American Licorice is Sixth Candy Company to Pledge to Not Advertise Directly to Children

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60% of confection sales covered by Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative; 18 companies participating in BBB program to address childhood obesity

American Licorice Company is the newest participant in the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), pledging to not advertise directly to children. The company, which joins five other candy companies in making a CFBAI pledge, made the announcement on the opening day of the Sweets and Snacks Expo, the confectionery industry’s largest trade show.

“It is fitting that today, as the nation’s leading confectionery companies meet, that another candy company is announcing it is exiting the children’s advertising landscape,” said Elaine Kolish, Director of CFBAI and Vice President of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, which administers the program. “We welcome American Licorice to CFBAI and applaud the company’s leaders for making the difficult but responsible decision to no longer advertise its candy directly to children.”

American Licorice joins five other major confectionery companies – Ferrero USA; The Hershey Company; Mars, Incorporated; Mondelez International; and Nestlé – that already have committed to not advertise their candy directly to children. Collectively, these companies represent about 60% of confection sales in the United States.

Starting with 10 companies in 2007, CFBAI now has 18 leading companies that all have committed to encourage healthier dietary choices by pledging to advertise only healthier products in media primarily directed to children under 12, or to not engage in child-directed advertising at all. American Licorice Company, a 100 year old, Indiana-based company whose products include Red Vines®, Sour Punch®, and Super Ropes® candy, has pledged to not engage in child-directed advertising.

“American Licorice is proud to join with other leaders in our industry to advance the responsible advertising of confections to children,” said Michael Kelly, Sr. Media and Consumer Communications Manager. “Our aligning with CFBAI is the latest of our ongoing efforts to encourage responsible consumption and healthy, active lifestyles for all consumers.”

The confectionery companies and CFBAI’s other participants, leading consumer packaged goods companies and quick serve restaurants, have been transforming the children’s advertising landscape since CFBAI launched in 2007. While some have stopped advertising directly to children, others have renovated the recipes of foods they advertise to make them even better, created new healthier foods, and discontinued others.

American Licorice’s pledge went into effect on May 1 and is available at CFBAI’s most recent annual report, summarizing progress under its self-regulation program to date, is available here.

Since 2007, CFBAI has been changing the children’s food advertising landscape to include healthier products. CFBAI’s participants commit to use science-based uniform nutrition criteria to govern what foods they advertise directly to children under 12 or to not engage in such advertising. CFBAI’s 18 participants, representing a substantial majority of child-directed food advertising on TV, are: American Licorice Company; Burger King Corp.; Campbell Soup Company; The Coca-Cola Company; ConAgra Foods, Inc.; The Dannon Company; Ferrero USA; General Mills Inc.; The Hershey Company; Kellogg Company; Kraft Foods Group Inc.; Mars, Incorporated; McDonald’s USA, LLC; Mondelēz Global LLC; Nestlé USA; PepsiCo, Inc.; Post Foods, LLC and Unilever United States. For more information about the CFBAI, visit

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2014, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.7 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 112 local, independent BBBs across North America, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Katherine Hutt at 703-247-9345 or khutt(at)council(dot)bbb(dot)org.

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