ASCI dismisses HUL plaint against two Emami products

MUMBAI: The Independent Review Committee (IRC) of The Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI), chaired by Justice Mohit Shah (retired), has summarily dismissed two complaints filed by HUL against Emami Limited’s Fair and Handsome Instant Fairness Facewashes over the last six months.

The complaints filed by HUL with ASCI against the two face wash brands of Fair and Handsome, was reviewed by Justice Shah at a meeting attended by teams from Emami and HUL. He went at length to look at the merit of every point raised, before arriving at his recommendations.

One model of the brand was contested on the language used, “Instant Fairness Face Wash”, apart from raising seven more objections on the brand. Rigourous clinical study reports, consumer evidence and research studies were presented to prove how the face wash delivers, which was accepted by the chairperson.

In the second case, HUL had raised objection to the language, “100% Oil Clear Instant Fairness Face Wash”, contesting that this was misleading, while the clarification was “clearing excess oil up to 100%” which was clearly mentioned on the pack. Post all the submissions, Justice Shah commented that, “I find substance in the submission made by the advertiser that the claim, “100% Oil Clear” is to be understood as “100% excessive oil clear”. The findings in the clinical study as well as the consumer study support this claim.”

HUL had raised 11 more objections on the 100% Oil Clear Instant Fairness Face Wash, all of which were conclusively proven through clinical studies, consumer studies and reports by leading market research agencies, leading to dismissal of all 18 objections on both products.

In another recent instance, ASCI had dismissed the disparagement case filed by HUL against Fair and Handsome Fairness Cream.

HUL had filed a complaint with ASCI on the brand’s recent TVC, where the complainant had claimed that the advertisement disparaged HUL’s product – Fair & Lovely Fairness Cream. The Fast Track Complaints Panel (FTCP), after viewing the TVC, product packaging and noting Emami’s response, were of the view, “There are many aspects of dissimilarities between the product shown in the TVC and the complainant’s product.” Hence, the complaint was not upheld.

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