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By Published on .

The court battle of the scouring pads has taken an abrasive turn for Dial Corp.

Dial attorneys say they are considering whether to continue to pursue an injunction against Clorox Co. over TV spots comparing its S.O.S pad with Dial's Brillo, after U.S. District Judge Stephen M. McNamee denied Dial a preliminary injunction against the four commercials.

"The court finds that a message that S.O.S [steel-wool soap pads] are stronger, more durable and have greater tensile strength than Brillo .*.*. is neither false nor misleading," said the judge in Phoenix.


The spots from Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco, begin with a tongue-in-cheek statement such as "Scientists have a remarkable way to tell S.O.S. from Brillo." In that spot, a woman's hands then pull the Brillo pad apart. "Pull on it like this. If it comes apart like this, it's Brillo. If it doesn't, it's S.O.S."

Clorox contended the spots are intended to demonstrate that S.O.S is more durable but not to indicate "superior cleaning performance," the court said.

"Recognize that this was a preliminary injunction hearing-and not a trial of the merits," Dial pointed out in a statement.

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