They Come to Praise General Mills, Not Eat Their Cereal

A generation from now, the phrase “Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs” may have no meaning. “Magically delicious” may go the way of the Corvair.

General Mills has announced it is changing the way it markets its high-sugar cereals. There will be “no TV ads targeted at children, no movie tie-ins, no Internet marketing and no licensing of popular cartoon characters.” The Parents Television Council, ever the self-proclaimed masters of what is Good and Right on the boob tube, was quick to praise the move, but had nothing to say about the nutritional value of the cereals themselves.

What are the marketing alternatives? Will General Mills start advertising to adults instead? And will the slogans change? Will we see green clover and blue diamond marshmallows on the pages of the Economist, or advertised on “Meet the Press” on Sunday mornings?

If the cerealmaker is serious about not marketing to children, they might change the boxes, too. All the sweet cereals somehow have cartoon characters on the front. Shocking.

If children get fat, parents can no longer blame General Mills’ advertisements on Nickelodeon. But they can still blame the undeniable temptation of a cartoon-covered cereal box.

Consumer group praises General Mills [Pioneer Press]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Yep says:

    As long as the sucrose pimps down at Post don’t mess with my Fruity Pebbles, everything is gonna be just fine. Besides, where’s Fred Flintstone going to get another gig at this stage in his career?

  2. AcidReign says:

    …..I, for one, wouldn’t mind seeing some sugary-sweet cereals advertising on the Cartoon Network. They currently have weird stuff, like debt consolidation ads. My kid watches this stuff. I’d rather he develop an interest in cereals, instead of begging me to cook eggs, bacon and hashbrowns every morning! I am good at the skillet-cholesterol-death breakfast, though…

  3. MattyMatt says:

    The Parents Television Council is many things, but a “consumer group” is not one of them.

    Also: the article says “no licensing of cartoon characters,” but then later says that they’re using Dora the Explorer to market cereal and don’t plan to stop. WTF?

  4. VoiceOfReason says:


    If you don’t want your kid eating a certain food, DON’T BUY IT FOR THEM.

    Feed your kid healthy food, you’ll have a healthy kid. If they ask for an unhealthy food, say no.

  5. LafinJack says:

    I liked the Frankenberry quip earlier today:

    I head there every once in awhile when I have to leave the house too quickly to have a delicious bowl of Frankenberry, the cereal specifically made for grown ups whose parents never let them eat it. Some sort of temporal cereal paradox marketing strategy, but I digress.