
an order of injunction restraining repetition of such defamation.
ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES
i. Increase in
iv. Better quality at
v. Greater potential for
vi. Stops monopolies
a. Create unhealthy rivalries.
b. False value
c. Too much choice
confusing the consumer.
d. Bombarded with
advertising with lots of
companies. trying to