The FTC and cereal manufacturer Kellogg Company had already come to terms over FTC objections to claims about Frosted Mini-Wheats when Kellogg set off the FTC once again with new claims about Rice Krispies.
Kellogg ran afoul of FTC when it said that Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal was “clinically shown to improve kids’ attentiveness by nearly 20%.”
This time, Kellogg claimed that Rice Krispies cereal “now helps support your child’s immunity,” with “25 percent Daily Value of Antioxidants and Nutrients – Vitamins A, B, C, and E.” The back of the cereal box stated that “Kellogg’s Rice Krispies has been improved to include antioxidants and nutrients that your family needs to help them stay healthy.”
“We expect more from a great American company than making dubious claims – not once, but twice – that its cereals improve children’s health,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “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.”
The action taken is to strengthen the original agreement, which had barred Kellogg 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.”
What the FTC and Kellogg have done is broadened and generalized the claim portion of the agreement to cover any health claim of any kind that is not substantiated.