FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts: ABA Press OfficeOctober 31, 2011 (202) 463-6770BEVERAGE INDUSTRY RESPONDS TO LATEST RUDD REPORT
In response to today’s release of a Rudd Center report focused on our industry’s products and practices,Susan K. Neely, president and chief executive officer of the American Beverage Association, issued the following statement:
“The people at our member companies – many of whom are parents themselves – are delivering on theircommitment to advertise only water, juice and milk on programming for children under 12. In fact, recentresearch supports that there has been a dramatic change in food and beverage advertising during children’sprogramming, with advertisements for soft drinks decreasing by 96 percent between 2004 and 2010 alone.This report is another attack by known critics in an ongoing attempt to single out one product as the cause of obesity when both common sense and widely accepted science have shown that the reality is far morecomplicated.”
Additional Background Information:
Under a Global Policy on Marketing to Children, our member companies do not advertise beverages other than juice, water or milk-based drinks to any audience that is comprised predominantly of children under 12. Thepolicy covers a wide range of marketing outlets including paid media such as television, radio, print, Internet,phone messaging and cinema, including product placement.
Recent research conducted in the United States by Georgetown Economic Services and sponsored by theGrocery Manufacturers Association and the Association of National Advertisers supports that there has been adramatic change in food and beverage advertising during children’s programming. In fact, between 2004 and2010, advertisements for soft drinks decreased by 96 percent, while advertisements for fruit and vegetable juices increased by 199 percent.
Our members also follow the guidelines of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the self-regulatory body for children’s advertising, which apply to all of ourbeverages.
The authors of the Rudd Center report do not adequately differentiate between marketing to children, who arewidely viewed as a special audience needing particular care, and marketing to teens and general audiences.Reinforcing this difference, David Vladeck, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection of the FederalTrade Commission, recently announced that the guidelines on marketing to children being developed, in part,by the FTC will be directed only to children under 12. His testimony before a Congressional committee notedthat: “…
it is not necessary to encompass adolescents ages 12 to 17 within the scope of coveredmarketing. In fact, it is often difficult to distinguish marketing designed to appeal to this age groupfrom marketing directed to a general or adult audience …”