Herrera Takes on Kellogg’s Over Health Claims in ‘Cocoa Krispies’ Marketing

City Attorney invokes authority under Unfair Competition Law to demand substantiation of children’s immunity advertising claims

SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 27, 2009) — Relying on his legal authority under California’s tough Unfair Competition Law, City Attorney Dennis Herrera has written to the president and CEO of Kellogg’s to demand substantiation of purportedly fact-based advertising claims that the company’s Cocoa Krispies cereal “now helps support your child’s immunity.” Boxes of cereal prominently boasting the health claim have reportedly begun to appear on the shelves of San Francisco stores against the backdrop of heightened concerns about a potential Swine Flu epidemic. Wrote Herrera in his letter:

“I am concerned that the prominent use of the Immunity Claims to advertise a sugar-laden, chocolate cereal like Cocoa Krispies may mislead and deceive parents of young children. Specifically, the Immunity Claims may falsely suggest to parents that cereals like Cocoa Krispies are more healthy for their children than other breakfast foods that are not high in sugar and not highly processed. The Immunity Claims may also mislead parents into believing that serving this sugary cereal will actually boost their child’s immunity, leaving parents less likely to take more productive steps to protect their children’s health. At a time when parents are increasingly worried about the spread of the H1N1 virus (“swine flu”), it is vitally important that parents receive accurate information about what they can do to protect their children’s health.”

To learn more about the ingredients of Kellogg’s Cocoa Krispies® “chocolatey, sweetened rice cereal,” visit the Kellogg’s Web site’s information page on Cocoa Krispies at the following URL: https://www2.kelloggs.com/Product/ProductDetail.aspx?brand=207&product=555&cat=