BBB approves company pledge for advertising directed to children under 12
Arlington, VA – September 23, 2008 – The Council of Better Business Bureaus today announced that The Dannon Company has become the 15th company to join the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. BBB also announced approval of The Dannon Company’s pledge. This pledge includes the commitment that 100 percent of advertising directed primarily to children under 12 in television, radio, print and Internet venues will be for products that meet nutritional guidelines that BBB has reviewed and approved.
The Dannon Company, headquartered in White Plains, NY, is a leading yogurt producer in the U.S. As the newest member of the Initiative, The Dannon Company joins a group that includes 14 other global, market-leading food and beverage manufacturers and restaurateurs. The Initiative is designed to shift the mix of advertising messaging directed at children to encourage healthier dietary choices and healthy lifestyles.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome The Dannon Company on board as our newest participant,” said Elaine D. Kolish, Director of the Initiative. “Lawmakers, regulators and health and advocacy organizations have commended the Initiative as a positive development in achieving balance in food and beverage advertising to children under 12 and we encourage other food and beverage companies to join our efforts to change the landscape of children’s advertising.”
As part of the pledge—which will be fully implemented by January 1, 2009—The Dannon Company intends to feature only products that meet its nutritional guidelines in all advertising directed primarily to children under 12. The Dannon Company guidelines are based on the 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, FDA and World Health Organization standards as they pertain to fat, trans fat, saturated fat and sugar.
“The Dannon Company pledges to devote 100 percent of television, radio, print and internet advertising primarily directed to children under 12 to products that represent healthier dietary choices,” said Juan Carlos Dalto, President and CEO of The Dannon Company. “As an additional extension and expression of our commitment to health and wellness, Dannon is pleased to join The Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI). The CFBAI has emerged as a leader in the United States in marshalling the most forward-thinking food and beverage companies, and our participation is consistent with the mission of The Dannon Company, that every day our family of great-tasting, unique, cultured fresh dairy products will proactively enrich the health and well-being of our consumers, and this of course includes children.”
The Dannon Company’s nutritional guidelines include the following requirements per labeled serving for foods advertised to children under 12:
• No more than 30 percent of calories may come from fat for products labeled for children two to three, and no more than 25 percent of calories from fat for products for children four to 12;
• Saturated fat must be less than 10 percent of calories or may not exceed 1 g;
• Sodium may not exceed 230 mg;
• Added sugars may not exceed 12.5 g; and,
• Contain at least 10 percent of the Daily Value for Calcium
In addition, as provided by the terms of the Initiative, The Dannon Company will:
• Restrict the use of third-party licensed characters in advertising primarily directed to children under 12 to products meeting its nutrition criteria;
• Refrain from advertising food and beverages in elementary schools;
• Not pay for, or seek out, product placement in media primarily directed to children under 12; and,
• Limit the use of food and beverages shown in interactive games primarily directed to children under 12 to products that meet its nutrition criteria.
In July of 2008, the CBBB released the first report on the progress that has been made by the Initiative participants after their pledges were announced at the FTC’s July 2007 forum. This report is available online at www.bbb.org/us/advertisers4healthykids.
Media members may contact Alison Preszler, Media Relations for the Council of Better Business Bureaus, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703-247-9376 to request an interview or additional information. Media may also call Michael Neuwirth, Senior Director of Public Relations, at The Dannon Company, 914-872-8708, or Megan Parker at Edelman Public Relations (for Dannon) at 212-819-4847.
BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free business BBB Reliability ReportsTM and charity BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM, 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, 126 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring nearly 4 million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information about BBB.
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 directed at children to encourage healthier dietary choices and healthy lifestyles. The 14 other participants of the Initiative are Burger King Corp.; Cadbury Adams USA LLC; Campbell Soup Company; The Coca-Cola Company; ConAgra Foods, Inc.; General Mills, Inc.; The Hershey Company; Kellogg Company; Kraft Foods Global, Inc.; Mars, Inc.; McDonald’s USA, LLC; Nestlé USA; PepsiCo, Inc.; and Unilever United States. For more information about the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative and to view the pledges of the participants visit: www.bbb.org/us/advertisers4healthykids.