Beverage brand Fraser & Neave Holdings (F&N) has released a comparative ad in its latest campaign for energy drink Ranger.
The drink is a new entry into the beverage scene since F&N Malaysia's loss of distribution and selling rights for popular energy drink Red Bull in April this year. Allexcel Trading now holds the exclusive distribution and selling rights for Red Bull.
The ad shows how a man is able to thwart a suspiciously red-dusted raging bull by shape-shifting into a tiger - Ranger's brand mascot - after drinking a can of Ranger. The bull does not even put up a fight when the tiger lunges, and instead, cowers away with speed.
According to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Content Code (“Content Code”), comparative advertising is allowable for advertisements communicated electronically i.e. this includes television, radio, online services and audiotext hosting services.
The Content Code set out guidelines and procedures for good practice and standards of content disseminated for public consumption by service providers in the communications and multimedia industry.
Part 3 of the Content Code states that "comparison advertising is allowable in the interest of vigorous competition and public information. It shall, however, respect the principles of fair competition and shall be so designed that there is no likelihood of the consumer being misled as a result of the comparison" and that "Advertisers should not attack or discredit other businesses or their products".
Since Red Bull is no longer under F&N's purview, it is rightly seen as a competitor brand for Ranger, as indirectly highlighted in the ad.
What do you think of this move by F&N - bold or bitter?