CFBAI Statement on the Healthy Eating Research Recommendations for Responsible Food Marketing to Children

By the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative and the Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus
January 20, 2015

CFBAI, CARU and HER share the goal of wanting our nation’s children to grow up healthy. Childhood obesity is multi-faceted problem that requires all segments of our society to solve. Through our programs, major food and beverage advertisers are part of the solution. CFBAI and CARU administer robust, highly-regarded advertising self-regulation programs that have significantly improved the children’s food marketing landscape. 

Since the 1970s CARU has provided comprehensive, thoughtful guidelines on responsible marketing to children under age 12 for all products, including foods. Since 2007, CFBAI has administered a successful, voluntary program for the nation’s leading food and beverage companies. This program ensures that only foods that meet meaningful nutrition criteria are in advertising primarily directed to children under age 12. CARU and CFBAI’s historical focus on children under age 12 and the programs’ definitions of child-directed advertising work extremely well to protect the interests of children. They have stood the test of time and have been widely emulated around the world.

Our self-regulation programs have always welcomed thoughtful recommendations for improvement. In considering HER’s recommendations, we will evaluate them comprehensively, including for:

  • Effectiveness in promoting our programs’ goal of improving the mix of foods and beverages advertised to children;
  • Practicality, particularly their ability to provide objective compliance guidelines;
  • The benefits for children balanced against the costs of these types of changes for consumers and the marketplace; and
  • The potential impact on the availability of family-friendly programming.

For more information contact, Elaine D. Kolish, Director, Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative and Vice President, CBBB, at or 703-247-9382 or Wayne Keeley, Director, CARU and Vice President, CBBB, at or 212-705-0112.