ITC to tweak ad disparaging PepsiCo brand Tropicana
New Delhi: ITC Ltd on Monday agreed to remove all references to PepsiCo’s Tropicana brand from an advertisement campaign for its juice brand BNatural.
ITC made the statement before a single-judge bench of the Delhi high court, which was hearing a plea made by PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. Ltd. The local unit of American food and beverage maker PepsiCo Inc. that Tropicana juices has sued ITC for publishing advertisements across print media, social media and hoardings saying: “We’re inviting Tropicana and Real to join us in abandoning concentrates. At 7pm on 9th April. Venue: Bandstand, Bandra West, Mumbai. Yours truly, B Natural.”
Appearing for ITC, lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi clarified that the change in the advertisement campaign to: “We are taking a pledge to make juices concentrate free!” was an interim measure, without prejudice to the stand that its original advertisement campaign was not disparaging rival juice brands.
Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw directed the proposed change to be carried out across print, electronic and social media platforms.
On 7 April, justice Endlaw had directed ITC to suspend the controversial advertisement campaign till 9 April and produce a revised advertisement on the next date of hearing. The matter will be heard next on 9 May.
“We are pleased to note ITC’s revised ad campaign filed today in the court does not have reference to PepsiCo brand ‘Tropicana’ and the phrase “#say no to concentrate”. ITC has been directed to use the revised approved campaigns on all advertising platforms, including social media, print and electronic. ITC has further made a statement to court that they will not use PepsiCo’s name or their brand in their ads or at their event at Mumbai. PepsiCo also requested that its products should not be disparaged at the event in Mumbai. The court has directed ITC to video record the event and allowed PepsiCo to also record the event,” Deepika Warrier, vice-president (nutrition category), PepsiCo India, said in a statement.
“Pepsi had sought an injunction from the Court against the promotional event to be organised by ITC today in Mumbai. After briefly hearing submissions from ITC’s counsel, the Hon’ble Court declined to pass any order of injunction in favour of Pepsi. Further, ITC submitted that it would file detailed objections to Pepsi’s suit and petition. The Court has permitted ITC to file its reply and the case is now posted to 9 May, 2018 for hearing. ITC’s counsel also submitted that meanwhile, without prejudice to its contentions, and purely as an interim arrangement, ITC would not mention the names of other brands in its advertisements,” ITC spokesperson said in emailed statement.