Competition Commission of Pakistan issues order prohibiting deceptive marketing practices

Islamabad, January 08, 2015 (PPI-OT): The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has issued an Order disposing off its Show Cause Notice issued to Reckitt Benckiser Pakistan Ltd. for running a deceptive marketing campaign to promote one of its products, after compliance by the company with the Commission’s directive to withdraw the campaign. The order has been passed by a bench of CCP comprising of Mueen Batlay and Dr. Shehzad Ansar, Members CCP.

CCP took action against the company on the complaint of Wyeth Pakistan Ltd., which alleged that Reckitt Benckiser while marketing the hair removal cream, Veet, is claiming “9/10 Women prefer Veet for smooth glowing skin,” which is false and misleading as it attempts to deceive the consumers into thinking that Veet as a depilatory cream is the preferred choice of 90% of women.

CCP concluded that marketing of such a claim in the absence of a clear and legible disclaimer is deceptive and misleading in terms of Section 10 of the Competition Act, 2010. The disclaimer of Reckitt Benckiser that states, “based on the survey conducted by Oasis Insight on the Veet Users,” was omitted from the marketing campaign, which is deceptive and a violation of Section 10 of the Competition Act.

CCP directed Reckitt Benckiser that in future all the advertisements must have a reasonable basis and if any disclaimer is required it must be included in all the marketing material in a clearly legible manner, which is visible to the ordinary consumer.

Reckitt Benckiser, as per its commitment has stopped its marketing campaign for Veet cream and has also withdrawn all the materials regarding the campaign from the public domain. CCP has directed Reckitt Benckiser to file a compliance report within two weeks from the date of the Order and reprimanded the company not to indulge in deceptive marketing practices in future as it shall entail penal consequences for the company.

This Order comes amid a flurry of activity at the CCP with the change of leadership. The appointment of Ms. Vadiyya Khalil as Chairperson and Ikram ul Haq Qureshi as Member (Legal, Cartels and Trade Abuse) has given renewed impetus and has expedited the adjudication process at CCP.

For more information, contact:
Asfandyar Khattak
Director (Media and Communications)
Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP)
7th Floor South, ISE Towers,
55-B, Jinnah Avenue, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-9100260-3, +92-51-9100256
Fax: +92-51-9100251

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