Makers Of Peeps, Lemonheads, Jelly Belly, Others Promise Not To Advertise To Kids

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For years many companies have abided by self-regulation programs that outline how they can and should market their products to children. Today, six candy companies took a step to ensure they also responsibly advertise to often-impressionable — and sweet-toothed — kiddos by creating a new self-regulatory initiative. 

The Council of Better Business Bureaus, in partnership with the National Confectioners Association, announced today that the makers of products like Brach’s, Lemonhead, Ghirardelli, Jelly Belly, Peeps, Mike and Ike, and Welch’s Fruit Snacks, have agreed not to advertise to children under the age of 12.

Companies taking part in the Children’s Confection Advertising Initiative (CCAI) are Ferrara Candy Company; Ghirardelli Chocolate Company; Jelly Belly Candy Company; Just Born Quality Confections; The Promotion in Motion Companies, Inc.; and R.M. Palmer Company.

Under the initiative, which will be overseen by the BBB and National Confectioners Association, the candy makers have pledged to not engage in advertising that is primarily directed to children under age 12 or to advertise their candy in school to children from pre-kindergarten through 6th grade.

The program is modeled after another self-regulation program, Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), the BBB says, noting that the new program will follow the same principles, but “designed for small-to-medium size confectionery companies.”

Six confectionary companies, including American Licorice Company, Ferrero, The Hershey Company, Mars, Mondelez International, and Nestlé, take part in CFBAI and do not advertise directly to children.

“Better Business Bureau has always felt that smaller companies can be just as much a part of the self-regulatory success story as major corporations,” Mary E. Power, president and CEO of CBBB said in a statement. “This latest initiative is yet another example of how responsible companies can join together to efficiently regulate themselves.”

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, which has long encouraged self-regulatory efforts to reduce the amount of junk food advertised to children, applauded the companies.

“It’s not appropriate to advertise candy to children,” CSPI senior nutrition policy counsel Jessica Almy said in a statement. “Children are susceptible to advertising, and don’t need encouragement to like and eat candy, which promotes diabetes, obesity, tooth decay, and other health problems.”

The Federal Trade Commission also chimed in on the creation of the self-regulatory program, with chairwoman Edith Ramirez calling the initiative a welcome addition.

“This new initiative is a welcome addition to the CBBB’s existing Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative and represents the type of self-regulatory solution the FTC has long advocated,” Ramirez said in a statement. “The commitment by six confectionery companies to refrain from advertising in elementary schools and in media targeted at children is a positive step. I also hope that this new partnership with the National Confectioners Association will encourage other smaller candy companies to participate.”

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