Companies Agree to Expand Age Coverage under Children’s Food & Beverage Advertising Initiative Core Principles

For Immediate Release
Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs

703.247.9330 / press@bbbnp.org

McLean, VA – May 3, 2022 – The nation’s 20 leading food, beverage, and quick serve restaurant companies have agreed to strengthen their voluntary commitments for responsible food advertising to children under the BBB National Programs Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) 6th Edition Core Principles

Under CFBAI’s Core Principles, participating companies voluntarily agree to advertise only foods or beverages that meet CFBAI’s Uniform Nutrition Criteria or to not advertise foods at all in child-directed advertising across a wide range of child-directed media. 

The current Core Principles address food advertising to children under age 12. The 6th Edition revision expands the requirement of participants to include children under age 13, which means programming with an audience of 30% or more children.

This change aligns with the recently updated Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) Advertising Guidelines, which were revised to apply to advertising to children under age 13 as of  January 2022. CARU, an independent industry self-regulation program monitoring child-directed media for responsible advertising practices, shares oversight of the self-regulation of advertising to children with CFBAI. CARU’s Guidelines focus primarily on the substantive content of child-directed advertising for all products and apply to any company that advertises products or services to children. 

In contrast, CFBAI is a pledge program under which participating companies agreed to abide by the Core Principles, which define what is covered by “food advertising to children,” and then apply nutritional and media coverage. 

The upcoming change to CFBAI’s age coverage from under age 12 to under age 13, which takes effect January 1, 2023, represents the participants’ continued, active commitment to responsible advertising to children.

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About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org. 

About the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative: The Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), a division of BBB National Programs, is a self-regulation program created to improve the landscape of food advertising to children. CFBAI works with leading food, beverage, and quick service restaurant companies to set and implement Uniform Nutrition Standards, which specify the science-based nutritional criteria for foods and beverages that can be advertised to children under age 13. 

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