Bombay HC allows Amul to air its ice-cream ads

In an advertisement war between two brands Amul and HUL on ice cream vs frozen dessert, Bombay high court has allowed Amul to air its advertisement but only after deleting the content on which frozen dessert maker Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) has raised objections. This also includes the shots of vanaspati (vegetable oil) flowing in a cup with frozen dessert written on it.

Bombay HC allows Amul to air its ice-cream ads, but only after deleting content

Bombay HC allows Amul to air its ice-cream ads, but only after deleting content

The judgement about this matter was already passed by the division bench of Justices Bhushan Gavai and Riyaz Chagla during early this month but they made it available only on Wednesday. They stated that they have reviewed the advertisement by Amul owner Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF) and found it problematic. They said, “The appellant (GCMMF) would be free to use the said TVCs after deleting the portion which has been found to be disparaging the product frozen dessert.”

Amul owner Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF) had challenged an earlier single bench order that had ruled it guilty of disparaging frozen desserts. Consumer goods Company HUL owns Kwality Wall’s brand and is the market leader in the frozen dessert category.

In March last year, Amul’s ice cream ad campaign emphasized the difference between ice-creams (made from milk fat) and frozen desserts (made from vegetable oil). The brand also mentioned that these definitions are as per the norms and regulations issued by the Food Safety and Standards.

These advertisements by Amul urged customers to choose ice-creams over frozen desserts, as these ads were claiming that the frozen dessert was made with vanaspati.  After the launch of the campaign, HUL found these advertisements very objectionable and filed a lawsuit in Bombay high court asking for Amul to be stopped from airing the ads and seeking damages. HUL’s Kwality Wall being the largest frozen dessert brand in India was directly hit by Amul’s ads. Even the advertisements did not refer to it by name.

Vishal Maheshwari, the co-founder of V.M. Legal Advocates, who is representing Amul in the case, confirmed the development but refused to give details because of the confidentiality of the matter. HUL also refused to comment on the developments.

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