From: Margo Wootan []
Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 11:48 AM
Subject: An update from CBBB re food marketing to kids

February 2009

Editor's Note
Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) newsletter. The CFBAI is a self-regulation program of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB) designed to shift the mix of advertising messaging directed to children under 12 to encourage healthier dietary choices and healthy lifestyles. Participants in the CFBAI have agreed to limit advertising primarily directed to children under 12 to healthier or better-for-you products or not to engage in advertising directed to children under 12.

The CFBAI has launched this newsletter to help inform the public about program developments, including updates to participants' nutrition standards that the CFBAI has approved and posted on the BBB's website. The newsletter also will include news from the CFBAI's sister program, the
Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU), from time to time.

For more information about the CFBAI and the 15 leading food, beverage and quick-serve restaurants that currently participate in the CFBAI, please visit us at

Elaine D. Kolish, Editor

Initiative News
New Year Brings New Changes to Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Landscape
On January 1, the advertising commitments in the pledges of General Mills, Inc., Kellogg Company, and the newest CFBAI participants, Nestlé USA and The Dannon Company, went into effect, joining the pledges of the 11 other participants already in effect.

The CFBAI also announced in its
January 14, 2009 press release that the growth in participation to 15 companies, from 10 when the program was launched in 2006, has significantly increased the program's media coverage.

According to the latest data available from Nielsen Media Research for the year 2007, Georgetown Economic Services has found that the 15 CFBAI participants accounted for more than 80 percent of the food, beverage and restaurant commercials that children between the ages of two and eleven saw on children's television programming that year. The 10 original participants accounted for about two-thirds of the food, beverage and restaurant advertising on children's programming, based on 2004 expenditure data.

To help the public better understand the commitments of its participants, the CFBAI has prepared a
chart summarizing the nutrition criteria of the 15 participants that determine what products may be featured in advertising primarily directed to children under 12, and a list of qualifying products that the participants may advertise to children under 12 during 2009. Updated versions of the chart and list will be posted on the BBB website periodically.

The list includes products such as apples, yogurts, yogurt parfaits, peanut butters, whole-grain cereals, 100 percent fruit or vegetable juices, milk, water, macaroni and cheese, and lower calorie or portion-controlled snacks such as crackers and frozen treats. In some instances, the product names are the same as before, but the products have been reformulated to meet the company's nutrition criteria for better-for-you foods.

CFBAI Agrees to Request Regarding Status of Underwriting Credits on Public Television
Children Now, National PTA and two children's non-profit health organizations requested that the CFBAI consider corporate underwriting credits on public television programming to be outside the scope of the advertising commitments of its participants. Current underwriting rules and policies do not permit an underwriting credit to depict or mention a particular food or beverage product, even a healthy or better-for-you product. Under PBS and FCC rules such credits are not considered advertising and are strictly regulated. In light of this, the CFBAI agreed that on-air acknowledgements of participants' underwriting that comply with PBS and FCC requirements are not covered by the CFBAI program. As a result of this interpretation, participants may provide funding to and receive on-air acknowledgements during children's programming on public broadcast stations without depicting better-for-you products, as would otherwise be required under their pledges.

Click here to see the inquiry to CFBAI

Click here to see CFBAI's response
Sodium Developments
The CFBAI approved three participants' requests to include or update sodium limits in their nutrition standards. The
Campbell Soup Company revised its standards to set a 480 mg sodium limit for most of the soups that it advertises to children. Burger King Corp. added a 600 mg sodium limit for the kids meals it advertises to children. Kraft Foods lowered the sodium limit for its Sensible Solution "Convenient Meals" category to 840 mg, from 910 mg.
New Resources Page on CFBAI Website
CFBAI's website now includes a
Resources page that provides parents and children with links to websites sponsored by some of the nation's leading nutrition-related organizations. These sources present helpful and engaging information on healthy diets and lifestyles.
CFBAI Vice President to Speak on CDC Childhood Obesity Panel
Elaine Kolish, Vice President and Director of the CFBAI, will participate in the panel, "What Can We Do about the Effects of Food Advertising on Childhood Obesity?" The panel is part of the CDC's 20th National Conference on Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. For more information about the conference visit
The CFBAI welcomed two new staffers recently. Caitlin Burke joined the BBB as the program's Administrative Coordinator in September 2008. Maureen Enright joined the CFBAI as its Assistant Director in January.

Pledge Updates: July 2008 to February 2009
Burger King Corp.
Burger King Corp.'s nutrition standard for kids meals now includes a 600 mg sodium limit and a requirement that such meals provide at least 10 percent of the daily value of at least two nutrients targeted for increased consumption by children. The CFBAI also approved a Burger King Corp. pledge amendment that permits it to advertise individually the milk and sliced apple side dishes of the kids meal it is currently advertising.
Campbell Soup Company
The Campbell Soup Company amended its nutrition standards, setting a new sodium limit of 480 mg for most of the soups it advertises to children. Campbell's also may advertise two other better-for-you soups:25 percent Less Sodium Chicken Noodle Soup, based on its sodium reduction, and Tomato Soup, based on its nutrient content (it contains a full serving of vegetable and 10 percent of the Daily Value of Vitamin C).
Kraft Foods Global, Inc.
Kraft Foods reduced the upper sodium limit for its Sensible Solution "Convenient Meals" category to 840 mg. The company also added three of its Kraft Singles flavors to its pledge. These products meet Kraft's Sensible Solution criteria for its "Cheese and Dairy" category because they have 25 percent less fat than the reference food. The company's amended pledge also dropped its cereal category as Kraft sold its Post cereal brand last summer.
PepsiCo added its Smart Spot "Cereals" nutrition category to its pledge and two qualifying cereals to its advertising list: Cap'n Crunch and Cap'n Crunch's Crunchberries. These cereals also meet FDA's "healthy" definition. PepsiCo also dropped its snack category from its pledge for 2009.
Unilever revised its nutritional guidelines for children's advertising to reflect the production of dairy-based frozen novelties made from low-fat milk as well as fruit-based products that may be produced in the future.
Children's Advertising Review Unit
CARU Issues Guideline for Advertisers on Mealtime Depictions in Children's Ads
CARU, after consulting with the nutritionists on its Academic Advisory Board and members of the food subcommittee of its Supporters Council, has issued a new guideline in the form of a footnote regarding the meaning of a "nutritionally balanced meal." CARU has
guidelines for national advertising primarily directed to children under 12 that includes guidance on how foods and beverages should be depicted. (The CFBAI focuses on "what" products are advertised, while CARU focuses on "how" all products are advertised.)

The guidelines advise advertisers that "advertisements representing a mealtime should depict the food product within the framework of a 'nutritionally balanced meal.'" (Section (b) of the Guidelines, entitled "Product Presentations and Claims," subsection 9). Previously, the guidelines advised advertisers who depict meals to do so within the framework of a balanced
diet. In 2006, as part of an updating of the CARU guidelines, the word diet was replaced with meal.

The footnote, issued in fall 2008, now includes the following language to help advertisers know CARU's expectations regarding what constitutes appropriate advertising to children when mealtimes are depicted.

"While there may be a number of acceptable ways to depict a nutritionally balanced meal for children, each depiction should contain at least three of the five major food groups, preferably including those food groups recommended for increased consumption by current USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and My Pyramid (i.e., fruits, vegetables, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products and whole grains). The food included in the meal should reflect reasonable portion sizes and types of foods appropriate for children in the meal setting depicted. For example, a reasonable depiction of carrots may contain an appropriate side-dish portion for a child, rather than one or two condiment-size sticks. If the meal includes a caloric beverage, the beverage should be one that is appropriate in a nutritionally balanced meal taking into account the beverage's nutritional attributes and its calories within the context of the meal depicted."

For more information about CARU, contact Wayne Keeley, Vice President and Director, at
The CFBAI welcomes questions or comments about the program. Inquiries can be sent to

Use this link to print
this newsletter

Manage Your Subscription

To subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, please enter your email address below.

Add Remove

Published by Council of Better Business Bureaus
Copyright © 2009 Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.. All rights reserved.
Created with eNewsBuilder
This email was sent to:
From Council of Better Business Bureaus, 4200 Wilson Blvd. Suite 400, Arlington, VA 22202 USA

(REMOVE) - to be instantly deleted from this list.
(CHANGE FORMAT) - receive future messages in plain text format.
(REPORT ABUSE) and remove me from the list.