This situation frustrates me

New Zealand’s competition watchdog has laid court charges against the maker of four Nurofen painkillers, saying claims they could target different kinds of pain were bogus because they were made from the same ingredients.

The Commerce Commission says Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to the 10 charges laid under the Fair Trading Act over labelling and advertising.

The commission alleges the packaging and adverts for Nurofen Migraine Pain, Nurofen Tension Headache, Nurofen Period Pain and Nurofen Back Pain gave the overall impression that the products were targeted to provide relief for a specific kind of pain.

“This was misleading because the pain specific products contained the same ingredients and were equally effective in treating any of the types of pain specified,” it said in a statement on Monday.

Reckitt Benckiser had co-operated with the investigation and noted it intended to plead guilty to the charges, the commission said.

In a responding statement, the British multi-national said the products, which made up less than 5 per cent of its New Zealand range, were designed to “provide easy navigation of pain-relief within the grocery environment where pharmacy support is not available”.

They all contained the same active ingredients and retailed for the same price, it said.

Both parties refused to say more as it was now before the courts.

I’m not sure why Reckitt Benckiser needs to be the whipping boy here.  The product works.  The fact it doesn’t just target the pain it claims to target doesn’t make it a lie.  It is just smart marketing.

If you walk in with a sore back, you want to buy something for a sore back.  The fact it also deals to your headache is arbitrary, but it gives the consumer the feeling the got the right product.

It is not misleading.  It is just niching the same product for different markets.

The fact this has gone this far and it has been beaten to a pulp smells to me.  Not everything about this is public I suspect.

Do you get told that you can get nearly free water from the tap when you buy a bottle of water?  How misleading is that?


– NZN via Yahoo! News

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