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, Veet (a hair removal cream) 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Reckitt Benckiser, as per its commitment has stopped its marketing campaign for Veet cream and has also withdrawn all the materials regarding the campaign from the public domain.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 & Trade Abuse) given renewed impetus and expedited the adjudication process at CCP.