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WHO Pushes for Drug Classification of Certain Cosmetics

By: Priyanka Bhattacharya
Posted: February 2, 2010, from the February 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Hindustan Unilever Limited’s (HUL) Vaseline brand, a very popular skin care brand in India, received a court order from the Kolkata (West Bengal) Civil Court banning the brand from using the word “Boro” in one of its latest campaigns for Vaseline Total Moisture Body Lotion. According to the civil court order HUL cannot run the advertisement either in print or in any audiovisual medium, irrespective of languages. In the campaign, Vaseline makes skin hydration comparisons to a cream with the “Boro” on its label.

The order came after Indian skin care brand Emami objected to the use of the word because it owns the Boroplus skin care range of products. “Emami has contended that the Vaseline advertisement categorically and unequivocally disparages Boroplus through wrong claims,” according to an Emami statement.

While an HUL spokesperson confirmed the issue, it was noted the court order had been obtained by Emami without giving due notice. “This is a deviation from the standard practice of providing due notice, and is, in fact, in contrast to the approach taken by HUL in a similar case,” wrote HUL in a statement, claiming HUL that the term “Boro” is not a trademark and is generic to various skin creams on the market.

In fact, there is conjecture that the Emami action was undertaken in reaction to HUL’s earlier notice regarding an advertisement for Emami’s talcum powder.

Estée Lauder Goes Nutritious

Indian women have shown the desire for makeup provides skin care benefits, in addition to making them look good. To meet the demand, Estée Lauder launched its Nutritious Vita-Mineral foundation range—which, according to the company, provides coverage while treating skin through pomegranate-sourced antioxidants. The range, available in liquid and powder formats, has been formulated with vitamins C and E, iron and potassium, as well as actives from pomegranate, with the goal to revive lost skin radiance. It also has included titanium dioxide to block UV. Though the pricing is premium, the brand is confident that Indian women will readily accept the product, particularly due to their proclivity to buy products that are nature-based, which is among the brand’s claims for the range.

Avène Plans to Enter India