Direct Line Blog

FTC slaps Kellogg's again for health marketing claims

Share this article:

For the second time in a year, the Federal Trade Commission has criticized the marketing claims of Kellogg's cereals. Last year, Kellogg & Co. agreed to remove what the federal government called false claims on its Frosted Mini-Wheats. The cereal claimed it was “clinically shown to improve kids' attentiveness by nearly 20%.”

Now the FTC is after an ad campaign for Rice Krispies, which Kellogg's opened after the FTC had already censored its Mini-Wheats' packaging. The claim specifically says that the rice cereal "now helps support your child's immunity,” with “25 percent Daily Value of Antioxidants and Nutrients – Vitamins A, B, C, and E.”

The FTC announced late on June 3 that Kellogg had agreed to expand its earlier agreement with the FTC over the Mini-Wheats. The new agreement bars the company from "making claims about any health benefit of any food unless the claims are backed by scientific evidence and not misleading," the FTC said.

What was most concerning to FTC commissioner Julie Brill and chairman Jon Leibowitz, though, was the fact that Kellogg's seemed to flaunt the earlier agreement.

"In light of the timing of the launch of the Rice Krispies campaign, it is reasonable to conclude that planning for the new "immunity" claims was well underway while Kellogg was negotiating and finalizing its agreement with the FTC to not make unsubstantiated "cognitive ability" claims about Frosted Mini-Wheats," the duo said in a statement.

Marketers, don't be fooled that these rules will only apply to Kellogg's or just cereal. You're on notice. The FTC is no longer allowing health claims to go unmonitored. 

Share this article:
close

Next Article in Direct Line Blog

Sign up to our newsletters

Latest Jobs:


Company of the week

Data Services, Inc. meets the needs of today's data-driven marketer by providing front-end database management and data analytics platforms alongside our expertise in global contact data quality, database building and ongoing maintenance that comes with our 45+ years in business.


Find out more here »

More in Direct Line Blog

5 Trends Influencing Marketing Today and, More so, Tomorrow

5 Trends Influencing Marketing Today and, More so, ...

From marketing tools to customer behaviors, here are five developments that continue to gain steam—and what to do about them.

4 Elements of Modern Marketing

4 Elements of Modern Marketing

Marketers who want to stay relevant need to go back to these four basics.

This Summer Vacation, Drift Into the Polar Vortex

This Summer Vacation, Drift Into the Polar Vortex

The demon that brought you the killer winter is back, but this time around the vortex will be a builder of revenues, not snowdrifts.