Central Consumer Protection Authority imposes penalty of Rs 10 lakh
New Delhi: The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution on March 22, 2022, informed that the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) headed by Nidhi Khare recently passed an order against misleading advertisements of Sensodyne products which make the claims “Recommended by dentists worldwide” and “World’s No.1 sensitivity toothpaste”.
It may be mentioned that, previously, on 09.02.2022, CCPA had passed order directing the discontinuation of the advertisement of Sensodyne products which show endorsement by foreign dentists.
It may be mentioned that CCPA had initiated suo-moto action against the advertisement of Sensodyne products on various platforms including Television, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter showing dentists practicing outside India (practicing in the United Kingdom) endorsing the use of Sensodyne products namely Sensodyne Rapid Relief and Sensodyne Fresh Gel for protection against teeth sensitivity and making claims that Sensodyne is “Recommended by dentists worldwide”, “World’s No. 1 sensitivity toothpaste” and “clinically proven relief, works in 60 seconds”.
After examination of the response submitted by the company, CCPA observed that the two market surveys submitted by the company in support of its claims “Recommended by dentists worldwide” and “World’s No.1 sensitivity toothpaste” made in the advertisements were conducted only with dentists in India. No cogent study or material were submitted by the company to substantiate the claims made in the advertisements or indicate any worldwide prominence of Sensodyne products. Thus, the claims were observed to be bereft of any reason or justification.
With respect to the claim of “clinically proven relief, works in 60 seconds”, CCPA had written to the Drugs Controller General of India, Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) to furnish its comments on the correctness of the claims made by the company. CDSCO has directed The Assistant Drug Controller, Licensing Authority, Silvassa to investigate the claims made by the company since the product in question is manufactured under cosmetic license granted by State Licensing Authority, Silvassa. The Assisting Drug Controller has written to CCPA stating that the claims made by the company are under investigation and further action will be initiated after the hearing process. In view of the communication received from CDSCO and Assistant Drug Controller, Licensing Authority, Silvassa as regards the claim of “clinically proven relief, works in 60 seconds”, the matter now rests with Assistant Drug Controller, State Licensing Authority, Silvassa.
Therefore, CCPA has ordered discontinuation of advertisements of Sensodyne products which make the claims “Recommended by dentists worldwide” and “World’s No.1 sensitivity toothpaste” within seven days and directed payment of penalty of ₹10,00,000. Also, advertisements that show endorsements by foreign dentists have been ordered to be discontinued as per the earlier order passed by CCPA.
In the wake of consumer sensitivity around the Covid-19 pandemic, CCPA took stringent action against misleading advertisements whereby 13 companies withdrew their advertisements and three companies made corrective advertisements. (Press Release)