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Council of Better Business Bureaus
ConAgra Foods Joins BBB Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative: ConAgra Foods to Develop Children’s Advertising Pledge in Consultation with BBB
October 04, 2007

Arlington, VA – The Council of Better Business Bureaus today announced that ConAgra Foods Inc., one of North America’s leading packaged food companies, has joined 12 other major food and beverage marketers as a member of the BBB’s Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative.

The Initiative was established in November 2006 to shift the mix of food and beverage products in advertising primarily directed to children under 12 years old.

"We are delighted that ConAgra Foods has joined," said Elaine Kolish, Director of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. “In joining the Initiative, ConAgra Foods has committed to setting nutritional criteria for the foods they will advertise in media primarily directed to children under 12. The Initiative’s third-party monitoring and required reporting will foster trust in these commitments."

ConAgra Foods consumer brands include: Banquet, Egg Beaters, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National, Hunt’s, Marie Callender’s, Orville Redenbacher’s, PAM, and many others. Brands that particularly appeal to children include Kid Cuisine and Chef Boyardee. For more information on ConAgra Foods’ brands visit www.conagrafoods.com.

Under the terms of the Initiative, participating companies must commit to focus at least half of their child-directed advertising on products meeting better-for-you standards or to promoting healthy lifestyles. Participating companies also agree to refrain from advertising in elementary schools and from product placement in movies or other editorial content primarily directed to children under 12, and to reduce their use of third party licensed characters in foods that do not meet better for you criteria. Further, all participants have taken the unprecedented step to voluntarily open subject commitments to third-party monitoring and reporting by BBB.

Each participating company develops a company specific pledge meeting the Initiative’s criteria, which is publicly posted on the Initiative’s Web site at www.bbb.org. Working with BBB, ConAgra Foods expects to submit its specific pledge in January 2008.

“We’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made so far in product reformulations to ensure that nutritious choices are available to kids,”said Gary Rodkin, ConAgra Foods CEO. “We see membership in the Initiative as an excellent opportunity to help reinforce good nutrition messages for children and their families, and promote healthier dietary choices and lifestyles for all our consumers.”

 

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“ConAgra Foods has an established commitment to marketing its products responsibly,” Mr. Rodkin noted, “and is a strong a supporter of the Council of Better Business Bureau’s Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), and its rigorous guidelines for advertising to children.”

 

About the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative

BBB launched the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative in November 2006 to shift the mix of advertising messaging to children to encourage healthier dietary choices and lifestyle choices.

In July 2007 BBB announced the pledges of 11 companies: Cadbury Adams, USA, LLC; Campbell Soup Company; The Coca-Cola Company; General Mills, Inc.; The Hershey Company; Kellogg Company; Kraft Foods Inc.; Mars, Inc.; McDonald's USA, LLC; PepsiCo, Inc.; and Unilever United States. In September, BBB announced that Burger King Corp. had joined the Initiative.

For more information about the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative and to view the pledges of the 12 participants visit www.bbb.org.

 

About the BBB System

BBB is an unbiased organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB membership contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free business Reliability Reports and charity Wise Giving Reports, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is difference in viewpoints. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 128 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than 3 million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information about the BBB System.

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Media members may contact Steve Cox, CBBB's Vice President, Communications, at scox@council.bbb.org or call 703.276.0100 to request an interview or additional information. Media may also call Stephanie Childs, director, Communications, at ConAgra Foods, 402.595.6258.