The Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) is a voluntary self-regulation program created to improve the landscape of food advertising directed to children under the age of 12. Participants, who represent most of the child-directed food advertising expenditures in the U.S. and most of the advertising on children’s TV programs, pledge to follow CFBAI’s Core Commitments. This means that they advertise only those foods or beverages that meet the Uniform Category-Specific Nutrition Criteria or do not advertise foods to children at all. Foods advertised by CFBAI participants now are lower in calories, sugar, sodium, and saturated fat, and provide more food groups and beneficial nutrients.
Currently 18 leading U.S. food and beverage and restaurant companies participate in CFBAI.
Monitoring and Compliance
The CFBAI administrator monitors compliance with participants' pledges and the participants agree to be held accountable for non-compliance. To confirm compliance, the program administrator regularly reviews child-directed media, product nutrition and ingredient information, and can request other relevant information from participants, such as advertising media plans or audience demographic data.
Each participant submits an annual self-assessment that provides detailed information on its compliance procedures, ads distributed in children’s media, and advertising plans.
If non-compliance is found, CFBAI will provide the company notice and an opportunity to bring its conduct into compliance. Failure to comply with the pledge or respond to oversight requests from the program administrator may result in dismissal from the program and/or referral to the relevant regulatory authority.
History and Milestones
CFBAI was launched in 2007 to improve the mix of foods advertised to children to encourage healthier dietary choices. CFBAI works to achieve this goal through its Core Commitments, CFBAI is a dynamic program that is committed to ongoing program improvements. Since its launch, CFBAI has strengthened the program several times.