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General Mills begins Dietainment campaign

General Mills Canada has begun a promotional initiative called "Dietainment" in support of its Multi-Grain Cheerios brand. The national promotion seeks to raise awareness of harmful diet advice aimed at young girls in the form of entertainment. The campaign, developed by Cossette of Toronto, focuses on a website at <> where consumers can sign a petition opposed to this content.

The site is being supported by 30-second television commercials and online videos. The creative depicts girls being exposed to this material through posters, magazines and online. The girls begin repeating copy such as "Celebrity secrets to a hot body" and "Get skinny in just one week."

"It's bad enough that 'Dietainment' manipulates adults," said Jason Doolan, director of cereal marketing at General Mills. "But when you consider that so many children, particularly young, highly impressionable girls, are exposed to these messages and unknowingly drawn into a lifelong pattern of endless dieting, then we say we must do what we can to bring an end to this practice. We're asking Canadians to sign the petition and join our movement because, frankly, we feel [this] is taking our children down a path that can lead to a lifetime of unhealthy dieting practices."

The campaign is part of a larger program begun in 2013 in collaboration with Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada.

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