CHICAGO (AP) – A federal judge ordered Frito-Lay to stop ads that say Chicago potato chip fans prefer Lay’s over local rival Jays, saying the snack food giant can’t prove the claim. U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan faulted data cited by Frito-Lay because testers had not screened out participants who were not from Chicago, and because Jays chips were labeled as “unflavored” during the tests, while Lay’s were labeled as “classic,” a tactic the judge called “clearly derogatory.”

“Lay’s appears to be motivated by greed in displaying and airing advertisements which are not only damaging to Jays but are deceiving to the public,” Der-Yeghiayan said.

Frito-Lay spokesman Charles Nicolas said Friday the company was taking down a billboard trumpeting the results, “but we intend to fully respond at the preliminary injunction hearing that our consumer research is based on the proper methodology and our research is scientifically correct.”

According to Frito-Lay, of 300 people who participated in the survey at three suburban malls, 55 percent voted for Lay’s chips, 41 percent favored Jays and 4 percent were undecided.

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AP-ES-07-23-04 1758EDT

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