Misleading potato-chip ad results in fine

  • 2005-08-31
  • From wire reports
Latvia's Competition Council has imposed a 3,000 lat (4,300 euro) fine on Latvian Snack, a wholesaler of Lay's potato chips in Latvia, for distributing an ad with misleading information.

The ad states that six out of 10 people would choose Lay's, but the competition watchdog ruled that the ad failed to include that the six people choosing Lay's applies only on one particular type of Lay's chips 's "fromage" 's which could cause harm to rivals by affecting consumers' choice.

The complaint against Latvian Snack was filed by Latfood, a chips producer, which claimed that "six out of every 10 people" phrase was false. Market research showed the market share of Lay's chips in Latvia is some 30 percent and not 60 percent as suggested by the ad.

Latvian Snack representative Gunita Ellere told the Baltic News Service earlier that the slogan was created as the result of a poll in which six of every 10 consumers found Lay's chips the best. The ad was not about market share but about consumer choice, she said.

Latvian Snack is owned by Estonia's PepsiCo Eesti AS. Last year the company was 134,800 lats in the red on sales of 1.7 million lats.

Latfood is the largest chips producer in Latvia. Last year it posted earnings of 14,000 lats on sales of 6.1 million lats. Latfood is owned by Finland's Chips Apb and has operations in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the Baltic states.

The role of Latfood in the concern is production of products for the Baltic and Russian market.