Hillshire Brands Company Dropping Participation in the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative

February 13, 2014

Arlington, VA ─ The Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) today announcedthat the Hillshire Brands Company is not renewing its participation in CFBAI for 2014. CFBAI is an advertising self-regulation program administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB). Participants in CFBAI pledge to limit advertising primarily directed to children under 12 (“child-directed advertising”) to foods that meet meaningful nutrition standards or to not engage in child-directed advertising.

Hillshire Brands (formerly Sara Lee) joined CFBAI in 2010. For the last several years the company has not engaged in child-directed advertising although it had foods that met meaningful nutrition criteria and could have been advertised to children. In fall 2013, it officially revised its commitment to CFBAI to state that it was pledging to not engage in child-directed advertising. Subsequently, in light of its decision not to engage in such advertising, the company has decided not to renew its participation in CFBAI.

“The children’s food advertising landscape has changed greatly since CFBAI was launched in 2007,” said Elaine D. Kolish, CFBAI director and vice president of CBBB. “Some participants stopped engaging in child-directed advertising and the others have reduced calories, sodium, saturated fats or sugar in their foods or increased their foods’ nutritional density with more fruits, vegetables, dairy, whole gains, or other positive nutritional components. We are pleased that Hillshire Brands was a participant in this process. Should the company decide to engage in child-directed advertising in the future, we hope they rejoin CFBAI,” stated Kolish.

CFBAI now has 17 participants. Collectively, ads from CFBAI participants constitute the majority of food ads directed to children on television. Food ads on TV, however, represent less than 25% of all ads on children’s programming, according to research conducted by CFBAI in 2013.

About the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative

BBB launched the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative in 2007 to shift the mix of advertising messaging directed at children to encourage healthier dietary choices and healthier lifestyles. The CFBAI’s 17 participants are Burger King Corporation; Campbell Soup Company; The Coca-Cola Company; ConAgra Foods, Inc.; The Dannon Company, Inc.; Ferrero USA, Inc.; General Mills Inc.; The Hershey Company; Kellogg Company; Kraft Foods Group, Inc.; Mars, Incorporated; McDonald’s USA, LLC; Mondelēz Global LLC; Nestlé USA; PepsiCo, Inc.; Post Foods, LLC and Unilever United States. For more information about CFBAI, visit www.bbb.org/kids_food.


About BBB

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2012, consumers turned to BBB 124 million times for Business Reviews on more than 4.5 million companies and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 113 local, independent BBBs across the United States and Canada, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution and industry self-regulation.