Dispute Resolution Hotline February 21, 2019

Comparative advertisements vs. product disparagement: Walking the thin line

This article was originally published on 6th February, 2019 in Master Class column of


With fast-paced competition, every brand wants to be in the evoked set of consumer’s brand and hence, Companies often resort to comparative advertising in order to grab consumer attention. Companies use comparative advertisements to promote, compare and highlight the superiority of its product with that of the competitor. However, in doing so, there is a tendency to cross the line and stray into the realm of product disparagement.

In this article (to access click here ), we inter alia discuss two recent judgments on the permissibility of comparative advertisements published by Amul (against Kwality) and Complan (against Horlicks).

We have provided a precedential backdrop w.r.t. the evolution of jurisprudential principles, thereby deliberating on the thin, yet shifting lines between comparative advertisement and product disparagement. The courts now appear to acknowledge the flexibility that an advertiser ought to be permitted to exaggerate the strengths of a product and indulge in puffery as long it's not misleading, unfair, deceptive and falsely disparages a rival product or even a class of products.

Puja Saha & Siddharth Ratho

You can direct your queries or comments to the authors

Mission and Vision

Distinctly Different


NDA cCep: Upcoming Programs
March 30, 2020


NASSCOM HR Forum: An interactive workshop on "The Code on Wages 2019"
February 25, 2020

This event is over. For event material please click here

Round Table

Indian Infrastructure Sector – Decoding InvITs
November 14, 2019

This event is over. For event material please click here

Want to work with us?


Inviting Top Talent for our Corporate Law, Infrastructure, IP and International Tax Practices

Strong credentials in Corporate Law (in particular M&A or Fund Investment), Infrastructure, IP or International Tax? Now’s the time to apply. We’re looking for the industry's best talent with scope to do extraordinary work for the world’s best, marquee clients. Reach out for a great career in a great place!

Write to happiness(at)nishithdesai.com



Nishith Desai Associates 2013. All rights reserved.