Two warring paint companies Sadolin and Plascon are in a cut-throat competition with lots of mudslinging in an attempt to dominate the crowded market.
The bad blood started after Japanese paint company, Kansai Plascon, bought off Sadolin Paints East Africa, which for over 50 years held the license for Sadolin Paints, a brand of Akzo Nobel from the Netherlands.
Plascon went into overdrive, marketing and advertising Plascon paint as original Sadolin in a new skin.
According to the sale agreement, Kansai Plascon was supposed to market both Plascon and Sadolin Paints concurrently for a year in order for the new entrant not to kill off old Sadolin, in Uganda for over 50 years.
But Plascon had other ideas. It engaged the media, advertising agencies and all Sadolin distributors and sellers, the simple message being Plascon is Sadolin, “same quality, different name”.
This infuriated Akzo Nobel, offered its Sadolin license to Regal Paints, a company already operating in the market.
But this came months after Plascon had saturated the market with its products and negative sentiments as Sadolin products dwindled in the market. By the time Plascon went public, it had done the heavy lifting, including buying off and changing the mindset and marketing language and images of former Sadolin distributors and sellers.
Regal Paints is marketing Regal and Sadolin paints as two separate products, stressing that their Sadolin is the original Sadolin, which Plascon claims it bought and rebranded as Plascon.
This has created confusion with both companies riding on the Sadolin brand success.