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Dutch Division of Procter & Gamble Sues Unilever Subsidiary

April 13, 1994

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) _ The Dutch division of Procter & Gamble Co. is suing a Unilever NV subsidiary over a TV commercial that it says is inaccurate, P&G confirmed Wednesday.

Procter & Gamble Benelux NV wants the court to order a halt to the ad for Robijn fabric softener, one of the Netherland’s most popular brands.

″We think the advertising of Robijn is misleading the consumer,″ said P&G spokesman Victor Neyndorff. ″We have requested that Lever stops with this misleading advertisement.″

Unilever said P&G also wants published admissions that the ad is misleading.

Robijn is manufactured by Lever Netherlands, a detergent manufacturing division of the Anglo-Dutch consumer products giant Unilever. Procter & Gamble Benelux is a division of the Cincinnati-based consumer products manufacturer.

The impending battle of the laundry powder powerhouses marks one of the few instances of commercial litigation over advertising in this relatively non- litigious nation.

The lawsuit, filed last month in Amsterdam, was announced this week. Court hearings are scheduled to begin April 27.

P&G says its own fabric softener, Lenor, is just as good if not better than Robijn, according to a report in the Rotterdam daily NRC Handelsblad.

Neyndorff declined to provide more details of the lawsuit. But Unilever spokesman Thomas Gordijn said the information in the commercial is accurate. He said P&G claim is ″unjustified.″

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