Procter & Gamble Co. has asked rival Frito-Lay to pull TV and print advertising that says consumers prefer Frito’s Stax crisps to P&G’s Pringles.
P&G sent a letter to Frito-Lay calling the ads false and requesting that it pull the campaign. Frito-Lay said it will keep running the ads because the consumer-preference research is based in fact. The print and TV campaign is slated to run for several weeks. There is no promotional component planned, said Frito-Lay spokesperson Charles Nicolas.
Plano, TX-based Frito-Lay launched Stax in September to compete with Pringles, the $1 billion-plus brand that dominates the crisps segment. Print ads broke last week, headlined “America Prefers The Taste of Lay’s Stax Over Pringles.” TV debuted during the Academy Awards broadcast. BBDO, New York, handles Stax TV ads; TLP, Dallas, handles print.
P&G, Cincinnati, has said its own research shows consumers prefer Pringles by a slight margin.
P&G is waiting for a response to its letter. Once Frito-Lay responds, P&G will will decide whether to ask the Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division to review the Stax ads, said P&G spokesperson Jenny Becker.