Industry News | September 23, 2008

Dannon Joins Kids Marketing Initiative

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The Council of Better Business Bureaus today announced that The Dannon Company has become the 15th company to join the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. BBB also announced approval of The Dannon Company’s pledge. This pledge includes the commitment that 100 percent of advertising directed primarily to children under 12 in television, radio, print and Internet venues will be for products that meet nutritional guidelines that BBB has reviewed and approved.

The Dannon Company, headquartered in White Plains, New York, is a yogurt producer in the U.S. As the newest member of the Initiative, The Dannon Company joins a group that includes 14 other global, market-leading food and beverage manufacturers and restaurateurs. The Initiative is designed to shift the mix of advertising messaging directed at children to encourage healthier dietary choices and healthy lifestyles. “We are extremely pleased to welcome The Dannon Company on board as our newest participant,” says Elaine D. Kolish, director of the initiative.

“Lawmakers, regulators, and health and advocacy organizations have commended the Initiative as a positive development in achieving balance in food and beverage advertising to children under 12 and we encourage other food and beverage companies to join our efforts to change the landscape of children’s advertising.”

As part of the pledge, which will be fully implemented by January 1, 2009, The Dannon Company intends to feature only products that meet its nutritional guidelines in all advertising directed primarily to children under 12. The Dannon Company guidelines are based on the 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, FDA and World Health Organization standards as they pertain to fat, trans fat, saturated fat and sugar.

“The Dannon Company pledges to devote 100 percent of television, radio, print, and Internet advertising primarily directed to children under 12 to products that represent healthier dietary choices,” says Juan Carlos Dalto, president and CEO of The Dannon Company. “As an additional extension and expression of our commitment to health and wellness, Dannon is pleased to join The Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI).”

The Dannon Company’s nutritional guidelines include the following requirements per labeled serving for foods advertised to children under 12:

• No more than 30 percent of calories may come from fat for products labeled for children two to three, and no more than 25 percent of calories from fat for products for children four to 12;

• Saturated fat must be less than 10 percent of calories or may not exceed 1 g;

• Sodium may not exceed 230 mg;

• Added sugars may not exceed 12.5 g; and,

• Contain at least 10 percent of the Daily Value for Calcium.

In addition, as provided by the terms of the Initiative, The Dannon Company will:

• Restrict the use of third-party licensed characters in advertising primarily directed to children under 12 to products meeting its nutrition criteria;

• Refrain from advertising food and beverages in elementary schools;

• Not pay for, or seek out, product placement in media primarily directed to children under 12; and,

• Limit the use of food and beverages shown in interactive games primarily directed to children under 12 to products that meet its nutrition criteria.

In July of 2008, the CBBB released the first report on the progress that has been made by the Initiative participants after their pledges were announced at the FTC’s July 2007 forum.