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Razor wars go electric as Philips attacks P&G ads

LONDON - Philips Electronics has started a lawsuit in the US to force Procter & Gamble's Braun brand to stop the current advertising for its Pulsonic electric shavers.

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The lawsuit accuses Braun of false advertising, particularly the claims that the Pulsonic uses sonic power to generate microvibrations to expose and shave more hair and that nine out of 10 men say it is the best electric shaver they have ever tried.

Braun is advertising the product in the UK using the first claim, as well as the claim that twice as many users prefer the razor.

Philips' action only covers the US, where it said P&G has spent tens of millions of dollars on a BBDO Worldwide-created campaign for the Pulsonic razor since September.

It alleges that the claim that nine of out 10 men voted it the best electric shaver they have ever tried is not scientific and emerged from a Men's Health magazine survey, for which Braun gave each respondent a free $250 shaver.

The clash echoes the Gillette vs Schick-Wilkinson Sword "razor wars", which started four years ago and took two-and-a-half years to resolve.

Schick's legal action resulted in a judge ruling in 2005 that Gillette's claim that its M3 Power vibrating razor raises hair up and away from the skin was unsubstantiated and inaccurate.

Procter & Gamble bought the Gillette corporation, which also owned Braun, in 2005.

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