Former FTC Official to Lead Kids-Food-Ad Initiative

Elaine Kolish Will Oversee Marketers' Attempt to Encourage Healthful Eating

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- The Council of Better Business Bureaus and the National Advertising Review Council has tapped former Federal Trade Commission official Elaine Kolish to lead the new child-obesity initiative the CBBB and 10 companies unveiled last year.
Elaine Kolish
Elaine Kolish

Under the program, dubbed The Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, each of the companies will make formal public pledges of steps they will take to center their kids' food advertising more firmly on more healthful food choices.

Limit characters, gaming
Members of the initiative say they will devote at least half their kids' food ads to more healthful choices, limit their use of licensed characters for foods that do not meet the health goals and either limit interactive gaming to healthful products or incorporate a healthful-eating message into the game.

The pledges for how the companies will accomplish that goal have to be approved by the Council of Better Business Bureau; the council will then chart the company's progress. Both tasks will now fall to Ms. Kolish.

Recently a private attorney, Ms. Kolish spent 25 years at the FTC, rising to head of the Division of Enforcement in the Bureau of Consumer Protection.

'Dedication to protection'
"Elaine brings to the position a dedication to consumer protection and a strong appreciation for the value of effective industry self-regulation," said C. Lee Peeler, president of the National Advertising Review Council, exec VP of the Better Business Bureaus and himself a former FTC official.

The original 10 members of the initiative were Cadbury Schweppes USA; Campbell Soup Co.; Coca-Cola Co.; General Mills; Hershey Co.; Kellogg Co.; Kraft Foods; McDonald's; PepsiCo and Unilever. Masterfoods subsequently joined. The initiative claims its members are responsible for more than two-thirds of children's food and beverage TV ad expenditures.
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