CHINA: A Shanghai court ordered P&G China (Procter & Gamble) Co. Ltd. and its local distributor, Guangzhou Haolin Trading Co. Ltd., to apologize publicly in newspapers and pay almost $50,000 in compensation to Colgate-Palmolive for disparaging the company’s tooth whitening strips.
For more than a year, flyers for P&G’s Crest White Strips have been distributed in supermarkets throughout Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou comparing the Crest strips with Colgate’s tooth whitening liquid. The advertisements claim the Crest product is three times more powerful than Colgate’s. Colgate demanded a public apology from P&G and compensation of $60,000, but P&G insisted the advertisement is factual.
“The two defendants have fabricated and spread false information, and adopted inappropriate comparisons in their advertisement, which has greatly disparaged Colgate and its products,” the judge ruled. “What they’ve conducted has created unfair competition.”
P&G China’s lawyer said the company will most probably appeal, noting that P&G won a case with Colgate involving the same dispute in the U.S. last year.