Food Marketers Issued Subpoenas

Hmmm… I wonder what this could mean?

BOSTON — The Federal Trade Commission today said it has issued subpoenas to 44 food and beverage companies for a report it is preparing on marketing to kids.

Burger King, Campbell Soup, Coca-Cola, Dole, Kellogg, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Kraft and Mars, among others, were called to disclose how much they spend to reach young people through paid media and to provide specific information about their marketing practices.

The companies must comply by Nov. 1 for a report the FTC is preparing for Congress.

Not being a legal expert, I have no idea if this is strictly “business as usual” or if these companies are being forced into supplying information. I guess we’ll have to wait to see if anyone fights the subpoenas.

But this certainly puts Kellogg’s and General Mill’s recent acts of phasing out certain types of children’s advertising into a new light. Perhaps the two aren’t related, perhaps they are. But there seems to be something going on behind the scenes.