General Mills asked to stop Chocolate Cheerios promo

Posted by Josette Dunn on 1st November 2010

The US National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended that General Mills stop the five-second tags that were paired with broadcast ads for original and Honey Nut Cheerios.


The recommendation from the advertising industry’s self-regulator came following a challenge from Kellogg.
“The challenger in this case contended that General Mills has long promoted the heart-health and cholesterol-lowering benefits of the soluble fiber and whole grain oats in Cheerios and argued that General Mills took advantage of consumer recognition of its flagship brand in promoting Chocolate Cheerios, a product that does not contain the same soluble oat fiber as the original,” NAD explained.
However, NAD said General Mills’ use of a heart graphic in packaging and Internet advertising for Chocolate Cheerios did not convey a false message about the cereal’s health benefits.

Nevertheless, the regulator did recommend that General Mills change the Chocolate Cheerios page of its website so that a “lowering cholesterol” link does not appear directly next to the Chocolate Cheerios box and as part of the Chocolate Cheerios banner. NAD said there should be a separate link at the top of the page where the general information on “the Cheerios family” appears.
NAD said General Mills believes that the tags for Chocolate Cheerios “were executed appropriately but acknowledged that it would take the regulator’s recommendations into account when developing its ad campaigns.

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