As of January 1, 2016, Modelēz, the company behind Oreos, Ritz Crackers, and Cadbury Chocolate, will no longer advertise products directly to children under age 12. (Currently they apply nutrition standards to determine which products they market to kids.) This is a positive step towards reducing junk food marketing to children.
First, we congratulate members of the Food Marketing Workgroup—especially the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility—for their role in making this happen. Changes like this remind us that although company self-regulation is not perfect, it continues to evolve and improve as long as we keep urging companies to do better.
While there is still work to be done, the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) has also evolved since its founding in 2006. The number of participating major food and beverage companies has grown from 10 to 18, and the criteria for participation have gotten stronger – with more media and children covered. (See the attached timeline.) We look forward to working with you to continue to encourage CFBAI do better — by covering children 12-14, addressing marketing in more venues, strengthening nutrition standards, and continuing to increase the number of participating companies.
One effective strategy for strengthening self-regulation is to thank companies for making positive changes. Please help us congratulate Mondelēz. See model tweets and graphic below.
Click to tweet: Congrats to @ICCR For supporting parents and protecting kids. @Oreo will no longer advertise to children under 12.
Click to tweet: Parents appreciate @Oreo’s decision to eliminate ads to children under 12. Way to go!
Nutrition Policy Assistant
Center for Science in the Public Interest