In honey ad war with Patanjali, Dabur wins round one as ASCI pulls up Baba co

Patanjali is now in trouble with a home-grown giant over advertising battles. The spat is over the company's advertisements for its honey products, which has been contested by Dabur.

Dabur had earlier complained to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) about Patanjali's advertisement claims on honey which it thinks contains 'misleading' and 'unsubtantiated' claims on purity, according to this report in Economic Times. The report says Baba Ramdev company has been pulled by the ad regulator now.

Baba Ramdev (right) with Acharya Balkrishna, CEO, Patanjali

Baba Ramdev (right) with Acharya Balkrishna, CEO, Patanjali

Patanjali has, through its advertisements, laid claim to its honey as being 'Purity ki Double Guarantee', according to the ET report. However, Dabur, which has a dominant share of the Rs 600 crore branded honey market, filed a case against the firm's advertising claims to the ASCI. Acting upon the complaint, the ASCI has directed Patanjali to either 'withdraw or modify its advertisement', says the report.

However, Patanjali has claimed that its honey product goes through hundred tests based on BIS and FSSAI guidelines. The company says that ASCI has no experts on board to verify Dabur's complaints against its honey and has gone to court against the regulator.

The controversies surrounding Patanjali's advertisements is nothing new. The ASCI had pulled up the firm in July for running "misleading" ad campaigns that disparages competitors products. The ASCI said had then said that Patanjali Ayurved "unfairly denigrates" products of its rivals in the advertisements, according to a PTI report.

The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) found that Patanjalis claim for its Kachi Ghani Mustard Oil that rival makers are selling mustard oil "adulterated with oil made by solvent extraction process with neurotoxin containing Hexane", was not substantiated. "Also, the claim is grossly misleading by exaggeration," the ad regulator said in its list for the month of April, 2016, in which it upheld 67 complaints against several companies.

Besides, Patanjali also failed to substantiate its claims for Patanjali Fruit Juice, where it had claimed rival brands as "expensive juices containing less pulp".

According to the regulator, the ad was accompanied by reference to the prices of other branded juices and "by implication unfairly denigrates the entire class/category of fruit juices".

Similarly, it also failed to substantiate its claims in the ad for cattle feed Patanjali Dugdhamrut as "other companies mix 3 to 4 per cent urea and other non-edible things in their cattle feed."

ASCI also held Patanjali Ayurveds ads for toothpaste Patanjali Dant Kanti as misleading as it did not substantiate claims of it being effective against pyorrhoea, swelling and bleeding of gums, yellowing of teeth, sensitivity and bad breath and provides a natural shield against germs. When contacted, a Patanjali Ayurved spokesperson said the company is looking into the details and exploring legal options in this matter.

In May this year, ASCI had rapped Patanjali Ayurved for "false and misleading" claims in its various advertisements, including its hair oil and washing powder brands, while issuing list for month of March.

Updated Date: Sep 15, 2016 16:41 PM