Elaine D. Kolish, a nationally recognized expert on advertising and consumer-protection issues, has been named Director of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, effective March 19.
The Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (Initiative), administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB), represents an innovative effort by some of the nation’s largest food and beverage advertisers to promote healthier dietary choices and lifestyles to children. Participants commit to devote at least half their advertising primarily directed to children under 12 to promote healthier dietary choices and/or messages that encourage healthier lifestyles or good nutrition.
“The Initiative is the first program of its kind. Its independent third-party administration and enforcement are vital to its success and credibility,” said Ms. Kolish, an attorney who has worked both in private practice and for the Federal Trade Commission.
Ms. Kolish will work with participating companies to assure that their commitments meet or exceed the Initiative’s core principles and monitor compliance with these commitments once they are made.
“Elaine brings to the position a dedication to consumer protection and a strong appreciation for the value of effective industry self-regulation. She also brings a wonderful enthusiasm to the development of this important new program. We are delighted she has accepted this post,” said C. Lee Peeler, President of the National Advertising Review Council and Executive Vice-President, National Advertising, CBBB.
Ms. Kolish most recently was a partner at the national law firm Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal LLP, where she specialized in counseling national advertisers on advertising and marketing compliance. Prior to joining Sonnenschein, she spent 25 years at the FTC and held several positions, ultimately serving as head of the Division of Enforcement in the Bureau of Consumer Protection.
Ms. Kolish worked extensively on national advertising matters and led the Bureau’s regulatory review efforts, as well as a number of other key policy initiatives including the Class Action Fairness Monitoring Project and the Hispanic consumer-protection program. She has appeared on or been quoted by many national media outlets, including Oprah, Dateline, the Washington Post and the National Law Journal. She is a vice chair of the American Bar Association Antitrust Section’s Privacy and Information Security Committee, and an editor of a forthcoming ABA Antitrust Section treatise on consumer protection law.
# # #
About the Initiative: The Initiative is designed to shift the mix of advertising messaging to children to encourage healthier dietary choices and healthy lifestyles. Participants are Cadbury Schweppes USA; Campbell Soup Company; The Coca-Cola Company; General Mills, Inc.; The Hershey Company; Kellogg Company; Kraft Foods Inc.; Masterfoods; McDonald’s; PepsiCo, Inc. , and Unilever. It is estimated that these companies account for more than two-thirds of children’s food and beverage television advertising expenditures. For more information, please visit www.cbbb.org/initiative.
About the CBBB: The Better Business Bureau (BBB) system (www.bbb.org) is dedicated to fostering fair and honest relationships between businesses and consumers, instilling consumer confidence and contributing to an ethical business environment, in both the traditional and online marketplaces. The first BBB was founded in 1912. The network of BBBs and the Council of Better Business Bureaus have grown to become the most recognized advocate for promoting ethical business and advertising practices, providing more than 105 million instances of service to consumers and businesses in 2006.
About NARC: The National Advertising Review Council (NARC) was formed in 1971 by the CBBB, the Association of National Advertisers, Inc. (ANA), the American Association of Advertising Agencies, Inc. (AAAA), and the American Advertising Federation, Inc. (AAF). Its purpose is to foster truth and accuracy in national advertising through voluntary self-regulation. NARC is the body that establishes the policies and procedures for the CBBB’s National Advertising Division (NAD) and Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), as well as for the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) and Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP). For more information about advertising self regulation, please visit www.narcpartners.org.