The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has issued a Show Cause Notice to Reckitt Benckiser Pakistan Limited for prima facie violating Section 10 of the Competition Act, 2010 by engaging in deceptive marketing practices for its product ‘Dettol.’
CCP received formal complaint from Unilever Pakistan Limited alleging that the Reckitt Benckiser is making unjustified and baseless claims in its marketing campaign for “Dettol”.
An inquiry conducted by CCP found Reckitt Benckiser of making unsubstantiated claims its tv 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.’
By making these claims, Reckitt Benckiser has prima facie violated Section 10 of the Competition Act by disseminating false and misleading information and deceiving consumers. Moreover, this could also harm the business interest of the complainant and other competitors.
On recommendations of the inquiry report, a Show Cause Notice has been served on Reckitt Benckiser and the company has been directed to respond in writing within fourteen days.
In the recent orders passed by CCP in relation to consumer issues, companies have been directed to exercise extreme care while making advertising claims. Particularly, all the health-related claims must be based on ‘competent and reliable scientific evidence.’
CCP is mandated under the Competition Act to ensure free competition in all spheres of commercial and economic activity, to enhance economic efficiency and to protect consumers from anti-competitive practices including deceptive marketing practices.