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Kellogg settles FTC false ad charges

Bloomberg News / April 21, 2009
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WASHINGTON - Kellogg Co., the world's largest cereal maker, agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it falsely asserted Frosted Mini-Wheats improve children's attentiveness.

The Federal Trade Commission said the settlement bars Kellogg, based in Battle Creek, Mich., from making unsubstantiated health claims about Frosted-Mini Wheats or other products.

The company agreed not to misrepresent the results of scientific tests, the FTC said.

The FTC said that in ads and on packaging Kellogg asserted the attentiveness of children who ate Frosted Mini-Wheats at breakfast increased by almost 20 percent. The FTC said the clinical study Kellogg cited in the ads found that only half the children who ate the cereal showed any improvement in their attentiveness.

"It's especially important that America's leading companies are more attentive to the truthfulness of their ads and don't exaggerate the results of tests or research," FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement.

"We stand behind the validity of our clinical study, yet have adjusted our communication to incorporate FTC's guidance," Kellogg said in a statement.