The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) slapped a hefty penalty of PKR 10 million on the company for deceptive advertising about “Safeguard” as the number one anti-bacterial soap of Pakistan.
According to CCP, P&G violated Section 10 of the Competition Act, 2010, that restricts firms to advertise false facts pertaining to consumers and brands.
The order to impose a penalty has been given by a two-member CCP bench including CCP Chairperson, Vadiyya Khalil, and member, Ikramul Haq Qureshi.
According to the source privy to the matter, CCP received a formal complaint from Reckitt Benckiser Pakistan Ltd, where it was alleged that P&G advertised Safeguard as “Pakistan’s number one rated anti-bacterial soap” in violation of Section 10 of the Competition Act, as it lacked evidence and reasoning that substantiate their claim.
After acknowledging the complaint, CCP bench passed the order that the claims made in the advertisement should be based on reliable data, especially if the product involves claims regarding health and safety.
Adding to that, every product that is being advertised should offer a disclaimer along with the claims, which the consumers could easily discern and take notice of.
In addition to imposing the penalty, CCP has also directed the firm to inform the public about the inaccuracy of its advertisement claim through appropriate clarification on all Urdu and English newspapers and TV channels for a period of one week from the date of this order. Further, CCP directed P&G to file a compliance report with the registrar of the commission within next 45 days from the date of issuance of the order.