The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has been very active in watching deceptive marketing practices as part of its role to maintain competitive market practices in the business for consumers’ betterment, as it issued Show Cause Notice to a frozen foods manufacturing company, M/s Kitchen Stone Foods, for running deceptive marketing campaign for its frozen food products.
In the last few weeks, the competition watchdog imposed penalties on two major multinational FMCG companies after a rival lodged formal complaints against violation of laws.
Yet again, CCP received formal complaints from M/s Seasons Foods (Pvt.) Limited and M/s Quick Food Industries (Pvt.) limited alleging that Kitchen Stone Foods was deceiving consumers by claiming that its products were “100% Non-Processed Food,” “Pakistan’s first non-processed frozen food,” and that “Processed Meat Causes Cancer: Switch to Kitchen Stone Products.”
CCP conducted an inquiry into the matter, which concluded that the advertisement posted by Kitchen Stone Foods on its Facebook page drew a direct misleading comparison by showing the complainants’ packaging with articles citing risks and causes of cancer along with misleading narrations without substantiation.
The enquiry report further stated that Kitchen Stone Foods used various marketing means i.e. official Facebook page, product packaging, outdoor advertising and local marketing events, to make unsubstantiated claims that its products were “100% Non-Processed”, “Pakistan’s first non-processed frozen food”, and that processed meat caused cancer, thus prima facie giving false and misleading information to consumers.
According to the enquiry report, such deceptive marketing practices by Kitchen Stone Foods not only deceived consumers but were also capable of harming the business interest of the complainants and other competitors.
On the recommendations of the enquiry report, CCP issued Show Cause Notice to Kitchen Stone Foods and directed it to appear before the Commission on 31 August, 2017.