Candy Association Involves Members in Responsible Advertising Initiative

The National Confectioners Association and the Better Business Bureau help smaller companies join the self-regulation process with a new initiative that validates them for not advertising directly to children.

The National Confectioners Association (NCA) is helping its smaller members get proper recognition for their responsible advertising practices through a new Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) initiative.

They’re responsible marketers and advertisers, and the CCAI essentially is a third-party validation of what the participating companies are doing.

Designed especially for small to medium-sized confectionary companies, the Children’s Confection Advertising Initiative (CCAI) states that participating companies will not engage in advertising directly to children under the age of 12. So far Ferrara Candy Company, Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, Jelly Belly Candy Company, Just Born Quality Confections, The Promotion in Motion Companies, Inc., and R.M. Palmer Company have signed on.

“It’s a validation of what a number of these companies are already doing,” NCA Spokesman Christopher Gindlesperger said. “They’re responsible marketers and advertisers, and the CCAI essentially is a third-party validation of what the participating companies are doing and how they’ve agreed to not advertise directly to children under the age of 12.”

CCAI is modeled after the 10-year-old Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) that says companies with products that do not meet certain nutritional criteria will not participate in child-directed advertising—defined as marketing through child-specific programs such as kids’ television channels or magazines. Larger NCA members like The Hershey Company, Mars, Incorporated, and Nestlé participate in this CBBB initiative.

While requiring the same standard of responsible marketing, CCAI allows smaller companies to join by reducing the administrative demand and fees, and thus limiting the barriers to entry, explained CBBB Vice President and Director of CFBAI Elaine Kolish. The companies will still be subject to independent monitoring but will not need to submit extensive self-assessments.

“So, they can still get the credit for the responsible advertising work that they do, it’s just more affordable for them to have that third-party validation,” Gindlesperger said.

With this new initiative, smaller NCA members can play a role alongside their larger counterparts in promoting and encouraging responsible advertising, namely when marketing to children.

“Better Business Bureau has always felt that smaller companies can be just as much a part of the self-regulatory success story as major corporations,” CBBB President and CEO Mary Power said in a statement. “This latest initiative is yet another example of how responsible companies can join together to efficiently regulate themselves. We are delighted to build on CFBAI’s success, we appreciate NCA’s partnership on this effort, and we look forward to working with them to grow the program.”

The Federal Trade Commission also supports involving smaller companies in the self-regulation movement. “This new initiative is a welcome addition to the CBBB’s existing Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative and represents the type of self-regulatory solution the FTC has long advocated,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a release. “The commitment by six confectionery companies to refrain from advertising in elementary schools and in media targeted at children is a positive step. I also hope that this new partnership with the National Confectioners Association will encourage other smaller candy companies to participate.”

Alex Beall

By Alex Beall

Alex Beall is an associate editor for Associations Now with a masters in journalism and a penchant for Instagram. MORE

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