For the second time in a year, the Kellogg Company has been slapped by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for making misleading claims on their cereal boxes.
Last year, the Kellogg company reached a settlement with the FTC over a citation for their claim, printed on the cereal boxes for Frosted Mini-Wheats, that the cereal was “clinically shown to improve kids’ attentiveness by nearly 20%.”
Around the same time, the front of the box for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies touted another claim that the cereal “now helps support your child’s immunity,” with “25 percent Daily Value of Antioxidants and Nutrients – Vitamins A, B, C, and E.” and the back of the back of the box said that Rice Krispies had “been improved to include antioxidants and nutrients that your family needs to help them stay healthy.”
The original settlement (covering Frosted Mini-Wheats), forbade Kelloggs from “making claims about the benefits to cognitive health, process, or function provided by any cereal or any morning food or snack food unless the claims were true and substantiated.”
In a statement published on the FTC website, regarding the newest expansion of the order (which now prohibits the company from “making claims about any health benefit of any food unless the claims are backed by scientific evidence and not misleading”) chairman Jon Leibowitz said:
Next time, Kellogg needs to stop and think twice about the claims it’s making before rolling out a new ad campaign, so parents can make the best choices for their children.
In a comment to NPR, a Kellogg spokesman responded to the most recent settlement:
Kellogg Company has a long history of responsible advertising. We stand behind the validity of our product claims and research, so we agreed to an order that covers those claims. We believe that the revisions to the existing consent agreement satisfied any remaining concerns.