Kellogg’s has been rapped by the advertising watchdog for claiming that eating breakfast makes children more alert.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said Kellogg’s research didn’t back up the claim, made in an advert for Corn Flakes. It told the company not to show it again unless it was changed.
The ad showed two schoolboys; one started the morning with a bowl of Corn Flakes while the other went without breakfast.
A voice-over said: ‘Research shows that when they eat a cereal like ours, kids are on average 9 per cent more alert. See if you can spot the differences with Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.’
Text appeared saying: ‘Alertness measured by parents, comparing 63 children eating Kellogg’s Corn Flakes to 34 children skipping breakfast.’
An expert from the ASA said scientific evidence generally shows the benefits of eating breakfast but Kellogg’s research measured post-breakfast alertness levels only for half an hour rather than the whole morning.
And the study had showed that those who skipped breakfast had increased their alertness about as much as those who ate Corn Flakes.
The ASA said: ‘Although the study did show an increase in levels of alertness, it did not conclusively show that this was due to the cereal. We concluded that the study did not support the claim and the ad was therefore misleading.’
A Kellogg’s spokesman said there was no dispute with the ASA over the benefits of eating breakfast.
However, he added: ‘A difference in opinion on the methodology of the experimentation has occurred between the ASA expert and the Kellogg’s expert.’
Which? cereals research
Last month Which? published a comparison of the fat, sugar and salt levels in breakfast cereals.
It highlighted the need for manufacturers, including Kellogg’s, to act more responsibly in the way they target children when marketing products which are high in fat, sugar or salt.
Kellogg’s has recently said it will remove all trans fats from its snack products by the end of 2006.