Is it Time to Start Monitoring Competitive Advertising on Social Media?

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Clearly, the gloves are off and being discreet is not the name of the game. The consequences of the comparative advertising examples in india disparagement are similar to those ensued in the civil suit. The complainant competitor can file a claim for an injunction of damages against the manufacturer or advertiser of the concerned advertisement. Even if your strategy fails to register a perfect win because crossing paths with the market monopolies can be a humungous task, your singular product will still win. Comparison in its essence will make sure people understand that your product is superior to the other brands out there.


Think of comparative advertising as a tool to use for competitive advertising. Comparative ads can be used in a broader competitive marketing campaign. Competitive ads leave consumers with a different impression than comparative. If FreshBooks advertised why they’re “better” as a company than QuickBooks, that’s competitive advertising. They’re nurturing people towards their brand, not an individual product.

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Traya, a hair fall solutions brand, has unveiled a new campaign ‘#HopeForHair’, focused on building awareness amongst people that they should aim at achieving their larger goals in life, leaving their hair fall issues for Traya to solve. “Sometimes, it’s hard to access medical records and prescriptions when one needs them. With the Eka Care Patient Health Record app, people can store all their records in one place and get a smart health report at the push of a button.

Since these provisions tend to be either too vague or too strict, Chinese enterprises hesitate to engage in comparative advertising. In order to increase the generalizability of the study and to make the results robust, the above stated parameters that were tested on toothpaste brands were also tested on soap brands. The results indicate that all the five parameters, viz, ad believability, attitude towards advertisement, attitude towards brand, message content and purchase intention differ significantly across the three given groups . The mean scores of comparative advertisements are higher than that of non-comparative advertisements . This indicates that the likability of the comparative advertisements is higher than non-comparative advertisements.

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Based on a study by Kaushik , he evaluates the various battles which took between famous brands. The comparative advertising wars between India were studied along with the legal issues which followed. Another article by Economic Times researched on the most notable advertisement wars which took place in India. With the help of these two studies, the print advertisements of these brands were identified. Print advertising archives such as and were used to access and retrieve the print advertisements. The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act was enacted to prevent monopolies and restrictive trade practices in the economy.

Meaning of Commercial Disparagement:

While comparative advertising is not new there, the producers/advertisers are not allowed to make superlative claims about their product without providing ample evidence. Moreover, they can claim that their product is better than another brand only and only if they can make a reasonable claim about the same. To decide the question of disparagement of another’s goods, the manner of commercial is important. Unfair trade practice can be ascertained only in the presence of false or misleading facts through scientific or technical assessment of the claims.

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This is used successfully in categories like automobiles, white goods (e.g., AC and Refrigerators). There’s no factual basis for these claims, but they make catchy slogans. No reasonable buyer would assume there’s any truth in these statements, so they probably won’t influence someone to choose these products. Give customers enough information to verify the claims themselves, e.g., direct them to a website for more details. Before you start crafting comparative ads, though, you need to know the rules around what you can and can’t do. Generally speaking, it’s okay for smaller brands to poke a little fun at a larger company because the larger company has a competitive advantage.

The believability of such advertisements is low as compared to a non-comparative advertisement wherein the brand just focuses on its positive attributes and showcases that. One reason was low advertisement believability in case of comparative advertisements is that the claims being made by the sponsored brand may not be substantial. Criticizing a rival’s products is a high-risk, but increasingly popular marketing strategy. Consumers have historically reacted negatively to direct comparisons between competitors and tended to sympathize with the underdog. Recent debate on the comparative advertising between Rin and Tide has focused on its ethical rather than its effectiveness dimension. The article is an attempt to highlight the importance of the phrase `compare with care’.

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By the 20th century, advertising increased exponentially as industrialization increased number of manufactured goods being supplied in the market. This exponential increase in the number of print advertisements led to the need of attracting attention to themselves using unusual means. The mineral water seller used its competitors name to tell the public honestly that he was selling water with the exact same content . While the ASCI Code offers some guidelines, the legal test of when comparative advertising leads to disparagement has been left to the courts to decide.

With an emotive playout and a powerful storyline, the Traya TVC is set to build awareness amongst the target audience. The brand TVC will be released in Hindi across digital platforms like Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram. The film will also be released on OTT platforms and has already gone live on television pan India. Later, it will be amplified across various digital media and the brand’s web page in Hindi & English.

In comparative advertisements, the perceived similarity between the advertised brand and a particular competitor is enhanced. This occurs regardless of whether the advertisement emphasizes the brands similarities or differences. However, comparative advertisements tend to be more viable for new, less-established brands.

Even though explicit and direct comparisons in advertisements were permitted by the ASCI, advertisers favored indirect comparative advertisements . This case was based on an advertisement in ‘The Telegraph’ which showed a comparison between Horlicks and Complan. Sounds like a harmless comparison but it was not; the advertisement depicted that “One Cup of Complan equals two cups of Horlicks”. Furthermore, it also mentioned that one cup of Complan gives 5.94 gm of protein while two cups of Horlicks give the same amount of protein. Horlicks filed a case saying that is a clear case of product disparagement by Complan. It also took into consideration another judgement made in the Colgate Palmolive Company & Anr.

To increase the strategy of advertising, communication plays a vital role. With the help of print media (newspapers, articles, journals, etc.), audio-visual media (television, internet, movies, etc.), or audio (FM/AM radio), an advertisement can reach to a customer. Section 30 has, however, provided an escape route for what would otherwise have been an infringing act under Section 29, if the impugned use of the mark is in accordance with “honest practices” in industrial or commercial matters.

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  • Content Marketing – our team creates epic content that will get shared, get links, and attract traffic.
  • Although some brands have built themselves up by wiping the floor with their competitors, it was always done with a sense of humour aimed at entertaining audiences and generating brand recall.
  • Shot in a supermarket, a lady is shown purchasing Harpic when her young son expresses dissent before the Domex brand is shown as being better.
  • This study would help the managers take better decisions as to which form of advertising is better for the brand.

The advertising does not unfairly denigrate attack or discredit other products, advertisers or advertisements directly or by implication. Hindustan lever ltd. advertised it’s toothpaste, ‘New Pepsodent’ claiming that it’s toothpaste i.e., ‘New Pepsodent’ is better than the leading toothpaste. The Commission was of the view that the word toothpaste has become synonymous with Colgate over the years. In addition, the Commission noted that the jingle in the background was a familiar one. Thus, it was a case of comparative advertisement where a claim could be made of disparagement of Colgate’s product.

DoCA’s co-regulation model with ASCI is running its fourth consecutive year and has been successful to ensure a high compliance rate close to 90%. Non-compliances are escalated to the Sector Regulator for necessary action. Comparative ads started to identify competitors by name and comparisons to “Brand X” almost disappeared. However, the online fans are fighting and the issue is widely covered in media such as brand equity and Campaign India. Is used to influence consumers by comparing competing brands on various parameters and to prove that I am the best, so buy me.

It was held that the advertisement was based on incorrect facts and was made with an intention to discourage consumers from using frozen desserts, thereby causing disparagement. Even though comparative advertising is controversial, you should always avoid cheap tactics. Your job is to place your product as superior not claim that other brands are inferior. This strategy might result in losing brand integrity and the customers’ trust. Every Company wants to promote their products, services, and brands in different styles.

  • However, the negative consequences of false and confusing comparative claims led the FTC to require “clarity, and, if necessary, disclosure to avoid deception of the consumer.”
  • In August this year, the Advertising Standard Council of Indiaupheld complaints against three online ads and one YouTube ad for the first time.
  • This occurs regardless of whether the advertisement emphasizes the brands similarities or differences.
  • The Supreme Court held that advertising is essential for ‘commercial speech’ and can be brought within the extent of constitutional provision conferred by Article 19.
  • However, where a manufacturer makes any false statement with regard to the product of his competitors in order to make his product superior is known as commercial disparagement.

It is interesting to note that in all of these cases the plaintiff was unsuccessful, with judgments being firmly in favour of comparative advertising in general. Section 21 of the Act, any person who publishes false and misleading advertisements may be punished with imprisonment or a penalty that may extend up to ten lakh rupees. Is not such as to take unfair advantage of or be detrimental to the distinctive character or repute of the trade mark. There is no specific legislative mechanism regulating comparative advertising in India therefore various statutes and the precedents set by various courts are followed while adjudging such matters.

The ads went viral on social media, creating over 1 lakh views for each. Similarly the recent Colgate-Pepsodent ad war also went viral on social networks as people circulated jokes on whose breath smells better and why. While Colgate claimed that it provides 100% germ protection, Pepsodent went a notch higher to assure 130% germ protection. The latest case in point is the ad war between the two leading English dailies of India – Kastoori & Son’s The Hindu and Bennett, Coleman & Co’s The Times of India – which became a major topic of discussion in the media and advertising industry.

Advertising confers that they are better than other particular class or categories of products. To convince the users of competing brands to switch to the sponsored brand. The Delhi High Court stated that an advertiser can compare his goods by stating it better than the goods of the competitor but he cannot state the competitor’s goods as bad, this would amounts to defamation.

In order to attract more and more customers, many manufacturers undergo advertising in full swing. The Advertising Standards Council of India defines the term advertisement as a paid-for communication addressed to the public for the purpose of the influencing their opinions. Many a time, some manufacturers engage in unfair practises advertising their products at the cost of the product of their competitors. False claims about the product of the competitor, misleading advertisements, comparing one’s product with the competitor’s product in order to belittle the competitor’s product are a few examples of commercial disparagement.

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“They look sceptically at claims and counter-claims, which are more questionable since people rarely believe advertising”, he added. In this context, the failure to point out a competitor’s advantages is not necessarily dishonest, and by corollary, highlighting the advantages of the competitor’s product by the advertiser in the advertisement is not a dishonest practice either. The Supreme Court in the landmark judgment of Tata Press Limited v. Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd1held that the comparative advertisement is protected under Article 19 of the Constitution as a form of free speech. From this judgment, it can be concluded that the competitors have the freedom of speech to promote their products and compare them with their rival manufacturers. Comparative advertising has been in the mainstream since the 1960s.

The effectiveness of such an advertising tool can be better understood and utilized. Business markets are today as uncompromising and aggressive as they can be. Sigmund Freud once said, “Humans are born screaming for attention.” Indeed, it is from this very basic survival instinct that competitiveness is born. Success at every stage of life is judged by how one can weigh up to competition and to deny competitiveness in advertising is both duplicitous as well as impractical.

The reason behind this may be due to the fact that comparison made between the two, made the consumer feel that the sponsored brand is better as compared to the competitor brand. In a similar episode two weeks ago, Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting and Godrej Consumer Products Ltd, both leading consumer products companies, filed suits against each other in the courts alleging wrongful advertising on each other’s part. First, Wipro Ltd got an injunction from a Hyderabad court on an ad by Godrej, which claimed its soap brand Godrej No. 1’s leadership over rivals such as Santoor soap, a Wipro brand. Consumers today are gravitating towards brands that exhibit their purpose not only in ads, but also in their acts. Although mind-blowing, consumers today are informed and aware of the reasons behind such attacks.

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