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Notice

Kellogg Company; Analysis of Proposed Consent Order to Aid Public Comment

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION:

Proposed Consent Agreement.

SUMMARY:

The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices or unfair methods of competition. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the complaint and the terms of the consent order—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before May 19, 2009.

ADDRESSES:

Interested parties are invited to submit written comments electronically or in paper form. Comments should refer to“Kellogg, File No. 082 3145” to facilitate the organization of comments. Please note that your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including on the publicly accessible FTC website, at (http://www.ftc.gov/​os/​publiccomments.shtm).

Because comments will be made public, they should not include any sensitive personal information, such as an individual’s Social Security Number; date of birth; driver’s license number or other state identification number, or foreign country equivalent; passport number; financial account number; or credit or debit card number. Comments also should not include any sensitive health information, such as medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, comments should not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which is obtained from any person and which is privileged Start Printed Page 19093or confidential. . . .,” as provided in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and Commission Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). Comments containing material for which confidential treatment is requested must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled “Confidential,” and must comply with FTC Rule 4.9(c).1

Because paper mail addressed to the FTC is subject to delay due to heightened security screening, please consider submitting your comments in electronic form. Comments filed in electronic form should be submitted by using the following weblink: (https://secure.commentworks.com/​ftc-Kellogg) (and following the instructions on the web-based form). To ensure that the Commission considers an electronic comment, you must file it on the web-based form at the weblink: (https://secure.commentworks.com/​ftc-Kellogg). If this Notice appears at (http://www.regulations.gov/​search/​index.jsp), you may also file an electronic comment through that website. The Commission will consider all comments that regulations.gov forwards to it. You may also visit the FTC website at (http://www.ftc.gov) to read the Notice and the news release describing it.

A comment filed in paper form should include the “Kellogg, File No. 082 3145“ reference both in the text and on the envelope, and should be mailed or delivered to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-135, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580. The FTC is requesting that any comment filed in paper form be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because U.S. postal mail in the Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security precautions.

The Federal Trade Commission Act (“FTC Act”) and other laws the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives, whether filed in paper or electronic form. Comments received will be available to the public on the FTC website, to the extent practicable, at (http://www.ftc.gov/​os/​publiccomments.shtm). As a matter of discretion, the Commission makes every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments it receives before placing those comments on the FTC website. More information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, may be found in the FTC’s privacy policy, at (http://www.ftc.gov/​ftc/​privacy.shtm).

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Heather Hippsley or Kial S. Young, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20580, (202) 326-3285.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Pursuant to section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 38 Stat. 721, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and § 2.34 the Commission Rules of Practice, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing a consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for February 18, 2009), on the World Wide Web, at (http://www.ftc.gov/​os/​2009/​04/​index.htm). A paper copy can be obtained from the FTC Public Reference Room, Room 130-H, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20580, either in person or by calling (202) 326-2222.

Public comments are invited, and may be filed with the Commission in either paper or electronic form. All comments should be filed as prescribed in the ADDRESSES section above, and must be received on or before the date specified in the DATES section.

Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order to Aid Public Comment

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from Kellogg Company (“Respondent”).

The proposed consent order has been placed on the public record for thirty (30) days for receipt of comments by interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After thirty (30) days, the Commission will again review the agreement and the comments received, and will decide whether it should withdraw from the agreement and take appropriate action or make final the agreement’s proposed order.

This matter involves the advertising and promotion of Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats, a well-known breakfast cereal. According to the FTC complaint, Respondent represented, in various advertisements, that eating a bowl of Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal for breakfast is clinically shown to improve kids’ attentiveness by nearly 20%. The complaint alleges that this claim is false or misleading because, in fact, in the clinical study referred to in respondent’s advertisements, only about half the kids who ate Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal showed any improvement after three hours as compared to their pre-breakfast baseline. In addition, overall, only one in seven kids who ate the cereal improved their attentiveness by 18% or more, and only about one in nine improved by 20% or more.

The FTC complaint also charges that Respondent represented, in other advertising, that eating a bowl of Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal for breakfast is clinically shown to improve kids’ attentiveness by nearly 20% when compared to kids who ate no breakfast. The FTC alleges that this claim is also false or misleading, because in fact, kids in the clinical study who ate Frosted Mini-Wheats had an average of 10.6% better attentiveness three hours later than kids who had skipped breakfast. In addition, relatively few kids experienced better attentiveness near the 20% level.

The proposed consent order contains provisions designed to prevent Respondent from engaging in similar acts and practices in the future. Part I of the proposed order prohibits Respondent from representing that (a) eating a bowl of Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal for breakfast is clinically shown to improve kids’ attentiveness by nearly 20%, or any other specific percentage; and (b) eating a bowl of Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal for breakfast is clinically shown to improve kids’ attentiveness by nearly 20%, or any other specific percentage, compared to kids who ate no breakfast, unless the representation is true and non-misleading at the time it is made.

Part II of the proposed order prohibits Respondent from making any representations in advertising for Frosted Mini-Wheats or any other morning food or snack food about the benefits, performance, or efficacy of the product for cognitive function, processes, or health, unless the representation is true and non- misleading. In addition, Respondent must possess competent and reliable scientific evidence for such claims.Start Printed Page 19094

Part III of the proposed order prohibits Respondent from making misrepresentations in advertising for any morning food or snack food about the existence, contents, validity, results, conclusions, or interpretations of any test, study or research.

Part IV of the proposed order states that the order does not prohibit Respondent from making representations for any product that are specifically permitted in labeling for that product by regulations issues by the FDA under the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990.

Parts V through VIII of the proposed order require Respondent to keep copies of relevant advertisements and materials substantiating claims made in the advertisements; to provide copies of the order to certain of their personnel; to notify the Commission of changes in corporate structure that might affect compliance obligations under the order; and to file compliance reports with the Commission. Part IX provides that the order will terminate after twenty (20) years, with certain exceptions.

The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate public comment on the proposed order, and it is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the agreement and proposed order or to modify in any way their terms.

By direction of the Commission.

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Donald S. Clark

Secretary.

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Footnotes

1. FTC Rule 4.2(d), 16 CFR 4.2(d). The comment must be accompanied by an explicit request for confidential treatment, including the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. The request will be granted or denied by the Commission’s General Counsel, consistent with applicable law and the public interest. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

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[FR Doc. E9-9484 Filed 4-24-09: 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6750-01-S