WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — In a response to a lawsuit filed in District Court here, Stop & Shop said that advertisements comparing its prices with A&P were not misleading and that A&P in fact was guilty of “insidious and defamatory” ads.
As reported in SN last week, Montvale, N.J.-based A&P filed a suit alleging the Stop & Shop ads comparing prices on baskets of identical items between the chains contained false prices and misleading artwork, and sought a court order to pull the ads.
Stop & Shop, Quincy, Mass., in its response argued “the motivation behind A&P’s motion is not to enjoin false and misleading advertising,” but rather “is just the latest in a series of attempts by A&P to impermissibly prevent Stop & Shop from engaging in truthful, accurate speech. … A&P seeks to restrict this speech so it may obtain a competitive advantage in the marketplace and charge its customers higher prices.”
The campaign has been at the center of tangles between the rivals dating back several months, Stop & Shop said. It cited a June campaign from A&P telling consumers, “You can’t trust Stop & Shop’s price comparisons.”