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Competition Office fines Colgate-Palmolive Ft 257 mln

The Competition Office (GVH) announced on Thursday it had fined the Hungarian unit of personal products giant Colgate-Palmolive Ft 257 million for airing television advertisements misleading to consumers.

GVH said the company said in ads broadcast in 2004 and 2005 that its Colgate Total toothpaste was more effective than any other product, a baseless claim. The fine is extraordinarily large compared to fines levied on other companies for similar offenses. When determining the size of the fine, GVH said it considered the cost of the ad campaign and the extent to which the advertisements affected the market. The office also considered the fact that the company is market leader in Hungary and that it guards the formula for its toothpaste as a company secret.