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Energizer Wins Gillette Advertising Case in Germany
Dec 21, 2004
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Energizer Holdings, Inc. (St. Louis, MO, U.S.) announced a victory for Schick's German affiliate, Wilkinson Sword GmbH. The Hamburg, Germany Regional Court reaffirmed a preliminary injunction against Gillette's advertising and packaging claims of its new M3Power shaving product.

Energizer said the basis of the injunction is that Gillette's advertising was misleading consumers, constituting a violation of unfair competition laws. According to Energizer, Gillette has been prohibited from claiming that when shaving with the M3Power wet razor, micro-pulses cause the facial hairs to stand up, giving a closer shave. In mid-November, Wilkinson Sword presented scientific evidence to the court to substantiate its request for an injunction, which resulted in a preliminary injunction issued November 24. Gillette presented evidence in support of its claims, but on December 17, the German court ruled that the evidence Gillette presented was irrelevant and did not substantiate the claim.

Gillette reportedly uses this claim in print and television advertising and product packaging. As a result of the injunction, Gillette will immediately be required to cease making the prohibited claim in Germany, Energizer said, and it will be required to remove it from its advertising as well as from packs to be sold to German retailers.

"Our scientific evidence indicates that Gillette's claims for M3Power go well beyond the capabilities of the products, and apparently, the judge agreed with us," says Joe Lynch, president of Schick-Wilkinson Sword. "This decision could pave the way for similar actions in other countries where Gillette is making unfounded claims regarding M3Power. We believe this decision also casts doubt on the preliminary claims that Gillette is making on its newly announced Venus Vibrance shaver, which we understand uses similar technology."

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