family · letter · Parenting

Dear General Mills

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I have never written a letter to a company. However, that changes when a company that has a daily impact on their lives from the breakfast table to after dinner snacks promotes negative behaviors. So, today, I have written a letter to General Mills/Yoplait. My prayer is that it falls on the right desk, and the recipient will consider the potential, negative impact this commercial could have.

Yoplait Commercial

The Commercial

Dear General Mills,

First, I thank you for your commitment to, and production of, many wonderful products, particularly Yoplait! Our family of 6 eats yogurt on a daily basis and Yoplait is our only brand of choice. No other has compared to the quality and price of your product.

Your new Yoplait commercial with the teen girl who says “two can play this game”, however, is very disappointing! She makes the comment with regards to her mom giving her yogurt in place of one of her snacks. In order to turn the cards on her mom, she changes one ‘bad boy’ boyfriend for another, encouraging her mom to decide that the first was not so ‘bad’.

You are teaching our children that it’s okay to be deceitful and disrespectful. You are teaching our children that what we say, as their parents, is really not important.

We, as parents around the world, are working diligently to teach our children morals and values. We spend countless hours protecting them from the negative impact the world can have on them. Now, a company that is a part of our daily life, from cereal to yogurt, has produced this commercial. One that undermines our work towards raising Godly, upstanding, productive citizens.

I urge you to consider the impact that this commercial could have on the impressionable children who watch your commercials. They are, for ours and many other families, the largest consumers of your product. They are the future of your company and our world.

Lena Herrington
Mommy to 4 children

14 thoughts on “Dear General Mills

  1. We don’t have tv service so I see very few commercials these days (except the same ones over and over and over . . . on Hulu). When I do see commercials, they almost all make me mad (and glad we decided to cut our cable all those years ago)! Good for you writing this letter, Lena!

    1. Heidi, we don’t have cable either. We do have an antenna, though and watch some regular tv channels. This commercial seems to come on a LOT on NBC (the one channel we get really well all the time). My mom was telling me about a commercial they see on cable, just another reminder why I won’t pay for cable again.

  2. I have never seen this commercial, but I was totally disgusted with it! What on earth does being devious and disrespectful have to do with yogurt??? Thanks for writing this letter!!!

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  3. In regards to the new commercial of the teen girl .. Teenagers take advantage of their parents and con them almost every day..this commercial isn’t any different than what is occurring in anyone’s home, unless they have the kid locked in their room. The difference with this commercial and true life is that we see in the commercial the ‘Reason’ for what she did.. IF the public did not see the end result there would not be a negative word said about the commercial. The people complaining are blind to what is going on in real life with teenagers, and I would be willing to bet they are looking at their own sins, and they cannot see what is going on in their own families, and might be shocked if they did.

    Kids will be kids.. in the ‘real life’ aspect of this.. kids lie, they commit fraud in their families by lying and telling their parents anything that think that the parents want to hear. These people who complain about the commercial should get off their pedestal and don’t add their own problems and guilt of what they may have done to their own parents into the mix.

    1. Your “kids will be kids” attitude is sickening, honestly. This is NOT kid behavior, it is BAD behavior, and despite what apparently you have been indoctrinated to believe, it does NOT have to be the norm.

      Am I saying that kids are perfect and do nothing wrong? No. On the contrary, they do plenty wrong, as have I in my life. The key is instead of indulging in the idea that it isn’t wrong if a lot of people are doing it (i.e. If your friends jumped off a bridge…) but to continue to display good and proper behaviors to aspire to and *gasp* even possibly achieve!

      The manner in which this commercial displayed this disgusting form of manipulation and promoted it as the same as a parent educating their child on more healthy snacks only fuels the idea that something is perfectly ok no matter how wrong as long as many people are doing it. This mindset is not acceptable if I were to tell you a 1,000,000 member group decided to all commit murder therefore murder is no longer bad, so WHY would you possibly accept that it is acceptable for teenage lying and manipulation?!

  4. @Charlie’sMa,
    You are correct in stating that teens are deceitful. They do everything possible to get junk past their parents radar. As a parent who has raised one teen, and currently raising two more teens; I am all over the junk they do. In saying this; I do not like this commercial either. I too believe it has nothing to do with selling yogurt. Maybe, just maybe; you are on the pedestal.
    Thank You Lena for have the courage to speak out for your family!!

  5. Hi Lena,

    I could not agree with you more. I think the commercials do tell a lot about a company and where their loyalty lies. So many parents have stopped allowing their children to watch certain “kid” shows because they also have this type of behavior proudly displayed as “normal” and “acceptable”. It is not acceptable behavior and it should not be glorified as such.

    I look forward to reading their response to your concerns.


    Mommy’s Playbook

  6. I am so glad to see that I am not the only one who was disturbed by this commercial. I am offended by the dumbing down of, or complete absence of parents that seems to be the prevailing theme of the media these days. Of course I am not blind to the fact that our kids will try and manipulate us to get what they want, and I remember doing it myself as a teen, such is the sin nature after all. The part of it that I have a problem with is the fact that it seems to be celebrated now in this age of IM, social media, and entertainment, etc. The only good thing I can say about it, is this, it has opened up much dialog in our home about recognizing marketing ploys and the state of things in the world. Thanks for your post.

  7. I completely agree with you, and I hope General Mills replies to your letter. That commercial hit a sour note for me from the first time I saw it. What’s the point of it anyway? The teenaged girl isn’t being manipulated or fooled into eating a (debatably) healthier snack. She says she likes it. Yet she feels the need to repay her mother by being manipulative so she can date the less “edgy” guy. And following this logic, the teen is using the second boy since she only went out with him to make a point with her mother. So — she’s deceitful and a user. Nice messages, Yoplait. I won’t be buying this brand until they stop showing such trash.

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