ISLAMABAD: The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has fined the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) Rs150 million for a deceptive marketing campaign for some of its products.
The state-owned oil marketing company has been penalised for violating Section 10 of the Competition Act of 2010. The order in this regard was passed by a CCP bench comprising chairwoman Vadiyya Khalil and members Dr Shahzad Ansar and Ikramul Haque Qureshi.
The order was passed in light of an inquiry conducted by the CCP after receiving a complaint alleging that PSO has been deceptively claiming that the use of its products ‘Premier XL’ and ‘Green Plus’ results in more mileage and improved performance of a vehicle’s engine as they have various additives and are environment-friendly.
PSO has been floating this slogan since 2003 -04. However, the CCP inquiry revealed that in 2012 -13, the company discontinued the use of such additives but the names of the products and the marketing campaign, including the associated branding and insignias launched alongside the products in 2003 -04, remained in place to date.
The order states that during the hearings, PSO could neither provide any scientific basis for making the claims in the first place nor did it stop making the claims when it stopped mixing the additives in 2012-13. According to the inquiry, these claims by PSO led consumers to believe that the fuel they were purchasing was superior to others and therefore harmed competition.
In addition to the penalty, the CCP has also directed PSO to cease the use of ‘green’ and ‘premium’ in all its branding and marketing materials, and to make appropriate changes within 30 days to remove the impression that its fuel products are premium and environmentally-friendly.
Courtesy : Dawn News