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Sea change for US food industry ad strategy

Taking a page from Kellogg's head-turning move made last month to stave off government-enforced regulations, 11 food-and-beverage heavyweights have pledged to adopt new nutrition and advertising standards under the auspices of The Better Business Bureau's Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. Along with the cereal giant, Cadbury Adams, The Coca Cola Company, General Mills, The Hershey Company, Kraft Food, McDonald's USA and PepsiCo are vowing to focus their advertising targeting children 12 and under on food products that meet healthy nutritional levels or to forgo advertising entirely.
July 19, 2007

Taking a page from Kellogg’s head-turning move made last month to stave off government-enforced regulations, 11 food-and-beverage heavyweights have pledged to adopt new nutrition and advertising standards under the auspices of The Better Business Bureau’s Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. Along with the cereal giant, Cadbury Adams, The Coca Cola Company, General Mills, The Hershey Company, Kraft Food, McDonald’s USA and PepsiCo are vowing to focus their advertising targeting children 12 and under on food products that meet healthy nutritional levels or to forgo advertising entirely.

Company commitments based on better-for-you dietary choices are required to be consistent with established scientific and/or government standards and The BBB is planning to monitor and report on company compliance.

Specifically, Coca Cola is now publicly committing to continue its long-standing practice in the US of refraining from advertising its beverages on programming primarily aimed at kids under 12. And for its part, Kraft says it will only tout beverages to kids that meet nutritional standards based on US Dietary Guidelines and Food and Drug Administration edicts.

Additionally, McDonald’s USA has committed that all advertising directed at children under 12 will tout meals that meet specified calorie, fat, saturated fat and sugar limits consistent with government guidelines.

About The Author
Gary Rusak is a freelance writer based in Toronto. He has covered the kids entertainment industry for the last decade with a special interest in licensing, retail and consumer products. You can reach him at garyrusak@gmail.com

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