Comparative advertising is a marketing strategy in which a company compares its product or service to that of a competitor. The aim of comparative advertising is to convince potential customers that the company’s product or service is superior to that of its competitors. This type of advertising can be effective as it provides consumers with a direct comparison between products or services, allowing them to make informed decisions.
However, comparative advertising can also be controversial as it may involve making negative statements about a competitor’s product or service, which can lead to legal disputes. In some countries, laws and regulations exist to govern how comparative advertising can be used.
Comparative advertising is a legal form of advertising in India. However, there are limitations to this form of advertising as it must be in accordance with “honest practices” in industrial or commercial matters. Misuse of comparative advertising by giving a false statement about the products of another trader is not allowed under Indian law and can result in disparagement of the goods of the other.
The Delhi High Court ruled that comparative advertising must not be false, misleading, unfair, or deceptive. An advertiser must not denigrate or disparage a rival product while glorifying its product. To satisfy the test of comparative disparagement, the plaintiff has to establish three key elements.