Dutch Judge Halts Razor Giants Ad Claim Duel

26 April 2004

A Dutch judge has ruled there isn’t even a whisker’s difference between a Wilkinson and a Gillette razor.

His decision halts the latest legal skirmish between Schick-Wilkinson Sword and rival Gillette Company over exactly whose product is sharpest.

Gillette resorted to the Dutch courts demanding Wilkinson pull its advertising campaign for the launch of the four-bladed ‘Quattro’ shaver. The campaign claims "no other shaving system shaves smoother and softer than Quattro." Gillette said the ads implied the Quattro was better than its own three-bladed 'Mach3Turbo'.

Wilkinson retaliated, determined to lance Gillette’s claims that the Turbo was "the best a man can get".

The judge, however, displaying the wisdom of Solomon, ruled they were equal. But he rubbed salt in the duelling giants wounds with the cutting remark that their advertising was unbelievable: "Because it will be sceptically received by the average consumer."

Judge Schepen didn’t say whether he patriotically uses a Philips electrical product in preference to wet shaving. He did, however, order Gillette to pay €944 ($1,117; £631) costs and Wilkinson €351.

Gillette is considering whether to appeal while Wilkinson may also be considering the outcome of its latest close shave.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff