General Mills postpones launch of kids' Web site

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General Mills on Tuesday said it would delay indefinitely the official launch of its "You Rule School" Web site aimed at children. The site was to have had a splashy unveiling on Thursday at the Cyber Cafe in New York.

The cereal marketer attributed the delay to the fact that agency Saatchi & Saatchi Interactive, New York, needed extra time to implement some new technologies. But bad timing may well have been an underlying factor.

The Federal Trade Commission last week said it would seriously consider investigating Web sites targeting kids after the Center for Media Education, a media watchdog group, issued a major study attacking such sites.

The General Mills site, as described in a disc-based media kit distributed to reporters, will feature games based on the Trix Rabbit and Lucky Charms cereal. Among the restrictions sought by the watchdog group is the banning of product mascots as spokespersons for Web sites.

"I think our site is very responsible and am confident in what the site will try to do," a General Mills spokesman said.

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