HC refuses to stall commercials of edible oil `Fortune`

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 16:56

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has refused to restrain Adani Wilmar from telecasting and printing its commercials to promote its edible oil brand `Fortune` on a plea by competitor Marico Limited which claimed that the advertisements were disparaging to its Saffola brand of oils.

"I have not found any part of either of the impugned advertisements to be denigrating the product of the plaintiff (Marico Limited).... I am unable to find the plaintiff to have made a prima facie case for grant of interim injunction. "The applications are accordingly dismissed," Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said in his interim order.

Marico had filed two separate cases seeking to restrain Adani Wilmar, producers of `Fortune` cooking oils, from "broadcasting, printing and publishing advertisement" of its cooking oil on the ground that the commercials were "disparaging" to the goodwill enjoyed by `Saffola` in the market.

Refusing to grant "interim injunction" against the commercials, Justice Endlaw said, "however, nothing contained herein (in the order) shall come in the way of final adjudication of the suit."

The commercials, telecast on channels and printed in newspapers by the maker of `Fortune` oils, have claimed that the RBO (Refined Rice Bran Oil) is "the healthiest oil in the world, healthier than other cooking oils and better than cooking oils which are a blend of RBO and some other oil because 100 per cent RBO has a higher quantity of Oryzanol which is good for heart, cholesterol immunity, skin and harmones."

`Fortune` edible oils are claimed to be composed of RBO only, while Saffola cooking oils also have RBO besides other components, the court said.

The court said, "In the electronic/television advertisement the product of the plaintiff is not even named and in the print media advertisement the product of the plaintiff though is named, but only to represent its Oryzanol content and price which is not stated to be wrong or false."

"The advertisements thus amount to nothing but comparing the advantages of the defendant`s goods (Fortune) over the goods of others," it said.
The court said no part of the advertisements are found to be saying that Saffola is bad.
"Viewed in this light, the courts cannot adopt a hypertechnical view and penalise the defendant for not disclosing each and every detail regarding the cholesterol lowering abilities of Oryzanol so long as the intent, storyline and message sought to be conveyed by the advertisement is not entirely untrue...," it said.


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First Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 16:55

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