In 2009 the FTC agreed to advertising restrictions resolving misleading advertisements stating that its Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal was “clinically shown to improve kids’ attentiveness by nearly 20%” as well as a breakfast of Frosted Mini-Wheats was clinically shown to improve children’s attentiveness by nearly 20 percent when compared to children who didn’t eat breakfast (Leibowitz, Harbour, Kovacic, Rosch, 2010).
However, about the same time that Kellogg agreed to stop advertising false claims in its cereal ads, the company began a new advertising campaign promoting the false health benefits of Rice Krispies (Leibowitz, Harbour, Kovacic, Rosch, 2010). On the product packaging of its Rice Krispies, Kelloogg 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” (Leibowitz, Harbour, Kovacic, Rosch, 2010).
Under the original settlement order Cover Frosted Mini-Wheats, Kellogg was barred from making claims about the benefits to cognitive health, process, or function provided by any of its products unless the claims were true and sustained (Leibowitz, Harbour, Kovacic, Rosch, 2010).
The FTC expanded order against Kellogg prohibiting the company from making claims about any health benefit of any food products unless the claims are no misleading, and backed by scientific evidence (Leibowitz, Harbour, Kovacic, Rosch, 2010).
The Commission vote to modify the 2009 settlement order was unanimous.
In 2009, Kellogg had sales of nearly $13 billion and a marketing and advertising budget of over $1 billion (Brill, Leibowitz, 2010).
Federal Trade Commission. FTC Investigation of Ad Claims That Rice Krispies Benefits Children's Immunity Leads to Stronger Order Against Kellogg. Federal Trade Commission News and Events. N.p., 3 June 2010. Web. 5 Apr. 2016. <https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2010/06/ftc-investigation-ad-claims-rice-krispies-benefits-childrens>.
United States of America. Federal Trade Commission. In the Matter of Kellogg Company, FTC Docket No. C-4262 Concurring Statement of Commissioner Julie Brill and Chairman Jon Leibowitz. By Julie Brill and Jon Leibowitz. N.p., 3 June 2010. Web. 6 Apr. 2016. <https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/cases/2010/06/100602kelloggstatement.pdf>.