When I was 10 years old, I just ate my cereal and moved on with my life. But not Hannah-Marie Clayton, a 10-year-old from England, who paid a heck of a lot more attention to the cereal box than I ever did (unless we’re counting those fun jig-saw puzzle games that used to be on them, but I digress).
Hannah-Marie was eating a bowl of Kellogg’s Coco Pops one morning and happened to notice their slogan, which was “Loved by kids, approved by mums.” Doesn’t sound too offensive, right?
Well, maybe if you’re a kid who has their mom prepare your breakfast every morning. But what if your dad is the one grabbing the cereal and milk for you? That was just the case for Hannah-Marie. Her father, James, is usually the one making her breakfast, so she found the slogan a little sexist. She also thought it could cause kids without a mom to be a little upset.
Hannah-Marie decided to write to the cereal brand herself to share her thoughts. “I would recommend instead of putting ‘mums’, put parents or carers. It would just mean a small change. In this world today we shouldn’t just rely on women,” she wrote in her letter, explaining that her dad likes to prepare her breakfast, and she’d appreciate them changing the slogan to reflect that.
“My mum was away so I was just with my dad when I saw it on the cereal box,” Hannah-Marie said. “It made me think that dads should be included as well because they are important too.”
Hannah-Marie wasn’t really expecting to hear back from Kellogg’s, but low and behold, they actually took the time to write her back—and change their slogan!
“You recently shared your thoughts around the statement of ‘approved by mums’ on our improved recipe Coco Pops,” the letter from Kellogg’s read. “I wanted to let you know that we’ve recently renewed our research and our new pack design will refer to approval from both mums and dads. Apologies for any offence caused and thank you for your feedback, which has played a part in our decision to change.”
Kellogg’s has since altered the wording of the Coco Pops slogan to now read “Loved by kids, approved by parents.”
Honestly, we think that makes a lot more sense, and are pretty excited about the fact that a 10-year-old spoke up about it. Her parents are pretty proud of her too, as they should be.
“I hope it shows her that you can make a difference no matter how big or small if you voice an opinion, even to a large corporation like Kellogg’s,” Hannah-Marie’s mother said. “I think it’s important to teach our children that.”
Hannah-Marie was pretty excited herself. “When we got home from holiday and found a reply, Hannah-Marie was absolutely delighted. She’s not an openly emotional child but she had a very big smile on her face,” her mother said.
What do you think of the new Coco Pops slogan? Do you think the old one was a bit sexist and easily upsetting if you didn’t have a mother? Have you ever written to a big brand and made a change? We hope Hannah-Marie’s story inspires you to do so!