Procter & Gamble has been branded shameful and unethical by a rival in the women’s hygiene market.

Playtex Products claims the plastic applicators for P&G’s new Tampax Pearl tampons infringe its patents. The launch of this brand helped drag down Playtex sales by over 20% in the first quarter.

“It's shameful,” declared Playtex ceo Michael Gallagher, “that a company of the size and reputation of a P&G would spend as much money in trying to just basically unseat a much smaller competitor in a category such as this and in our opinion resort to … false and misleading advertising and the infringement of a patent of ours in order to take this kind of attack.”

Gallagher worked for P&G in the 1970s, since when, he claims, the company has gone downhill. “This is not the kind of ethical company I was used to when I worked for them,” he continued.

The Playtex boss estimates that P&G will make a $50 million (€45m; £31m) loss on the product in its first twelve months after pouring around $80m into its marketing.

P&G denies infringing patents and insists its advertising is not misleading. “The [ad] statements are true and this will be proven in court,” it retorted.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff