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P&G Sues Colgate Over Toothpaste Advertising

December 4, 1996

CINCINNATI (AP) _ Procter & Gamble Co. sued Colgate-Palmolive Co. and its advertising agency Wednesday, saying they deliberately copied a toothpaste advertisement P&G has been using since 1989.

The suit, filed in New York where Colgate and ad maker Young & Rubicam Inc. are based, alleges copyright infringement and unfair competition.

P&G wants the ads _ aired in China, Australia, Uruguay and the Philippines _ stopped and is seeking unspecified damages. Colgate began broadcasting the ads in anticipation of P&G’s entry into those countries’ toothpaste, P&G said.

P&G said a Colgate commercial in which toothpaste is applied to a shell is similar to one P&G has used for Crest since 1989. P&G’s ad uses an eggshell, while Colgate’s uses a seashell.

Colgate said P&G’s lawsuit has no merit. Philippe Krakowsky, a spokesman at Young & Rubicam, declined to comment and referred questions to Colgate.

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