Does Advertising Spin Spill Over to Employee Communications?

By Frank Kenna

It depends on who you ask.  As this image shows, Kellogg’s claimed that their cereal could improve kids’ attentiveness by nearly 20%.  They also claimed that Rice Krispies can “help support your child’s immunity.”  That is, until the Federal Trade Commission told them that they were over-stepping.  As a result, the company has agreed to new restrictions regarding such claims.  A FTC spokesman said, “We expect more from a great American company than making dubious claims.”

Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not particularly down on Kellogg’s.  In fact, I’m a loyal customer – I’ve had a bowl of Kellogg’s Raisin Bran most mornings for the past 15 years.  But to me, their claims are over-reaching, even if technically true.  There’s just too much spin here.  And it makes me wonder what else they may be spinning about.  It seems like they’re over-promising and under-delivering, as opposed to promises by companies such as Apple, who does just the opposite.

If I’m thinking about Kellogg’s spin on messages, I wonder if their employees are too?  Do they discount the company’s workplace communications, figuring that if they exaggerate in their advertising, they’ll do likewise internally?

(Image: FTC Website)

Sharon Toelle
June 9, 2010

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