Amul has been given a go-ahead by the Bombay High Court, to air its ice-cream advertisements but only after adhering to the objections raised by Hindustan Unilever Ltd. Amul will have to delete the content including shots of vanaspati flowing in a cup with frozen dessert written in it and some other shots that HUL raised concern at.
Amul’s ice cream had launched an ad campaign in March last year. This particular campaign emphasized the difference between ice-creams (made from milk fat) and frozen desserts (made from vegetable oil). These definitions were according to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India norms.
The ads urged customers to make a wise choice and go for ice-creams over frozen desserts. The major claim was the presence of vanaspati in frozen desserts as compared to milk fat in ice-creams. HUL filed a lawsuit against Amul asking them to take the ads off the air and also expected damages to be paid. This happened soon after Amul started its campaign.
Though the ads did not refer to HUL’s Kwality Walls by name, HUL claimed that since it was the largest frozen desserts brand in India, the ads affected its business and reputation.
The Legal Actions
The division bench had passed an order on 13 December that was uploaded on the Bombay high court website on 26 December.
In June 2017, a single-judge bench of Justice S.J. Kathawalla granted HUL’s plea for an injunction against the advertisements. Amul challenged the order in the division bench.
The division bench took the view that the single bench order was a blanket injunction that could not have been granted and held that the TVCs in their entirety could not be said to be objectionable. The bench held that GCMMF was free to use the first seven out of a total of 10 snapshots in each of the two TVCs.
“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,” said a division bench of Bombay High Court comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Riyaz I. Chagla.
“India is not just one country, but a lesson in diversity. While urban India is now grappling with pollution and infrastructure issues, and hence failing healths, they are much more concerned about the food and ingredients that go into making it,” said Tina Jain Mehta, founder of Mumbai-based boutique branding agency Pineapple Consulting. “In sharp contrast, Bharat is in a state of euphoria as more brands/choices are available to them and they are in a mood to experiment