Horlicks v/s Complan - Battle of the Malts

19 May, 2021 (Wednesday)

The fight for dominance between these Horlicks and Complan began in the 1960s and has lasted ever since. The brands have engaged in competitive comparative ads in print and on television over attributes such as ingredients, protein quality, development, and flavours over the years. However, in late 2008, the makers of Horlicks, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSK), and the makers of Complan, Heinz India (Heinz), released ads that specifically contrasted the products using the logos of the rival brand. According to industry analysts, the two firms' attempt to outdo each other resulted in a denigration of the rival name.

The ads discussed how their respective brand was superior to the other and presented the product of the competition in a wrong light relative to the products of the company. Heinz moved the High Court of Bombay in September 2008 to oppose Horlicks’ advertising, highlighting the diet and price divide between the two brands and showing that Horlicks health drink is healthier than Complan and cheaper.When making the contrast, the commercial was obvious to the rival brand. Heinz then compared Horlicks with Complan in an advertisement. This caused GSK to file a lawsuit in the Delhi High Court in December 2008, alleging that Heinz's ad disparaged its brand by calling it low-priced, causing it to lose its credibility.

Typically, the Advertising Standards Council of India addressed questions relating to the depreciation of advertisements by competing firms (ASCI). However, the two firms wanted to settle the problem in courts by constantly clutching one another. His appeals to Horlicks ad were pushed by Heinz in September 2008, while GSK approached the High Court in Delhi against the Complan ad in December 2008.