It has been recently reported that the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has served a show cause notice to Reckitt Benckiser Pakistan Limited for violating Section 10 of the Competition Act, 2010 by employing deceptive marketing practices to promote its product “Dettol.”
The commission has been very active in discouraging companies to engage in deceptive marketing practices by imposing heavy penalties on those who violate the Competition Act, 2010. The CCP has recently imposed penalties on Safeguard and Colgate-Palmolive for engaging in deceptive marketing practices to promote their products.
Interestingly, Reckitt Benckiser has previously filed complaints against P&G and Colgate –Palmolive, but now the company is in the spot light for violating the act.
After conducting an inquiry on a complaint filed by Unilever Pakistan Limited, the CCP found that Reckitt Benckiser has made unsubstantiated claims in its television commercials such as:
- “Dettol soap kills flu-like germs up to 99.9%,”
- “Dettol gives 24 hours constant protection from germs, 24 hours protection from germs that spread in winters,”
- “Dettol provides 24 hours germ protection from cold and Flu,” and
- “Dettol prevents germs (E.coli & S.Aureus) from increasing for up to 24 hours.”
Unilever Pakistan alleged in its complaint that Reckitt Benckiser is making false claims in its marketing campaign for “Dettol.” The CCP on the basis of inquiry report has served a show cause notice and the company has been directed to respond in writing within fourteen days.
In the recent orders passed by the CCP related to consumer issues, firms have been advised to take extreme care before making any claims to promote their products.
We believe that this is a wise move as all the health-related claims must be based on ‘competent and reliable scientific evidence.’