ISLAMABAD, 22 OCTOBER 2012: The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has issued a show cause notice to M/s Reckitt & Benckiser Pakistan Limited for claiming in its advertisements of its product Veet that “9/10 women prefer Veet”, allegedly without having a reasonable basis. Such a claim is prima facie violation of Section 10 of the Competition Act, 2010 that deals with deceptive marketing practices and prevents disseminating misleading and false information to the consumers.

CCP received a complaint from M/s Wyeth Pakistan Limited against Reckitt & Benckiser Pakistan Limited, in which it was alleged that the claim made in the marketing campaign of Veet was false and misleading as it tried to convince the consumers that Veet, a depilatory (hair removing) cream, was the preferred choice of 90% of women.

A CCP inquiry into the matter found that the undertaking relied on a survey by Oasis Insights (Pvt.) Limited to form the basis of their claim. The volume share of the Undertaking, however, in the depilatory segment of the market was 46.2% during the period April 2011- March 2012.

Initially, the Undertaking aired its first television advertisement of Veet with a qualifier “after using Veet”, “9/10 women prefer Veet for smooth glowing skin”, but the qualifier was omitted in print media advertisements, billboards, on shelve materials and later on in the second television commercial.

Consumer protection is an important aspect of the Act. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that information provided to the consumers through advertisement should not be false or misleading; as the misrepresentation cannot only mislead the consumers but it also harm the business interest of other competitors.