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P&G Pulls Pringles Ad From Childrens' Shows
Responds to Criticism That Spot Encouraged Overeating

Procter & Gamble Co. has agreed to pull an ad for its Pringles chip brand from children's programming as the ad industry's self-regulatory arm steps up its review of food ads appearing on programs aimed at children.

The Children's Advertising Review Unit today said it asked P&G to act, because it felt the ad "raised concern" about whether the product was being promoted for consumption at reasonable levels.

The TV spot cited, called "Pop music," featured four youths in their teens or early 20s and used a series of quick cuts in the style of a music video.

Too many Pringles cans

CARU said that while one six-serving container of Original Pringles should be sufficient for four friends to share, the ads showed the friends eating out of multiple Pringles cans. P&G told CARU the commercial was designed to show young people creating music with the Pringles can, which is meant to be shown as a fun object apart from the snack. P&G also said the consumption shown wasn't the major focus of the advertising and that the total number of chips eaten during the spot was well below one serving size.

Though P&G disagreed with the decision, it told CARU it has pulled the ad, developed by Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, New York.

Grocery association

The decision was announced two weeks after the CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers of America asked the Council of Better Business Bureaus and its National Advertising Review Council, of which CARU is part, to step up its review of food advertising, calling the review a well-kept secret. The GMA has suggested that some of the calls for legislative action on food ads may due to legislators not being aware of what the industry already does to police itself.


Ira Teinowitz, Advertising Age. April 15, 2004.

Copyright © 2004 Crain Communications Inc.. All rights reserved.