Fair & Handsome told to withdraw ads, pay 15 lakhs as damages by consumer court

Fair & Handsome told to withdraw ads, pay 15 lakhs as damages by consumer court

Murali Krishnan

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (Central) in Delhi has directed Emami Ltd to withdraw advertisements of the “Fair & Handsome” fairness cream.

The company has also been directed to deposit Rs. 15 lakh as punitive damages with the Consumer Welfare Fund maintained by State Commission, Delhi.

The consumer court passed this order while hearing a complaint filed by one Nikhil Jain. In his complaint, Jain said that he had used the product as per the directions provided but it had failed to produce any results.

On its part, Emami said that its products were manufactured under strict quality control, and had benefited a large number of users. Besides questioning the bona fides of the complainant, Emami had also relied on lack of evidence to prove the complainant’s allegations.

The Consumer Forum proceeded to rely upon the claims made in the advertisement.

“The transcription of the advertisements as reproduced above, holds out that the application of the product will produce a fair complexion. It uses the word “gorapan” in advertisement no. 1 which means fair complexion. In advertisement no. 2, it gives out a promise that the use of the product for a period of four weeks will ensure fair complexion.

The advertisement therefore, makes a representation to the general public that by the use of the product, they can achieve fair complexion.

This is in direct contrast with the stand taken by the OP that the use of the product improves the health and quality of the skin …no attempt has been made to show and justify the advertisements which hold out a promise of the skin getting fairer by the use of the product.”

The forum, therefore, went on to hold that Emami is guilty of unfair trade practice and deficiency in service and directed it to withdraw the advertisments claiming that the use of the product will change the dark complexion of the skin.

Image taken from here.

Read the complete order below.

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