Acecook Vietnam and Masan Food are petitioning the Vietnam Competition Authority for its final word on their dispute over a Masan Food ad that says yellow noodle soup is caused by harmful coloring.
According to Acecook Vietnam, Masan Food has recently launched a new advertisement program for its instant noodle Tien Vua with a message which Acecook Vietnam said could mislead consumers and thus affect its business.
The message, which uses strong images of two different blocks of noodles in light and dark yellow soup, suggests that the noodles that cause the soup to turn to dark yellow contain coloring.
This ad, Acecook Vietnam’s CEO Kajiwara Junichi said, would make consumers misunderstand that any instant noodle other than Tien Vua is unsafe for their health.
He said coloring is just one of various factors contributing to noodles’ color besides ingredients, frying duration and temperature, and processing technology.
When coloring is used, noodles may be dark yellow, but we can never say ‘the dark yellow noodles prove the usage of coloring’ as Masan Food claimed in its ad, he said.
A director of another instant noodle firm said many other firms and manufacturers in the noodle industry also find this ad unacceptable.
As 80 percent of the noodle market is held by big manufacturers who meet the requirements for food hygiene and safety, Acecook Vietnam said Masan Food’s message is causing an unnecessary worry amongst consumers about coloring used in instant noodles.
But Masan Food denied Acecook Vietnam’s charge, saying that its ad is completely legal.
Truong Cong Thang, its CEO, said “Tien Vua would never make its consumers mistake about its quality.”
Masan Food refused to explain the ad content but went on to blame Acecook for badly affecting its business and in turn sued Acecook for violating competition laws.
VCA said it had received the complaints of the two noodle manufacturers but was yet to take any action.
It was too early to make any opinion or conclusion about this dispute, it said.