NEW DELHI: Emami Ltd, which owns the ‘Fair and Handsome’ men’s grooming brand, said on Thursday that it is evaluating legal action against Hindustan Unilever (HUL) for renaming its men’s range of Fair & Lovely products as “Glow & Handsome”. Emami has cited trademark infringement on the part of HUL, since it had changed the name of its men’s fairness cream to ‘Emami Glow & Handsome’ and launched the brand digitally last week. Necessary applications had already been made with the relevant authorities, it added.
“We are shocked to learn of HUL’s decision to rename its men’s range of Fair & Lovely as Glow & Handsome. Emami, the maker of Fair and Handsome brand of men’s grooming products, is the market leader in the men’s fairness cream with legal ownership of the trademarks. We will now be consulting legal experts,” it said, hours after HUL’s filing to the stock exchange.
This isn’t the first time that these consumer brands have dragged each other to court. While HUL had introduced Fair & Lovely to the market in the 70s, it was Emami who had launched a men’s variant of fairness cream—Fair and Handsome—in 2005. In fact, Emami was also only one of the few FMCG companies to realise the potential of celebrity brand ambassadors, especially in a price-sensitive market with a large rural base.
It had roped in Kartik Aaryan and later Shah Rukh Khan as brand ambassadors. It now has a market share of 65 per cent in men’s fairness cream segment, while HUL’s Fair & Lovely is the overall market leader with as much as 80 per cent share. Emami added that HUL’s move was an “unfair business practice”.
Earlier in the day, HUL had announced that its iconic skincare brand ‘Fair and Lovely’ has been rebranded as ‘Glow and Lovely’, while the men’s range of the product will be called ‘Glow & Handsome’ from now onwards.
“Over the next few months, Glow & Lovely will be on the shelves, and future innovations will deliver on this new proposition,” the company said in a statement. Last week, the company had said it would no longer woo consumers by playing up its skin-lightening properties and was dropping the word ‘fair’ to make way for a new name for its Rs 3,000 crore brand, in an effort to inclusive.