Nestlé Agrees to Curb Children's Marketing
Statement of CSPI Nutrition Policy Director Margo G. Wootan
December 2, 2008
We applaud Nestlé for setting nutrition standards for the products it advertises to children under 12. Switching from promoting Wonka candy to 100 percent juice and low-fat chocolate milk will be better for children and make it easier for parents to feed their children healthfully.
Nestlé had been one of the biggest food companies missing from the Council of Better Business Bureaus' Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. In June, over 30 health organizations wrote to Nestlé, urging it to change its marketing to children and join the initiative.
But for the initiative and self-regulation to work, more major food marketers need to stop marketing junk food to kids. A number of top marketers have refused to join the initiative and make a public pledge to improve their marketing, including Chuck E. Cheese's, Subway, Yum Brands (KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, sponsor of the Book It! Program for schools), Perfetti Van Melle (maker of Airheads candies), and Topps (maker of Baby Bottle Pop and other candies).
When the new Congress reconvenes in January, it should take a fresh look at whether this voluntary initiative is sufficient to protect children from obesity-promoting advertising.