The Federal Trade Commission ordered Kellogg to stop making health claims for its cereals that are misleading or unsupported by scientific evidence.
The cereal maker agreed to the new advertising restrictions to resolve an FTC investigation into questionable immunity-related claims for Rice Krispies cereal. This is the second time in the last year that the FTC has taken action against the company.
"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."
Kellogg has agreed to expand a settlement order that was reached last year after the FTC alleged that the company made false claims that its Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal was "clinically shown to improve kids' attentiveness by nearly 20%."
At about the same time that Kellogg agreed to stop making these kinds of false claims in its cereal ads, the company began a new advertising campaign promoting the purported health benefits of Rice Krispies, according to the FTC. On product packaging, 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."
Under the original settlement order covering Frosted Mini-Wheats, Kellogg was barred 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.
The expanded order against Kellogg prohibits the company from making claims about any health benefit of any food unless the claims are backed by scientific evidence and not misleading.