September 25th, 2012

Food Industry Braces for New Study on Marketing to Kids

By Abby Ellin

A food advertising industry representative today said she is hopeful that a revised Federal Trade Commission report on how companies promote their products to children will reflect improvements in food marketing to that audience when it’s released later this year.

“I know there have been many positive changes,” Elaine Kolish, director of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, said of the 16-company, self-regulating initiative she represents that includes Kraft Foods and McDonald’s.

Since that program started in 2006, she said, the improvements have included a reduction in sugar, sodium and an increase in whole grain.

Kolish, a vice president of the Council of Better Business Bureaus who previously worked for 25 years at the FTC, most recently as head of the enforcement division in the Bureau of Consumer Protection, said the companies she represents are “very committed to being a part of the solution of advertising healthier products to children as determined by meaningful nutrition standards.”

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