Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has passed an order against pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd directing it to discontinue all advertisements of Sensodyne in India.
CCPA took Suo Moto Cognisance of the matter and passed an order on Wednesday. The order has asked GSK to discontinue all advertisements of Sensodyne in seven days from the issuance of order. This is because the advertisements show dentists practising outside India endorsing the products of the said toothpaste line.
Under the regulations no dentists in India can endorse any product or drug publically. CCPA said, “GSK cannot be allowed to circumvent the law in force in India and show foreign dentists to exploit consumer apprehension towards tooth sensitivity.”
Order further said, “Therefore, advertisement of Sensodyne products in India which show endorsements by dentists practising outside India qualify as ‘misleading advertisement’ in terms of Section 2 (28) of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.”
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CCPA has also directed Director General of Investigation to submit a report in 15 days after launching a probe against claims made by Sensodyne. The claims include ‘recommended by dentists worldwide’, ‘clinically prove relief, works in 60 seconds’ and ‘World’s no. 1 sensitivity toothpaste’.
One of the company official from GSK said, “We confirm the receipt of the order from the CCPA. While we are looking into it in detail, we would like to clarify that our marketing initiatives are compliant with the applicable laws and industry guidelines. We are a responsible and compliant company which is committed to the welfare of its consumers.”
CCPA has also passed an order against Naaptol Online Shopping Ltd. for circulating misleading advertisements and unfair trade practice. It has been caught in suo moto case because of advertisements like ‘set of 2 gold jewellery’, ‘acupressure yoga slippers’ and ‘magnetic knee support’.
Naaptol has also faced a penalty of Rs 10 lakh because it has far worse effect on the people. The company has a 24*7 broadcast channel that sells commodities to people in different languages. It has also asked Naaptol to discontinue all practices that create artificial scarcity of a product. Between June 2021 and January 2022, 399 complaints have been filed against Naaptol.