RIGA - The lottery and gambling inspectorate of the Finance Ministry announced last week it would penalize organizers of the lotteries promoting Estrella and Lay's potato chips.
Ervins Priede, a gaming official at the ministry, said both lottery organizers did not fully observe the provisions of the law. He explained that information about a lottery must be available in all places where the advertised goods are being sold and that advertising booklets must point to the source of additional information about the campaign.
"Both chips distributors did not observe these rules," Priede told the Baltic News Service.
According to the watchdog's ruling, violations have been found in the lottery organized by Estrella distributor, Kraft Foods Latvija, and the lottery held by Latvian Snacks, distributor of Lay's chips.
Authorities will impose administrative fines on both companies.
Latvia's Latfood potato chips producer filed the complaint against organizers of both lotteries. It also submitted complaints against Lay's and Estrella's advertisements to the Latvian Consumer Rights Protection Center.
Kraft Foods Latvija is owned by Lithuania's Kraft Foods Lietuva AB company. In 2003 Kraft Foods Latvija posted earnings of 29,380 lats (41,800 euros) on turnover of 672,900 lats.
Latvian Snacks belongs to the Estonian PepsiCo Eesti company. In 2003 the company earned 270,500 lats in profit on turnover of 1.6 million lats.
Latfood is the largest potato chips producer in Latvia. The company ended 2003 280,200 lats in the red, though turnover amounted to 10 million lats. It is owned by the Finnish Chips Apb concern.