Nobody goes cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. Nobody has ever caught a leprechaun with a bowl of Lucky Charms. And nobody has ever bagged Olympic gold by simply eating Wheaties.
Alpha-Bits do not teach kids how to spell. So why would anyone believe that eating Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats would somehow improve the very limited attention spans of their sugar-addled children?
"Eating a bowl of Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal for breakfast is clinically shown to improve attentiveness by nearly 20%," The Kellogg Co. once advertised.
The iconic cereal maker from Battle Creek, Mich., has agreed to set up a $4 million fund to reimburse consumers who purchased Frosted Mini-Wheats between Jan. 28, 2008 and Oct. 1, 2009, believing, perhaps, that this dubious claim is true.
The fund is the result of a settlement in a class-action lawsuit alleging false advertising. The company denies that its advertising was false, but said it agreed to the settlement out of expediency. It also settled similar claims with the Federal Trade Commission in 2010.
"Kellogg Co. has a long history of responsible advertising," said Kris Charles, a spokesperson for Kellogg in an emailed statement. "This class-action settlement pertains to an advertising campaign that ran approximately four years ago. We long ago adjusted our communication to incorporate FTC's guidance."
If you fill out a simple claim form at www.cerealsettlement.com you will eventually receive a whopping $5 for every box of Frosted Mini-Wheats that you purchased during the claim period, for up to three boxes. You don't even have to send in a box-top for your grand total of $15. The lawyers, meanwhile, will likely seek 25% or more of the total settlement amount for pursuing this claim.
Representing cereal buyers in this case is an attorney named Mr. Blood.