Monday, June 18, 2007

As Promised

I posted a story about Kellogg removing all marketing for children under the age of 12. This included ceasing using cartoon characters to appeal to children and adding toys to cereal boxes.

The article in question gave the impression to readers that the change in marketing was done voluntarily, but was brought on by the possibility of a few lawsuits from activist groups.

I thought how good it was of Kellogg to take the initiative and realize that maybe getting kids to stuff their faces with sugary cereal each and every morning instead of eating a decent breakfast wasn’t the best plan for American health issues.

But alas, as it turns out there’s more to this story then meets the eye.

Turns out there was a settlement in a case between CCFC, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and Kellogg. Backed by a pending lawsuit from two Massachusetts parents (whom, I’m gonna bet money here, blame Kellogg for their child(s) obesity) sought to change Kellogg marketing strategy toward children.

After more then a year of negotiations Kellogg has agreed to restrictions on marketing to children. This includes ending marketing to children INSIDE public schools and restrict use of licensed media characters.

Here’s a list that was agreed upon:

Food advertised on media-including TV, Radio, Print, and 3rd party websites- that have and audience of 50% or more children under the age of 12 will have to meet Kellogg's new nutrition standards, which require that one serving of food has:
-No more then 200 calories
-No Trans fat and no more then 2 grams saturated fat
-no more then 230 milligrams of sodium (Except Eggos frozen waffles)
-No more then 12 grams of sugar (Excluding sugar from fruit dairy and vegetables)

In addition Kellogg will not:
-Advertise to children under 12 in schools and preschools
-Sponsor product placements for any products in any medium primarily directed at kids under 12
-Use licensed characters on mass-media advertising directed primarily to kids under 12, as a basis for a food form, or on the front labels of food packages unless those foods meet nutritional standards.
-Use branded toys in connection with foods that do not meet the nutrition standards.

Now it’s great that the company is doing this, it’s really a positive step in the right direction to getting kids to pay attention to what they eat and think about eating better.

But shame on Kellogg for spinning this as almost completely voluntary. Makes you sound like a Hero, when in fact you’re just doing what you agreed to.

Let’s hope other companies wise up soon and follow suit.

Now if you’ll excuse me..
I have a box of Lucky Charms calling my name


FaustianBargain said...

i think cereal is really for adults. kids should have eggs, bread, butter, jam, a glass of milk and fruit for breakfast.

The Foodist said...

I agree, but were talking commercial cereal there.

My son eats real cereal all the time. He actually prefers it, thank god.