Procter and Gamble files lawsuit against Poundstretcher and others over fake Head & Shoulders products

P&G is suing Poundstetcher following claims the budget retailer has been selling counterfeit Head & Shoulders shampoo and Ariel laundry products.

The multinational is also taking legal action against wholesalers Home and Beauty and J&S, alleging the three firms infringed its trademarks between 2014 and 2013.

The fake products were reportedly brought to P&G’s attention back in 2013 when a customer who shopped in the discount chain’s store in Sutton-in-Ashfield complained to Trading Standards about Ariel powder and lab tests revealed the goods to be false.

According to the Times, P&Gs agents apparently purchased a variety of Head & Shoulders products from Poundstretcher stores; all of which were found to be counterfeit. Last year the consumer giant traced the goods back to Home and Beauty, J&S along with two other suppliers which won’t be facing action.

While Crest-owned Poundstretchers or Home and Beauty have yet to submit defences to the claim, which will see P&G seek to recover damages and demand to be told the origins of the false products, J&S has said it "does not admit" to having stocked or sold the products.

The case could shine a spotlight on the way the discount sector is supplied, as low price stores like Poundland - which hasn’t been associated with counterfeit products - are set to gain ground on rival traders following a healthy 2015.

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Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a reporter at The Drum. Based in London, she writes news, analysis and features around brand marketing and digital innovation. She has interviewed key figures from the likes of Airbnb, Amnesty International, Unilever, Facebook and Spotify, as well as covering international events like Ad Week Europe, Dmexco and Ciclope.

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