two children

Marketing and advertising

General Mills has had child marketing guidelines in place for more than 30 years, and they are updated annually by the company’s Child Marketing Review Council.

As an industry leader, General Mills maintains high standards, especially in advertising that reaches children.  

In July 2011, we joined 16 other food and beverage companies to establish uniform nutrition criteria for foods advertised to children under age 12 in the U.S. – strengthening guidelines that have been in place since 2007.

Under the new limits set by the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), about one-third of the products currently advertised to children in the U.S. would have to be reformulated, or they could no longer be advertised to kids after Dec. 31, 2013.

Reflecting the increasing popularity of social networking websites, we updated General Mills marketing guidelines to be even clearer about what is and isn’t permitted when communicating with children under the age of 12.

The updated sections of the guidelines spell out that General Mills will not use its own websites or other communications to encourage children to participate in third-party social networking sites that are inappropriate for children under 12.

For the past seven years, we’ve required our marketing and legal employees to review the guidelines. And for the fifth year, those employees were required to complete a quiz to demonstrate understanding of the guidelines.

Our guidelines underscore the company’s commitment to responsible advertising by stating that all marketing activity should respect three key steps to healthier living: balance, moderation and exercise.


2014 global responsibility thumbnail


2014 report on our progress (pdf) Go

Box Tops

Helping schools even more in 2012 (video) Go