(Adds comment from science group)
* Kellogg changes Frosted Mini-Wheats ads
* To drop claim of nearly 20 pct attentiveness boost
WASHINGTON, April 20 (Reuters) - Kellogg Co (K.N) has agreed to remove advertising that claims its Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal was clinically shown to improve children’s attentiveness by nearly 20 percent, the Federal Trade Commission said on Monday.
The FTC said Kellogg misrepresented a study that, in fact, found children who ate Frosted Mini-Wheats for breakfast “averaged just under 11 percent better in attentiveness” compared with those who ate no breakfast.
The FTC said Kellogg’s claims were false and violated federal law.
The agreement between the FTC and Kellogg required the company to pull any advertisement that said the cereal would improve attentiveness by nearly 20 percent “unless, at the time it is made, the representation is true.”
Kellogg, whose Website advertises the cereal as a way to keep children “full and focused,” said, “We stand behind the validity of our clinical study, yet have adjusted our communication to incorporate FTC’s guidance.”
The Center for Science in the Public Interest, advocates of good nutrition, called Kellogg’s claims that its cereal improved children’s attentiveness by 20 percent “astonishing” and “laughable on their face.”
“The FTC could require much stronger remedies, such as corrective advertising. In addition, Congress should expand the FTC’s authority to level civil penalties,” said CSPI Legal Affairs Director Bruce Silverglade in an e-mailed statement. (Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Richard Chang, Bernard Orr)