The new self-regulatory scheme – the Children’s Confection Advertising Initiative (CCAI) – has been modelled after the existing Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) but is designed for smaller businesses.
Large suppliers including Ferrero, Hershey, Mars, Mondelez International and Nestlé have already pledged not to advertise to children under the CFBAI.
Like the CFBAI, the new scheme is being administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB), which has partnered with the National Confectioners Association. Compliance will be independently monitored, with compliance reports published periodically.
No advertising in schools
Under the scheme, the businesses have pledged to not “engage in confectionery advertising that is primarily directed to children under age 12 or to advertise their candy in school to children from pre-kindergarten through 6th grade”.
The six companies that have signed up to the CCAI are:
- Ferrara Candy Company - maker of Trolli and Red Hots
- Ghirardelli Chocolate Company - maker of Ghirardelli Squares and Bars
- Jelly Belly Candy Company - maker of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans and Sunkist Candies
- Just Born Quality Confections - maker of Peeps and MIKE and IKE
- The Promotion in Motion Companies - maker of Sun-Maid Milk Chocolate Raisins and Sour Jacks Sour Candy
- RM Palmer Company - maker of Palmer seasonal chocolate candies
“CCAI follows the same principles as CFBAI, but is designed for small-to-medium size confectionery companies and has fewer administrative requirements,” said CCAI director Maureen Enright, who is also deputy director of the CFBAI.
To be eligible for the scheme, a company must be a member of the NCA and account for no more than 5% of confectionery market sales. Unlike CFBAI members, a CCAI participant will not be required to submit comprehensive annual compliance reports but will have to submit an annual statement that it has complied with its CCAI commitments.
The new initiative was an example of how responsible companies could join together to regulate themselves, said CBBB president and CEO Mary E Power, who added, “Smaller companies can be just as much a part of the self-regulatory success story as major corporations.”
The programme solidified the commitment of American confectionery companies to market their products responsibly, added National Confectioners Association president and CEO John H Downs.
Welcomed by FTC
Consumer group the Federal Trade Commission said the initiative was a “welcome addition to the CBBB’s existing Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative.”
“It represents the type of self-regulatory solution the FTC has long advocated,” added chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “I hope that this new partnership with the National Confectioners Association will encourage other smaller candy companies to participate.”