Wonder Bread settles US deceptive marketing charge

Related tags Federal trade commission

Interstate Bakeries settles with the FTC over claims that its
fortified Wonder Bread helped improve children's minds.

The maker of Wonder Bread, Interstate Bakeries, and its advertising agency have settled charges that they engaged in deceptive advertising, the US Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday.

The FTC had said that the two companies had no evidence to back up their claims that the calcium-enriched bread helped children's minds work better or improved their memories.

Interstate Bakeries and its ad agency Campbell Mithun agreed to make no such claims in the future unless they have scientific evidence.

Interstate Bakeries fortifies its bread with several vitamins and minerals, including iron, vitamins B, B3 and B12, and folic acid.

In a Wonder Bread ad that ran in the summer and autumn of 2000, a character named 'Professor Wonder' said that calcium improves children's minds and helps their memories.

The FTC charged that the two companies had no evidence to support the claim, and that Campbell Mithun knew or should have known the claims were unsubstantiated.

Interstate Bakeries said independent research showed calcium could improve learning and memory, and that the ad made its claims in "an exaggerated fantasy situation"​.

The Kansas City, Missouri, company said it had pulled the ads off the air prior to any contact by the FTC because they did not boost sales, and had settled the charges to keep legal fees down.

Related topics Regulation & policy

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