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Sensodyne advertising would no longer be shown in India, orders CCPA

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) also ordered Naaptol Online Shopping Ltd to pay a penalty of Rs 10 lakh for misleading ads

Sensodyne advertising would no longer be shown in India, orders CCPA

The Consumer Protection Agency of India (CCPA) has issued an order requiring GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare Ltd to stop advertising Sensodyne products in India due to violations of the law.

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has also ordered Naaptol Online Shopping Ltd to pay a penalty of Rs 10 lakh for misleading ads and unfair trade practises.

The Consumer Affairs Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that the CCPA took suo moto cognizance of the matter and issued orders against GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare on January 27 and Naaptol on February 2 this year.

The CCPA has ordered GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare to stop advertising Sensodyne in India within seven days of the order's issue because the ads portrayed dentists practising outside of India promoting the products.

The CCPA stated that GSK Consumer Healthcare is prohibited from openly endorsing any product or drug in India due to the legislation governing dentists, "cannot be allowed to circumvent the law in force in India and show foreign dentists to exploit consumer apprehension towards tooth sensitivity."

"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," the order said.

The CCPA has also directed Director General (Investigation) to submit a report within 15 days after probing the claims "recommended by dentists worldwide", "world's no.1 sensitivity toothpaste" and "clinically proven relief, works in 60 seconds" and the documents submitted by the company in support of these claims.

"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," GSK Consumer Healthcare spokesperson said in a statement.

The CCPA issued an order against Naaptol Online Shopping Ltd in another suo moto case, ordering the company to stop deceptive ads for "Set of 2 Gold Jewelry," "Magnetic Knee Support," and "Acupressure Yoga Slippers."

The CCPA also fined Naaptol Rs 10 lakh, claiming that its deceptive marketing impacted a large number of consumers because the company operates a 24x7 channel and broadcasts in multiple languages on a regular basis across the country.

According to the order, Naaptol must explicitly state in episodes offering products for sale to consumers that it is a recorded episode that does not reflect the current inventory position of the production.

It also ordered Naaptol to stop using any techniques that create "artificial scarcity" of products, such as claiming that a product is only available today if it will be accessible within the next 30 days.

The corporation has been urged to make it clear on any promotional channel or platform that it is a pre-recorded show.

The CCPA has also ordered Naaptol to resolve all complaints filed between May 2021 and January 2022 and provide a report within 15 days of receiving them.

According to data from the National Consumer Helpline, 399 complaints were filed against Naaptol between June 2021 and January 25 this year.

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