In the face of consumer law developments, reliefs for disparaging advertising have to be restricted to gross cases, the court held.
Dismissing suits by ‘hypersensitive’ shampoo manufacturers, the Delhi High Court has held that comparative advertising, i.e., comparing own product with that of competitor’s and calling own superior / better than competitor‘s, would not amount to disparaging the goods/products of the other.
Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw dismissed all three suits between Procter & Gamble Home Products Private Limited and Hindustan Unilever Ltd., claiming disparagement of goods of the plaintiff in the suit by the defendant in television commercials (TVC) of its goods and seeking relief of injunction and damages. The subject advertisement in each of the suit indisputably compares the two products and though does not name the product of the other but, besides showing the sachet of the advertiser‘s own product, shows sachet of the other‘s product.
Dismissing all the suits, after referring to various decisions, foreign and that of various high courts on the law of disparaging advertisement, the court observed: