Late last year, Nurofen lost a case brought forward by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) stating that their pain specific medications are fraudulent and misleading.

That’s right, buying tablets for period pain, lower back pain or a tension headache? Well you’re buying  342mg of ibuprofen lysine. Oh, and some different packaging. Now that’s all well and good but now we have the sentencing hearing and as it ends up, Reckitt Benckiser the owners of Nurofen think you’re a massive idiot.

Lawyers for Reckitt Benckiser said that no “rational” consumer would make the assumption that any pain medication could target specific areas, regardless of what they print on the box. In other words, they put in on the label, but it’s only there to fool irrational people, like those with a tension headache I guess.


That’s all well and good, the problem however is that those packages labeled ‘Migraine,’ Period Pain,’ and Lower Back,’ were more expensive than their generic options. As the hearing progressed, the Judge actually joked that the weight of evidence was giving him a headache, to which the ACCC lawyer said he could offer some good options for him. Brilliant. While judgement has been reserved while the judge considers his options or gets over his headache with generic ibuprofen , it seems very apparent that Reckitt Benckiser will be paying back a good percentage of their ill gotten gains, some speculating the fine will be around the $6million mark.

This may spark a closer look into marketing practices. Shampoo and toothpaste spring to mind as having ingenious marketing that presses the edge of honesty. Whiter teeth, shiner hair and increased shine are some of the unsubstantiated claims laid out by businesses, partnered with some random ingredient – ‘Now with 10% more Hydromergential for stronger, shinier hair.’ The price goes up so it must be better and we fork out the extra few bucks. Or maybe it’s just me because I’m not rational enough.