Mumbai, June 14 () : Dettol and Lifebuoy are engaged in an advt war as to who is a more effective germ killer.
Dettol which is 80 years old and started with its antiseptic liquid and moved on to soap with the same feature is a market leader in the liquid segment cornering 80% of the Rs 200 crore followed by Savlon from Johnson and Johnson.
Lifebuoy is a clear leader in the health segment with 14 % share compared to Dettol’s 8 % but it is peeved that most Indians in a study showed that instead of anti-germ soap, they are using antispetic liquid mixed in water for bath.
A commercial on air shows a doctor asking the parent of a child gone unwell due to germ infection and asks which soap he uses to bathe the child.The parent replies that he uses an antiseptic liquid in the water to which the doctor says that the liquid will only kill the germs in the bucket and not the ones in the body. He advises to use Lifebuoy soap.
This has kicked off a storm with Reckitt, manufacturers of Dettol and has hit at them. Hindustan Union Lever (HUL) who makes Lifebuoy says that it was issued in public interest based on a study by a lab and not named anybody.
It is not the first time that Reckitt cries foul. In an earlier commercial, Lifebuoy claimed that its new brand Lifubuoy was 10 times more effective in killing germs than any other brand. Reckitt went to Advertising Council who ruled that Lifebuoy should withdraw the commercial.
It is not known whether Reckitt would this time go to the council but Lifebuoy is confident that it is based on lab reports. Of the health segment of the Rs 10,000-crore soaps market, Lifebuoy has Rs 3000 crore share and the other growing segment is beauty segment which is Rs 5000 crore.
Now the health segment is growing faster than beauty segment with Dettol growing at 25% each year. It has also been priced higher to be in the premium bracket for its products like hand wash and hand sanitizer.