US food and consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) has called on US snack food maker Frito-Lay to withdraw advertisements that claim that consumers prefer Lay’s Stax potato crisps to P&G’s Pringles.

“We have … sent a letter to Frito saying we believe the ad is false and asking them to take that off,” Gary Dowdell, a spokesman for P&G, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

A spokesman for Frito-Lay, which is owned by soft drinks giant PepsiCo, said the company did not plan to halt the advertisements.

“Our consumer preference research is based in fact, and the advertising will continue,” said spokesman Charles Nicolas.

Frito-Lay launched Stax last September, creating the first major competitor to Pringles, which has sales of more than $1bn and is one of P&G’s biggest brands.

After the launch of Stax, P&G ran an advert for Pringles featuring a row of Pringles cartons with one single Stax can wearing a false moustache, implying that the Stax can was trying to look like a Pringles can, Reuters reported.

Frito-Lay’s new advertising campaign features newspaper and television adverts that say,  “America Prefers The Taste of Lay’s Stax Over Pringles.”

P&G claims its own research shows an almost 50-50 split among consumers, with a slight majority preferring Pringles.