Kellogg’s to self-regulate food ads aimed at kids

It may not exactly be crying uncle, but the packaged food giant has pledged to take a nutritionally wiser approach.

In the midst of its centennial year, the Battle Creek, Michigan-HQ’d Kellogg Company announced a plan yesterday to change the way it approaches the worldwide kids market. The pledge includes limiting advertising on kid-targeted TV, radio, print and third-party websites to food with less than 200 calories, 230 milligrams of sodium, 12 grams of sugar and zero trans fat per serving. As well, nutrition-breakdown charts will be moved to the front of cereal boxes and other packaging.

Kellogg Canada, which will continue its practice of not advertising to children under six, is joining in its parent company’s promise not to advertise in schools, sponsor product placement or use licensed characters or branded toys in connection with food that doesn’t meet these nutrition standards. By 2008, all Kellogg’s foods that don’t meet the new criteria will either be reformulated or no longer advertised to kids under 12.

The company says its reforms will take effect as quickly as possible, brand by brand. The changes are part of Kellogg’s pledge to the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative – a voluntary, self-regulatory program created in the US last fall to restrict food advertising to kids. Kellogg’s is one of 11 major food and beverage companies that are collaborating on the initiative.

A version of this story first appeared in KidScreen Daily.