Delhi High Court Rejects Tata’s Plea for Injunction Against Puro Wellness Salt Ad

The Delhi High Court has declined to grant an interim injunction against a commercial aired by Puro Wellness for its pink-colored rock salt, marketed as “Puro Healthy Salt,” in a case brought by Tata Sons Private Limited. Tata alleged that the Puro salt advertisement disparaged white salt but failed to establish a prima facie case for an injunction, according to Justice C Hari Shankar.

The Court noted that the commercial did not explicitly make any derogatory comments about white salt. At most, the advertisement expressed a preference for Puro’s salt, claiming it to be a healthy alternative to common salt without making any negative remarks about white salt’s healthiness. The Court found it highly debatable whether the advertisement necessarily implied that white salt was unhealthy.

Tata argued that Puro could not depict or advertise its salt as “healthy” since it would violate Food Safety Regulations. However, the Court clarified that making one’s product seem superior to others through comparative advertising was permissible. The Court stated that the competitor’s right was limited to ensuring that their product was not disparaged and that rivals did not make false or misleading claims without supporting quantitative or qualitative data.

In the Court’s view, Puro’s advertisement fell within the bounds of acceptable comparative advertising. It noted that if such a seemingly innocuous commercial were to be injuncted, the concept of comparative advertising would be rendered moot.

The refusal of interlocutory injunctive relief leaves Puro Wellness free to continue airing its advertisement, emphasizing the importance of truthful, non-disparaging comparative advertising in the marketplace. This case underscores that competitors should focus on ensuring their products are not disparaged rather than attempting to control their rivals’ advertising tactics.

Senior Advocates Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Rajiv Nayar, along with a team of lawyers, represented Tata Sons in the case. On the other side, Senior Advocate Akhil Sibal and his team of lawyers from Khaitan & Co represented Puro Wellness.

This ruling underscores the importance of clear and truthful comparative advertising practices, while also respecting the freedom of companies to market their products in a competitive marketplace.