PATHMARK, KING KULLEN FIGHT BACK AT A&P ADS

MONTVALE, N.J. -- Pathmark Stores and King Kullen are aggressively fighting back at compare-and-save promotions that A&P here and its Central Islip, N.Y.-based Waldbaum's division are running."Attention Food Shoppers! It's About Time Stores Like A&P and Waldbaum's Stopped Insulting Your Intelligence With So-Called Comparison Ads," the heading of a full-page ad by Pathmark, Woodbridge, N.J., read.As

MONTVALE, N.J. -- Pathmark Stores and King Kullen are aggressively fighting back at compare-and-save promotions that A&P here and its Central Islip, N.Y.-based Waldbaum's division are running.

"Attention Food Shoppers! It's About Time Stores Like A&P and Waldbaum's Stopped Insulting Your Intelligence With So-Called Comparison Ads," the heading of a full-page ad by Pathmark, Woodbridge, N.J., read.

As reported, A&P's new campaign, featured in the chain's circulars and promoted in-store with shelf tags, compares A&P's prices to those of several competitors. For instance, one of the signs at a northern New Jersey A&P compared the price of Wishbone salad dressing -- $1.59 at Pathmark, up from $1.29 at A&P, SN observed in a store visit.

"Our ad was a response to the deceptive comparison dates that are in effect in the A&P program. [A&P and Waldbaum's] are comparing outdated retails, which gives a false impression to the consumer," said Stan Sorkin, Pathmark spokesman. A&P did not return phone calls from SN seeking comment.

King Kullen, Westbury, N.Y., also ran a full-page ad in response to A&P's program.

" 'Confused?' Have you walked into a supermarket lately where there were hundreds of signs fighting for your attention, telling you to compare and save? But have you really examined these signs? They're often outdated comparison prices, selectively chosen, comparing prices to distant, not local stores," the ad read, in part. King Kullen could not be reached for comment.