Companies Agree to Strengthen their Children’s Advertising Commitments with CFBAI’s Updated Core Principles

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

703.247.9330 / press@bbbnp.org

The nation’s 19 leading food, beverage, and quick service restaurant companies today have agreed to strengthen their voluntary commitments for responsible food marketing to children with the adoption of the BBB National Programs Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) 2021 Core Principles. These principles now more strictly define what constitutes a child-directed audience and formally expand the definition of media coverage to include YouTube and influencer communications.

Participants have agreed to implement these improvements by January 1, 2021.

“CFBAI and its participants have consistently demonstrated a commitment to helping address childhood obesity,” said Maureen Enright, vice president of CFBAI. “The 2021 Core Principles reaffirm the program’s mission of improving the children’s food advertising landscape.”

Under CFBAI’s Core Principles, participating companies 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 variety of digital and print platforms. CFBAI participants also commit to not advertising branded foods or beverages to children in elementary schools, even foods that meet the nutrition criteria. 

The 2021 guidelines have been expanded to specifically cover advertising on open-access platforms with child-directed content or channels, such as YouTube, and require that if child-directed influencer communications are used, they will promote only foods that meet CFBAI’s Nutrition CriteriaAlthough CFBAI’s Core Principles always have applied to online advertising, this enhancement reflects ongoing changes in the children’s media environment and provides greater transparency regarding the application of participants’ commitments.

For measured media like television, CFBAI defines “child-directed” by reviewing the percentage of children under age 12 in the audience. Under the 2021 guidelines the required threshold is now stricter, defining any program with an audience of 30% or more children as child-directed. (Some CFBAI participants already apply a 30% threshold or even 25%.)

The 2021 Core Principles also incorporate CFBAI’s Category-Specific Uniform Nutrition Criteria, 2nd edition, which updated the program’s nutrition criteria in September 2018, and which were implemented in January 2020. 

Latest News

Press Release

BBB National Programs’ Statement on Executive Order to Implement the European Union-U.S. Data Privacy Framework

McLean, VA – October 07, 2022 – Dona Fraser, BBB National Programs’ Senior Vice President, Privacy Initiatives, issued the following statement today on the Biden Administration’s Executive Order to implement U.S. commitments under the European Union-U.S. Data Privacy Framework.

Read the Statement
Press Release

FTC Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya to Keynote NAD 2022, Annual Conference of BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division

New York, NY – August 30, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) will host the NAD 2022 Annual Conference next month in Washington, D.C., on Monday, September 19 and Tuesday, September 20. NAD 2022 will be an in-person event for the first time since 2019, drawing speakers from across the advertising law...

Read the Press Release
Press Release

Children’s Advertising Review Unit Issues Compliance Warning for Child-Directed Advertising in the Metaverse

McLean, VA – August 23, 2022 – BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) today issued a new compliance warning regarding the application of CARU’s Self-Regulatory Guidelines for Children’s Advertising to advertising practices directed to children in the metaverse. This warning puts advertisers on notice...

Read the Press Release
Press Release

BBB National Programs Welcomes Eight Distinguished National Partner Companies in First Half of 2022

McLean, VA – July 5, 2022 – BBB National Programs today announced the eight major corporations and leading law firms that joined as National Partners from January 2022 through June 2022. BBB National Programs is an independent, non-profit organization that oversees more than a dozen national industry self-regulation, accountability, and...

Read the Press Release