Protex Deep Clean vs. Lifebuoy Deep Clean.
- The makers of Protex failed to convince the SA Advertising Regulatory Board that competitor Lifebuoy The use of the phrase “deep cleaning” should be denied.
- The two telenovelas have a history of battles over publicity claims.
- Protex said it had used the phrase since 2012 and Lifebuoy adopted it to hack its market share.
- But no soap company buys into the idea of a deep clean, the ARB ruled.
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Protex maker Colgate-Palmolive has failed to convince the Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) that competitor Lifebuoy should be banned from using the phrase “deep clean” on its soaps.
The two companies have some history before the ARB, with fights over whether Lifebuoy really protects against germs and whether the flaxseed oil in Protex is a natural ingredient.
Earlier this year, Lifebuoy owner Unilever launched a “deep clean” variant, an evolution of what was previously marketed as “Mint Activated Charcoal.”
But Protex has been selling “deep cleansing” soap since 2012 and was not impressed. Having spent millions advertising that soap, Colgate-Palmolive said, it should have protection for its intellectual property.
“[Protex] states that it has never used Deep Clean descriptively and, as a result of its long, exclusive, and extensive use and promotion, has built a considerable reputation and advertising goodwill on the Deep Clean property in relation to hygienic soap.” He told the regulator, “Deep Clean is unique and exclusively associated” with Colgate.
He also pointed to what he said was clear evidence that his catchphrase theft had worked, as Protex saw market share increase from 0.5% to 2% in a matter of months.
But the soaps have been described as offering a “deep clean” in South Africa before, Lifebuoy replied, and it’s a descriptive phrase no one can claim.
The ARB agreed.
“For words like “Deep Clean” to be advertising property that can claim protection, the advertiser must convince management that the use of the words is unique to their product, is highly recognizable, and has gone beyond ordinary descriptive use. . the ARB said.