(June 14) Today, as part of a settlement agreement with CCFC and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), Kellogg announced major restrictions in the way that they will market food to children. In return CCFC, CSPI and two Massachusetts parents will not proceed with a planned lawsuit against Kellogg.
The settlement, which is the result of more than a year of negotiations, is an important step in limiting children’s exposure to junk food marketing. We are particularly pleased that Kellogg agreed to end all in-school advertising to children under 12 and to restrict its use of licensed media characters.
While Kellogg’s new policy doesn’t go as far as we would like — we believe all advertising should be targeted to parents, not children — it is a tacit admission that the advertising practices favored by the food industry have had a powerful influence on children’s food choices and have had a negative effect on children’s health and well-being. For far too long, the food industry has denied that marketing is a factor in children’s consumption of unhealthy foods.
Here’s what we agreed on:
Foods advertised on media—including TV, radio, print, and third-party websites—that have an audience of 50 percent or more children under age 12 will have to meet Kellogg’s new nutrition standards, which require that one serving of the food has:
- No more than 200 calories;
- No trans fat and no more than 2 grams of saturated fat;
- No more than 230 milligrams of sodium (except for Eggo frozen waffles);
- No more than 12 grams of sugar (excluding sugar from fruit, dairy, and vegetables).
In addition, Kellogg will not:
- Advertise to children under 12 in schools and preschools.
- Sponsor product placements for any products in any medium primarily directed at kids under 12;
- Use licensed characters on mass-media advertising directed primarily to kids under 12, as a basis for a food form, or on the front labels of food packages unless those foods meet the nutrition standards;
- Use branded toys in connection with foods that do not meet the nutrition standards.
We hope that other companies will follow suit. We will certainly continue to do everything that we can to ensure that they will.