Comparative Advertising in India: Evolving a Regulatory Framework

Comparative Advertising in India: Evolving a Regulatory Framework

Volume 4 Issue 1 ()

The increasing role of advertising in the consumer goods market with multiple players has resulted in the phenomenon of comparative advertising, wherein a seller attempts to derive pecuniary benefit by drawing a comparison between his product or service and that of a competitor. Comparative advertising may be restricted to simple puffery, which involves the seller making superlative statements of opinion about the utility of his own product. In case such puffery crosses the limits of tolerance by depicting an identifiable competing product in a negative manner, the same amounts to denigration of the other product. With the courts having prohibited both active and implied denigration, it is important to arrive at a broadly uniform standard to regulate comparative advertising activities keeping in mind the interests of the associated parties. The increasing significance of consumer protection jurisprudence in recent years has meant that the consumer is as much a stakeholder in any scheme of regulation as the seller or competitor. The authors have examined the role of the existing forms of regulation in both domestic and international jurisdictions, in addition to drawing attention on significant case law on the subject. Such an analysis would help in evolving a more comprehensive scheme of regulation keeping in mind the diverse interests of the various stakeholders.
Cite as: Parth Gokhale & Shriyani Datta, Comparative Advertising in India: Evolving a Regulatory Framework, 4 NUJS L. Rev. 131 (2011)