A penalty of Rs10 million has been placed on Proctor & Gamble Pakistan Pvt Ltd by Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) for being misleading in its advertisement and calling ‘Safeguard’ as ‘Pakistan’s number one rated anti-bacterial soap’. The statement violates Section 10 of the Competition Act, 2010.
The penalty was ordered by CCP Chairperson Vadiyya Khalil and member Ikramul Haq Qureshi. This all started when a complaint was registered by Reckitt Benckiser Pakistan Ltd telling CCP that the claim made by Proctor & Gamble Pakistan about their product is a violation of Section 10 of the Competition Act. The ad lacked the rational basis to make such a claim.
There was a warning published in all notable newspapers telling companies to follow provisions of Section 10 of the Competition Act in their advertisements. The warning was ignored by Proctor & Gamble. The ad was not just deceptive but also unhealthy for the other competitors.
The complaints and response were heard by CCP management and it was decided that in the ad claims made should be rational and must contain scientific evidence. Also, a clear and visible disclosure should be given with regard to the claim.
Proctor & Gamble’s statement of calling its soap as number one is misleading and false as per CCP. So CCP not just ordered the company to pay penalty but also directed them to publically acknowledge the deceptiveness claimed in the ad. Als, an obedience report is being ordered by CCP with the registrar of the commission. It has to be filed within 45 days starting from the date of issuance.