WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) _ A judge on Tuesday blocked a French advertising agency from an attempted hostile takeover of the parent company of Chicago's Foote, Cone & Belding.

The action means that True North Communications Inc. can proceed with its purchase of another major agency, Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon and Eckhardt Inc.

Vice Chancellor William Chandler of the Delaware Chancery Court granted a preliminary injunction sought by True North to prevent Paris-based Publicis SA from soliciting True North shares.

Publicis has been trying since mid-November to increase its stake in True North from 18.4 percent to 50.1 percent. Chandler had issued a temporary restraining order against Publicis on Dec. 16.

Bruce Mason, chairman and CEO of True North, said the firm now will go ahead with a planned shareholder meeting in Chicago next Tuesday to approve the acquisition of Bozell, the firm behind the milk mustache campaign.

``We remain optimistic our shareholders will recognize that this proposed transaction is clearly in their best interests,'' Mason said.

Victoria Weld, a spokeswoman for Publicis, said, ``We're disappointed with the judge's ruling and we're considering all the options available to us at this time.''