The Commerce Commission has handed down 10 charges against Reckitt Benckiser New Zealand for misleading packaging and promotion of its Nurofen specific pain products.
Reckitt Benckiser will plead guilty to the charges which relate to Nurofen’s Migraine Pain, Tension Headache, Period Pain and Back Pain products.
The company entered into a court enforceable undertaking with the Commission in December 2015 where it agreed to re-label the pain specific products. This resulted in the old packaging being removed from shelves in March this year.
The Commission alleges, “Both the website and the packaging of these products gave the overall impression that the products were targeted to provide relief for a specific kind of pain. The Commission alleges 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.”
As the matter is before the court, the Commission says it cannot provide further comment on the case.
In a statement, the company says the products in question accounted for only five per cent of the New Zealand Nurofen range. It says, “This court action applies to New Zealand only and does not apply to other countries/regions or to other products in the Nurofen range.”
In December 2015 Reckitt Benckiser Australia faced legal action for similar offences relating to the same products listed above and was found guilty by the Federal Court of Australia. It was fined $1.7m in April this year.