GILLETTE Australia is preparing to have its controversial Duracell “race bunny” TV advertisement back on air “as soon as possible” after winning its appeal against an earlier Federal Court judgement that forced it off air.
In January this year Gillette had to pull the plug on the ad campaign comparing Duracell’s alkaline batteries with rival Energizer’s Eveready Super Heavy Duty batteries.
The ads, which were temporarily removed from TV screens in November 2001 pending the Federal Court ruling showed a bunny—powered by a Duracell alkaline battery—steaming ahead in the race stakes while an Energizer carbon zinc battery-power one lagged behind.
Energizer launched legal action, saying the ads compared the Duracell top-end battery with Energizer’s second tier battery and were misleading to consumers.
The judge ruled that the ad made substantiated claims about Duracell batteries and neglected to mention that Energizer also stocked a comparable battery as part of its range.
But in the appeal the judges ruled in Duracell’s favour allowing the ad to return to air but with script modifications that clarify what is being compared. Any mention of the Duracell brand will include the word alkaline and any mention of Duracell will describes them as super heavy duty.
Gillette Australia business director Ian Coleman said the company had pursued the right to use the comparative ad because it believed it was the clearest way to get their point across to consumers.
“We wanted to show that comparison,” Coleman said.
“Our advertising aims to allow consumers to make better informed decisions based on the superior performance of Duracell alkaline batteries compared to carbon zinc batteries.”
In the ruling Justice Heerey said “…to the extent that comparative advertising provides consumers with accurate hard facts about competing products , it assists in the making of better informed choices and thereby results in more effective competition.”
30 July 2002
It's fucking sad when grown men fight over a trivial pink bunny.