June, 2010 Food and Beverage Companies Continue to Raise the Bar When Advertising to Kids Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative report shows marked progress through self-regulation The second annual report issued by the Council of Better Business Bureaus on the progress of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative shows that, because of the self-regulatory efforts of the nation’s leading food and beverage producers, there has been a continued significant shift in children’s advertising in the United States toward the promotion of healthier dietary choices and lifestyles. As outlined in the report, participants have been reformulating products and introducing new products and meals to meet well-established, science-based nutrition standards. The CFBAI also welcomed three new food companies in the last year, bringing the total number of participants to 16 and expanding the program’s market place coverage. “Three years ago BBB and leading food companies launched the Initiative to use advertising to promote healthier dietary choices and lifestyles to kids,” said Elaine D. Kolish, CBBB vice president and director of the CFBAI. “Because of the Initiative, most of the major children’s food marketers now use transparent, science-based nutrition standards to determine what products to advertise to children. As a result, more child-directed advertising now is for products that have fewer calories and are lower in fats, sugars and sodium.” The progress report covers pledge compliance and highlights the major changes that were undertaken by participants to continually raise the bar in promoting healthier options to kids. Since the previous report was issued: Three more companies joined the CFBAI: Dannon Company Inc., Nestlé USA and Post Foods LLC. BBB’s review and independent monitoring found that CFBAI participants did an excellent job of implementing and complying with their individual pledges. There were only a few compliance issues, which have been remedied. Several participants enhanced their nutrition criteria to make their pledges more rigorous, adding or lowering sodium limits or adding positive nutrient requirements. Others reformulated products, reducing their sugar, fat or sodium content, or introduced new products that met their BBB-approved standards. “The companies that voluntarily participate in the Initiative are committed to improving the nutritional profiles of their products.” added Kolish. “Many childhood favorites were reformulated or are no longer advertised to children and, because the nutrition standards are competition-driven, some participants have already revised their criteria to make them even more rigorous. Notably, Cadbury, the Coca-Cola Company, Hershey and Mars do not advertise to kids at all, and Nestlé USA no longer advertises Willy Wonka candies to children. The report also provides an informal analysis of the nutritional content of products advertised during a randomlyselected sample of 54 hours of children’s television programming. CFBAI’s analysis found that, in addition to meeting participants’ pledge-approved nutrition standards, 83 percent of the advertising for participants’ child-directed food and beverage products in the sample provided at least a “good” source of a nutrient shortfall for children (vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, or fiber), or provided at least a half serving of fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy, or 8 grams of whole grains. As detailed in the report, on company-owned, child-directed Web sites the participants limited branded products to those that met the participants’ nutrition standards, and they generally also provided healthy lifestyle messaging in conjunction with those Web sites. The report also includes examples of how advertising and products have changed since the CFBAI was launched. The progress evaluates the compliance of the 12 participants (Burger King Corporation; Cadbury Adams USA LLC; Campbell Soup Company; The Coca-Cola Company; ConAgra Foods, Inc.; General Mills Inc.; The Hershey Company; Kraft Foods Global, Inc.; Mars Snackfoods US, LLC; McDonald’s USA, LLC; PepsiCo, Inc.; and Unilever) whose pledges were in effect during 2008—the first full year that participants’ pledges were operational. This report also describes the steps that three other participants (The Dannon Company Inc., Kellogg Company and Nestlé USA) took to prepare for implementing their pledges, which went into effect on January 1, 2009. Post Foods LLC joined the CFBAI effective October 1, 2009 so this report does not include information about its pledge compliance. President’s Column: BBB Advice to Increase Your Chances of Getting a Small Business Loan As I travel the state, I hear more and more business owners and BBB leaders talking about a rebounding economy. I know of many businesses providing more bids than in 2009 or 2008. There is optimism. But finding funding to expand an existing business has been more difficult than usual lately. While the economy improves, banks are still reticent about lending to small business owners and the Better Business Bureau recommends developing a solid business plan to earn the bank’s trust and increase your chances of landing a loan. According to a recent survey by the Federal Reserve, small business owners are still having a hard time getting loans. Only 2 percent of banks surveyed had loosened their standards for making commercial and industrial loans which was equal to the number of banks that had tightened their standards further. Any steps that you can take to make your loan seem less risky will ease the bank’s fears about lending to you and increase your chances of getting financing. This includes creating an excellent comprehensive business plan and devising a solid strategy to pay the bank back. To increase the chances of getting a loan, BBB recommends that small business owners and entrepreneurs: Talk to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) or its free counseling partners. Talking to a counselor or lender relations specialist can help increase your chances of getting a small business loan. The SBA has lender relations specialists who work at field offices in every state. The SBA’s partners can also help and include about 900 Small Business Development Centers at colleges and universities, about 100 Women’s Business Centers and a network of about 10,000 retired executives (called SCORE) who mentor entrepreneurs and small business owners. Generally, all of these counseling and training services are free. Review Your Credit Report. Lenders will take into consideration your personal credit history and if your report has any errors it could affect your chances of getting the loan. You can check your credit report once a year for free with the three major reporting bureaus—Transunion, Experian and Equifax-- at www.annualcreditreport.com. If you find errors, contact the reporting bureau to set the record straight. Create a Comprehensive and Professional-Looking Business Plan. Lenders want to know that you have done your research, considered your risks and the current climate for opportunity and planned for the future. Thoughtfully and thoroughly explain how much money you need and how you’ll use it. Put care into the final product, not only in the content, but also how it looks. You want to put your most professional foot forward and that means preparation, attention to detail and a polished presentation. Show that you’re personally invested. If you have money invested in your own business, it will show the lender that you are personally dedicated to the success of the venture. Plan to pay it back. Banks are in the business of making money. To that end, they want to know that you have a solid plan for paying back the loan and can also provide enough collateral to cover the loan if the business fails. Start with who you know. If you already have a good relationship with your personal bank, start your search there. Ideally, your lender also works with the SBA—which will widen your loan options. Don’t rule out the possibility of getting a loan from a smaller local bank. I hope the energy I sense in the economy is real. I also hope you will use these tips and your designation as a BBB Accredited Business to capitalize and grow. Good Luck! - Chris Coleman, President BBB Alert: Suspicious Low Cost Health Plans In the midst of a tight economy and in the wake of the new national healthcare reform bill, there has been a surge in healthcare-related scams. Better Business Bureau advises consumers to do their research before signing up for any health care plans or insurance coverage because their personal and financial health is on the line. According to an October 2009 survey conducted by the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, 57 percent of state fraud bureaus reported a higher incidence of health insurance fraud in 2009 compared to the previous year. The increase was largely attributed to “unauthorized entities selling fake coverage” and “the rise of medical discount plans.” “Navigating the healthcare system can be a tricky maze and coordinating your physicians, prescriptions and insurance coverage isn’t always easy,” said Alison Southwick, BBB spokesperson. “One of the first steps to finding healthcare services that are a good personal fit, is to start with a provider you can trust.” Companies such as HealthcareOne/Elite Healthcare, Consolidated Workers Association, and Smart Data Solutions/American Trade Association, have all recently come under fire from state regulators for peddling worthless coverage or discount medical plans—instead of actual insurance—to thousands of consumers. Additionally, the new healthcare reform bill quickly sparked new scams; shortly after it was signed into law, the US Department of Health and Human Services issued a warning to consumers to beware of health insurance offers claiming to be part of new federal regulations. For example in Missouri, the state Insurance Director warned that a door-to-door salesman was claiming to be a federal agent selling insurance under the new law. BBB recommends taking the following steps when shopping for health insurance coverage to avoid getting ripped off: Research the company with BBB. Always check out the insurer’s BBB Reliability Report online at bbb.org. Reliability reports are available for free and will tell you how many complaints the business has received, whether there has been any government actions brought against the business, as well as BBB’s overall rating. Confirm the company is licensed with the state insurance commissioner. Each state has a department devoted to regulating insurance companies. Make sure the insurer is licensed to operate in your state. Read the fine print carefully. Make sure all verbal commitments are in the fine print. Don’t just take the company’s word for it. Also confirm with your pharmacist and doctor that they accept the plan you’re considering. Recognize the difference between insurance and discount medical cards. Some consumers purchased what they thought was health insurance but was actually a discount medical card which could only be used to get reduced rates at limited doctor’s offices and pharmacies. Make sure you’re purchasing insurance coverage and not just a discount medical card. The discount card is usually far less expensive then true insurance coverage and appeals to people needing insurance but have limited funds. Beware of copy cats. Some phony insurers will go by a name that is similar to a trusted company. Confirm that you’re really dealing with the right company that has a good reputation. For more advice on finding healthcare companies and services you can trust, visit http://www.bbb.org/us/consumertips-health/ Ad Reviews Advertising Review promotes truth in advertising to enhance consumer confidence in businesses that advertise. Following are cases that represent recent advertising review matters your BBB pursued. Challenges made by the BBB, using the BBB Code of Advertising, result from information given by consumers, competitors and through the BBB’s own monitoring efforts. The fact that a particular business responds to a BBB challenge is a compliment to their willingness to cooperate with the BBB’s self-regulatory process and not to be taken as an admission of impropriety on any advertiser’s part. Allmakes Office Furniture, Moline, IL Challenge: “QC’s Largest Selection of New & Used but Nice Office Furniture” Response: Company substantiated their claim Lindquist Ford, Inc., Bettendorf, IA Challenge: “Ford F-150 #1 Selling Vehicle on the Planet” Response: Company substantiated their claim Louie’s Floor Covering Inc, Des Moines, IA Challenge: “12 Months Financing.” Response: Company discontinued the advertisement Artis Home Gallerie, West Des Moines, IA Challenge: “Save Up To 40% OFF.” Response: Company agreed to modify future advertisements Aqua Oasis, Johnston, IA Challenge: “Financing Available.” Response: Company discontinued the advertisement Swimming Pool Supply Company, Grimes, IA Challenge: “Reduced up to 45% and Reduced up to 35%.” Response: Company discontinued the advertisement Beyer Roofing, Clear Lake, IA Challenge: “Financing Available.” Response: Company agreed to modify future advertisements Algona Marine, Algona, IA Challenge: “We will not be undersold. On the spot financing/Special Financing.” Response: Company failed to respond to the BBB See And Be Seen With the BBB Our networking event last month in Cedar Rapids was a great success. Thanks to all that attended and thanks to our BBB Corridor Advisory Council for their support. We had about 35 people in attendance and the feedback has been very positive. Keep your eye out for the BBB booth at the Farmers Market in Cedar Rapids and for further information about Shred It events in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines. The BBB has decided to participate again this year at the Iowa State Fair by having a booth in the Varied Industries Building. With nearly l million folks attending the Fair this is a great way to increase the visibility and accessibility of your BBB. Our dedicated staff is geared up to man the booth, answer questions and otherwise spread the good word about the BBB. Come by and see us while you are at the Fair August 12 through August 22 and we’ll give you a special BBB treat! New Members AMES Day Star Window Cleaning Window Cleaning BERESFORD Bank 360 Savings & Loan Associations Schuerman Construction Contractors - General Select Evergreen Construction Roofing Contractors CARLISLE Kitchen Solvers of Des Moines Cabinets CEDAR RAPIDS Affordable Plumbing Service Plumbing Contractors Ken's Shoe Shalet Shoe Repair Luth Roofing & Construction Roofing Contractors REAM AUTO BODY Auto Body Repair & Painting CEDAR FALLS Allstar Exteriors Roofing Contractors E360 Building Company Contractors - General Patriot Service Network Roofing Contractors CLIVE Genesis Roofing Roofing Contractors Sue Clark Real Estate Services Property Management Toay Commodity Futures Group Commodity Brokers BETTENDORF Electric Doctor Contractors - Electrical COLUMBUS JUNCTION Buffington Seamless Gutters Gutters & Downspouts DUNKERTON Everlast Car & Truck Auto Body Repair & Painting CORALVILLE Corridor Business Journal Newspapers EAST MOLINE Harold's Roofing Roofing Contractors CRAWFORDSVILLE Wyman Grain Co Feed Dealers ELK POINT Midwest Mobile Glass Glass - Repair CRESCO Cresco Shopper Advertising - Shoppers Guides FREDERICKSBURG Union Avenue Auto Body & Repair Auto Body Repair & Painting DALLAS CENTER Cover's Construction Contractors - General The Bakers Pantry Bakers Supplies GRIMES Service Team of Professionals Corporation Fire & Water Damage Restoration DAVENPORT Above the Barre Dance Academy Dancing Instruction Atwell Heating & Air Conditioning Heating & Air Conditioning Crossroads Orthotics & Consulting Shoes - Orthopedic Fuessel Masonry Mason Contractors Giese Masonry Mason Contractors Maxwell Transmission Transmissions - Automobile Shelty Janitorial Service Janitor Service Stone River Builders Contractors - General DES MOINES Canney Computer Consulting Computer Consultant Compass Expediting Delivery Service Innovative Kinetics Energy Management & Conservation Consultant Mike's Seamless Gutter Gutters & Downspouts Rain Barrels Iowa Rainwater Harvesting Systems Ridnour Construction Construction & Remodeling Services Scott's Automotive Services Auto Repair & Service The Beehive Salon Beauty Salons DUBUQUE Tech @ Your Door Computers - Service & Repair GUTTENBERG Murray's Country Garden Nurseries - Plants, Trees HAMPTON Advantage Auto Body Auto Body Repair & Painting HARTFORD Heartland Inspection Group Building Inspection JOHNSTON J Thompson Builders Contractors - General W & D Remodelers Construction & Remodeling Services LAKE MILLS Central Auto Body Auto Body Repair & Painting Wagner Tire Tire Dealers LENOX Ryan Electric Contractors - Electrical PATON Bauer Built Mfg Steel Fabricators URBANDALE Inbound Iowa Travel Agencies & Bureaus Vector Marketing Cutlery WATERLOO Construction Masters Home Improvement Roofing Contractors Gold's Gym of Waterloo Martial Arts WEST DES MOINES Destiny Homes Home Builders Kidder Advisers Financial Services Lucky Lucy's Travel Event Planners R2R Recycling Recycling Services Wolf Construction Contractors - Framing Happy Anniversary The following businesses reaffirmed their dedication and pride in their communities and dedication to fair, honest and good business practices by recently renewing as an Accredited Business of the BBB. The BBB appreciates their generous and vital support. 50+ Years IMT Group Manpower 25 - 49 Years Carpetland USA ITAGroup Midwest Builders Inc of Iowa Overhead Door Co of Cedar Rapids & Iowa City Reynolds & Reynolds Storey-Kenworthy 10 – 24 Years A M Design/Drafting Baker Communications Cummins Central Power Drew Law Firm Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce FiberComm Heritage Landscape Design Holt Plumbing & Heating International Paper Recycling Jim Geise Commercial Roofing Julia’s Farm Kennels Kelly Heating & A/C Kennedy Marine Martens & Company CPA LLP Mason City Glass Service McCartney Improvement Midwest Construction & Supply Midwest Seamless Vinyl Siding Minutemen Press of Davenport Oaks Construction Peterson Roofing & Home Improvement Pro-Line Building Q Home Services Rubber Roofing Systems Screenscape Studios Security Locksmiths Springer Professional Home Services Taylor Garages Thiel Motor Sales Waddle Exteriors White Roofing Westside Auto Pros 5 – 9 Years Adel Tire & Service Benway Concrete Blue Water Luxury Pools & Design Brad Van Weelden Centurion Stone of Iowa Chariot Construction Color Works Sportswear & Screenprinting Construction Professionals D’s Auto & Truck Dan Wiese Marketing Research Day’s Door Company Dr Chris S Beckwith PC Executive Cleaners Flynn & Boyle’s Furniture City Furman Corporation Gene Engler Construction Goodwin House Moving Greener Alternatives Lawn Care Home Products N More J T M Concepts Kermco-DeHaai Kymbyl Komplete Kare Leaf Guard of Central Iowa Master Tool and Manufacturing Merit Research Services Miller Pest & Termite Moser Family Pharmacy Oakwood Builders Group Pacha Crane Services Pinnacle Engineering Professional Medical Management Randy Wessling Construction Retirement Benefit Administrators Riverside Collision Repair Russell Consulting Group Scotty’s Body Shop Stacey’s Tri-State Heating and Electric V S R Financial Services of Pella Van’t Hof Concrete Village Veterinary Hospital Walton Builders Watts Vault & Monument Wiese Construction Wild Horse Trading Windows by Pella Windows USA Woody’s Auto Repair Service (5 – 9 Years Continued) World of Bikes Ymker Insulation Zone 5 Designs 1 – 4 Years A Q Allstate Pest Control Accurate Painting Actually Clean Floor & Furniture Advanced Restoration Services All Paws Pet Salon aMOLDdetective Animal Rescue League of Iowa Apex Construction Automated Lifestyles B & B Vent & Hood Cleaning Beenken Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning Ben Ulin Productions Betenbender Manufacturing Bill’s Repair Bosch Pest Control C L A Estate Services CarHop CenterPoint Electric ChiroFitness Xtreme Circle C Gifts N More CO Engineering Completely Kitchens Conference Calls Unlimited Contractors Group Countryside Travel Deano’s Body Shop Dent Eliminators Des Moines Comfort Diversified Logistics Eastern Iowa Building Etech Extreme Auto Glass Family Dentistry on The Avenue Gaedke Plumbing GRA RE Builders Gregerson Electric Hall Backhoe & Trenching Harney Industries High Quality Home Maintenance Hoksbergen & DeStigter Construction HostIowa.net Huber Grading & Land Development ICON Training Materials of Iowa Illinois Casualty Company, A Mutual Insurance Company J & B Remodeling Jack De Leon Construction John’s Auto Repair JVA Mobility KannDo Professional Services KD Seamless Aluminum Gutters Ladehoff Lawncare & Landscaping Lazer Electric Larry Fleck & Son Trucking Limited Edition Homes M & M Remodeling MVP Fence Maring Chiropractic Miracle Method of the Quad Cities Model Painting Moore Plumbing & HVAC N L Parkison Trucking Nelson’s Carpet Novak Electric Okoboji Builders Olney Electric Pat West Gutter Pelds Engineering Premier Financial Services Presentations Q3 Innovations Quad City Seal Coat & Asphalt Repair R C Willett Raynor Door Company of Cedar Rapids Richardson Plumbing Sammy’s Carpet Care Sankot’s Garage Scrubs Cleaning Services Security Settlement Services Sir Build-A-Lot Small Wonders Photography Snyder Construction Solutions Sorensen’s Water Conditioning/Foster Soft Water Sullivan Auto Body Super Low Price Autoglass Superior Carpet & Upholstery Care The Shores at Pleasant Hill Thomas J Reicks Thompson Construction & Sons Thompson Monuments Todd’s Repair Timberview Bed & Breakfast Tri-Tech Construction US Grain Storage Systems Von Hagel Lawn Care Wigman Company Wilbur Ford Sales William Easton Design Windows Doors & More Wrenched Automotive Advertising Your Accreditation If you want to advertise your BBB Accreditation in the phone directory or other print advertising the BBB will be happy to assist you with providing the appropriate Accreditation seal and further information about the proper use of advertising your BBB Accredited Business status. Please remember that there are specific guidelines for advertising your Accreditation both offline and online and we would be happy to help you advertise the right way. Please contact Laura with the BBB serving Greater Iowa, Quad Cities and Siouxland Region at 1-800222-1600 extension 303 for personal assistance with your advertising needs.