- Kellogg Finalizes Frosted Mini-Wheats Settlement
- August 26, 2009
- Law Firm: Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP - Los Angeles Office
A court has issued an order banning the Kellogg Company from advertising that eating Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal is clinically proven to increase the attentiveness of children by any specific percentage.
The July 31 order further requires Kellogg to base any ads claiming that eating the cereal raises cognitive awareness in children on competent and reliable scientific evidence.
The order was issued in conjunction with a consent agreement reached between Kellogg and the Federal Trade Commission this past spring over an ad campaign that claimed that attentiveness improved by nearly 20 percent in children who ate the cereal, compared with those who skipped breakfast. According to the FTC, the study referenced by the ads found a benefit from eating Frosted Mini-Wheats in only half the children studied, and only 11 percent of the children’s attention improved by 20 percent.
The FTC launched an investigation earlier this year, and announced the proposed consent agreement on April 20. Although the agreement bars Kellogg from making misleading claims for its breakfast and snack foods and from misrepresenting studies, it does not mean that the company admits to violating the law, the FTC said.
Why it matters: Food companies need to be especially careful these days, especially when it comes to claims aimed at children (or their parents). The FTC’s action against a major food company sends a signal that it plans to step up enforcement and no one is exempt from its scrutiny.