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Kellogg Needs to Change Approach on Health Issues

  • Ad Age, Thursday, January 26, 2006 11:32 AM
Unlike its competitors, Kellogg Co. has done little to promote the health benefits of its products or mount any kind of public relations effort to protect it from critic's claims that it is marketing junk food to children. Thus, it left itself open to a planned lawsuit from a consumer activist group. Tony the Tiger has encouraged kids to "Eat right, work hard, earn your stripes" in ads and Internet promotions, but otherwise Kellogg has done little else. The company trailed PepsiCo by nearly three years in announcing plans to reduce or eliminate trans fats in its Keebler cookies and crackers. It formed a health and wellness division only two months ago, which it has yet to announce publicly and which will focus more on the tastes of aging baby boomers than children. Observers think it's time for Kellogg to try a new approach. Bill Keegan, director of Edelman's crisis-management practice, believes "high-profile litigation will go a long way toward" encouraging Kellogg to adopt a healthful positioning. After all, he said, "Public sentiment is very important to them."



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