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West Florida
Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative Comments on New Marketing Report Cards
March 22, 2010

The Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative Director, Elaine D. Kolish, issued the following statement on March 9, 2010 in response to the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s report cards on the policies of food and entertainment companies regarding marketing to kids:

"The 16 participants in BBB’s Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative are helping to meet the challenge of childhood obesity through extensive, rigorous and transparent voluntary food advertising commitments to the BBB. Under the Initiative, nutrition standards govern what foods are featured in advertising primarily directed to children under 12 in both traditional and newer social and digital platforms.

These commitments have led to significant changes in the landscape of child-directed food advertising. The participants have reformulated or newly created more than 100 products to meet science-based nutrition standards. As a result, the fat, sugar, sodium or calorie content of foods advertised to kids has been reduced and their nutrient density increased. In addition, four participants, including major candy companies, are not advertising to kids.

The CFBAI and its participants have worked hard to improve the nutritional profile of foods advertised to children under 12, and have achieved much in a relatively short amount of time. BBB is continuing to work to expand the program to include more children’s food advertisers and to stimulate competition among participants to strengthen further our advertising self-regulation program."

The Participants’ nutrition standards and commitments apply to advertising primarily directed to children under 12 in the following mediums and channels:

  • traditional media (TV, radio, print and the Internet, including interactive games and advertising on child-directed third-party and company-owned sites that are primarily directed to children under 12)
  • digital and social media platforms (e.g., ads on video and computer games rated EC, other video games that are labeled for kids under 12 and DVDs that are primarily child-directed)
  • cell phones or PDAs
  • word of mouth marketing

The participants also have committed not to engage in product placement of food/beverage products in child-directed editorial or program content and not to advertise their foods/beverages to children in elementary schools (Pre-K through 6th grade).

For more information visit http://www.bbb.org/us/children-food-beverage-advertising-initiative/. To schedule an interview with Elaine Kolish, BBB vice president and director of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, contact Alison Southwick at 703-247-9376.

About the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative
The Council of Better Business Bureaus 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 healthier lifestyles. The 16 participants of the CFBAI are Burger King Corp.; Cadbury Adams USA LLC; Campbell Soup Company; The Coca-Cola Company; ConAgra Foods, Inc.; The Dannon Company; General Mills, Inc.; The Hershey Company; Kellogg Company; Kraft Foods Global, Inc.; Mars Snackfoods US, LLC; McDonald’s USA, LLC; Nestlé USA; PepsiCo, Inc.; Post Foods, LLC; 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: http://www.bbb.org/us/children-food-beverage-advertising-initiative.