Complan and  Horlicks
Complan and Horlicks
Litigation News

Delhi HC restrains telecast of Complan commercial for prima facie disparaging Horlicks

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court has restrained Zydus Wellness Products from telecasting a television commercial for its product 'Complan' as it was prima facie disparaging 'Horlicks'. (Horlicks vs Zydus Wellness)

The order was passed by a single Judge Justice Mukta Gupta in a suit preferred by Horlicks.

Horlicks Ltd (Plaintiff) had alleged disparagement of its brand 'Horlicks' in a television commercial being run by Zydus Wellness (Defendant).

In the commercial, it was shown that one cup of Complan was equivalent to two cups of Horlicks.

Horlicks argued that such a comparison was wrong, offending and misleading as it gave a wrong impression to the consumers regarding the amount of nutrients in one cup of Complan and one cup of Horlicks.

It was stated that the disclaimers with respect to different serving sizes and the nutrient compositions of the two products were not highlighted by a voiceover and given that the commercial was merely six seconds long, the consumer did not get enough time to read the disclaimer written in the advertisement.

The Defendant, on the other hand, argued that an overall impression of the advertisement was required to be seen.

Stating that comparison of the products “per serve size” was an accepted method of comparison when both parties choose to recommend the serve size, the Defendant claimed that the advertisement was neither misleading nor disparaging nor defamatory and was factually correct.

After recording the submissions made by the parties, the Court recorded that in the advertisement, neither was there a voiceover with regard to the disclaimer in reference to the serve size nor was there sufficient time to read the disclaimer.

In view of this fact the present advertisement in the electronic media would be clearly disparaging as on a bare looking at the advertisement, a viewer only sees a comparison of one cup of COMPLAN with two cups of HORLICKS with no reference to the serve size.
Delhi High Court said.

Opining that the Plaintiff had made out a prima face case and an irreparable loss would be caused if injunction was not granted, the Court ordered,

Consequently, till the disposal of the suit the defendant is restrained from advertising the impugned TVC in its present form.
Delhi High Court

The Plaintiff were represented by Senior Advocate Sudhir Chandra, briefed by Khaitan & Co team Ajay Bhargava, Ankur Sangal, Sucheta Roy and Richa Bhargava.

The Defendant was represented by Senior Advocate Amit Sibal with Advocates Sagar Chandra, Ankit Rustagi, Raghu Vinayak Sinha, Vinay Tripathi, Siddhant Nath.

Read the Order:

Horlicks v Zydus.pdf
Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news