These 6 Candy Makers Pledge to Stop Advertising to Kids

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A growing list of confectioners -- including the makers of Peeps and Jelly Belly jellybeans -- have bowed to public health concerns over childhood obesity.

In a move that was praised by health advocates (and quite possibly, dentists!), six candy companies have committed not to advertise to children under age 12.

The six candy makers – including the makers of such popular treats as Jelly Belly, Peeps, Mike and Ike, Welch’s fruit snacks, Brach’s, Ghirardelli, and Lemonheads – created the Children’s Confection Advertising Initiative (CCAI), a voluntary self-regulation program aimed at promoting responsible advertising, according to the Council of Better Business Bureaus, which partnered with the National Confectioners Association in its efforts.

The initiative is modeled after another self-regulation program known as the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), which includes 18 big food companies, several of which make candy.

“CCAI follows the same principles as CFBAI, but is designed for small-to-medium size confectionery companies and has fewer administrative requirements than CFBAI,” Maureen Enright, director of CCAI and deputy director of CFBAI, explained in a statement. “All CCAI participants are making the same commitment — to not engage in child-directed advertising. CFBAI will independently monitor compliance and will publish periodic compliance reports, as it does for CFBAI.”

The companies in the CCAI are Ferrara Candy Co., Ghirardelli Chocolate Co., Jelly Belly Candy Co., Just Born Quality Confections, The Promotion in Motion Cos. and the R.M. Palmer Co.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, which has long urged candy companies to reduce their junk food advertising directed at children, praised the move.

“It’s not appropriate to advertise candy to children. Children are susceptible to advertising, and don’t need encouragement to like and eat candy, which promotes diabetes, obesity, tooth decay, and other health problems,” said CSPI senior nutrition policy counsel Jessica Almy. “We applaud the six companies for making this important commitment not to advertise to children under 12 and encourage other candy companies to join this initiative.”

In spite of the CFBAI, a recent study found that children are seeing more candy ads now than in years past. Researchers found that in the three-year period from 2008 to 2011, American children’s exposure to candy and treat-filled ads jumped by 74 percent.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children in the past 30 years.

Check out “Why Certain Online Games Lead Your Kids to Overeat.”

What do you think of the candy makers’ commitment to not direct their ads to children? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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