CFBAI newsletter

Volume 4 Issue 1                                                              April 2012

In This Issue
Initiative News
Participant News

Featured Article

The CFBAI released its 2010 Annual Report and Five Year Retrospective.

Learn More.

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Editor's Note 

Since our last newsletter in September 2011, we celebrated CFBAI's five-year anniversary! A groundbreaking initiative when it was announced in November 2006, CFBAI has become even bigger and better since then. In honor of our anniversary, we included a five-year retrospective, highlighting program and product changes, in the annual progress and compliance report on calendar year 2010 that we issued in December 2011.


Since September, we've participated in numerous events, where we explained the benefits of self regulation and the improvements in children's food advertising that are occurring under self regulation. Notably, we testified before Congress on the Interagency Working Group's proposed nutrition principles and marketing definitions and on the benefits and advantages of CFBAI's new category-specific uniform nutrition criteria compared to the IWG criteria. We also spoke at numerous conferences with audiences ranging from lawyers, public health officials, to food scientists. We're looking forward to speaking at CDC's Weight of the Nation Conference on May 7, on a panel with Dr. Bill Dietz (CDC) and Mary Engle (FTC) that is being moderated by Michael McGinnis (Senior Scholar at the Institute of Medicine).


In the midst of all this, we moved! We are now located directly across from the Clarendon metro station at 3033 Wilson Blvd, Suite 600, Arlington, Va., 22201. Our email and phone numbers remain the same.


Initiative News ProgressReport

CFBAI Progress Report. The CFBAI released its 2010 Annual Report and Five Year Retrospective (2006-2011) in December 2011. Our review found excellent compliance with the participants' commitments to advertise to children only products meeting meaningful nutrition criteria or not to engage in child-directed advertising. The Report also provides a look back on the changes in children's food advertising and on the program expansions that have made the program even more robust over the last five years.  


Further Improvements in Cereal Category. The CFBAI's 2011 Cereals Snapshot, released December 2011, highlights positive developments in cereals advertised to children under the CFBAI. Before the CFBAI was launched, some cereals advertised to children had 15 or 16 grams of sugar per serving. Our December review found that 86% of the cereals advertised have no more than 10 grams per serving, and none exceed 12 grams per serving. The cereals CFBAI participants advertise to children also contain a rich package of vitamins and minerals and more than 60% contain at least a half serving (8 grams) of whole grains.


Updated Program Information. CFBAI posted updates to the following:


Product List. The list of products meeting the participants' nutrition criteria that they may depict in child-directed advertising was updated as of March. Highlights include:

  • The addition of Kellogg's® Frosted Mini Wheats® cereal made with 100% whole grains, providing nearly a day's worth of whole grains per serving.
  • A new BK® Crown Breakfast Oatmeal kids meal with Quaker® oatmeal, fat-free white milk, and BK® Fresh Apple Slices, providing one serving of whole grains, one serving of fruit and one serving of dairy. Burger King Corp. discontinued the caramel dipping sauce that used to be advertised with its Apple Slices. 
  • All varieties of Kraft Foods Lunchables with Fruit provide one serving of fruit and at least 5 grams of whole grains.

Nutrition Standards. The summary chart of CFBAI participants' nutrition standards was updated, reflecting that three participants have begun using CFBAI's new uniform nutrition criteria: Campbell is using the Category 3 criteria for breads; McDonald's is using the Category 10 criteria for meals; and Kraft Foods is using both the Smart Choices Program and the CFBAI criteria. 


Audience definitions. The summary chart of CFBAI participants' definitions of "child-directed" advertising was updated to reflect that now no company uses a threshold higher than 35% children under 12 in the audience for their commitments on advertising to children under 12. Previously, some participants used a 50% threshold.

Participant News 

ConAgra Foods, Inc. The ConAgra Foods Foundation has donated more than $500,000 to Feeding America-led programs in Texas, which has the second highest number of food-insecure children in the nation. The latest contribution of $100,000 is in addition to an ongoing five-year, $10 million partnership between Feeding America and the ConAgra Foods Foundation.


General Mills, Inc. General Mills now has more than 50 cereals in its Big G cereals portfolio. Every Big G cereal, including Cheerios, Lucky Charms, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, has more whole grain than any other single ingredient.


Kraft Foods. Cadbury Adams is no longer listed as a separate participant because Kraft Foods acquired it. Its activities are now covered by the Kraft Foods pledge.


McDonald's USA.

  • McDonald's unveiled a new campaign in March that features healthy lifestyle messaging as part of its commitment to promote nutrition and/or active lifestyle messages in 100% of its national communications to children.
  • McDonald's Happy Meals nationwide now automatically include Apple Slices (½ serving) and a new smaller size of French Fries (approximately 100 calories). If customers prefer apples only, two bags of apples are available. McDonald's also has discontinued the caramel dipping sauce that used to be advertised with its Apple Slices.
  • McDonald's became a member of the EU Pledge Group in November 2011. The EU Pledge Group is committed to only advertise "better for you" products or to not advertise on TV, print, company-owned websites, and third party Internet advertising.

PepsiCo, Inc. PepsiCo's Quaker Oats Company and the National Dairy Council established a partnership to develop programs in schools and other channels to increase children's access to breakfast, nutritious snacks and physical activity. The partnership's activities will be funded in part through the GENYOUth Foundation. 


Elaine Kolish, Director of CFBAI, testified before the Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade and the Subcommittee on Health, U.S. House of Representatives, on "Food Marketing: Can 'Voluntary' Government Restrictions Improve Children's Health?" on Oct. 12, 2011 in DC.


Kolish presented at the Washington Legal Foundation's media briefing on "Self-Regulation of Advertising: The Merits of Voluntary Action and Creeping Risks of Government Intrusion," on Nov. 2, 2011. 


Lee Peeler, President, NARC, & BBB EVP, Advertising Self Regulation, spoke on behalf of the CFBAI at the Food and Drug Law Institute Conference on Jan. 24, 2012 during its Annual Food Week 2012. Slides are available here.


Magda Hernandez, CFBAI Program Manager, and Christina Poturica-O'Neill, CARU Senior Legal Associate, conducted a webinar on food marketing to children for members of the International Association of Culinary Professionals on Feb. 22, 2012.


Kolish participated in a panel, "'Food for Thought' on Marketing to Children: Examining IWG and CFBAI Proposals on Age Restrictions and Nutrient Content," at the American Conference Institute's legal summit on Food & Beverage Marketing & Advertising on March 19, 2012.


Kolish spoke at the IFT Wellness Conference on March 28, 2012 in Chicago, on a panel with Dr. Robert Post (USDA) and Dr. Linda Meyers (Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine) on the topic of "Changing the Food Marketing Environment Through Policy and Standards."


Kolish presented at the Marketing Disease Prevention and Awareness conference on Communicating Childhood Obesity Prevention and Policy on March 20, 2012.


Kolish moderated a panel, "Self-Regulation and Responsible Food Marketing to Children," with Jim Davidson (Polsinelli Shughart PC) and Jeanne O'Neill (PepsiCo) at CARU's Children's Advertising & Online Privacy Conference 2012 in Los Angeles on April 3, 2012.


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