MCLEAN, Va., March 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), a division of BBB National Programs, has determined that Jazwares LLC’s advertising and product packaging for Micro Machines Corvette and World of Micro Machines Playsets may induce misleading children about what is included in the purchase of the products, what must be purchased separately and the ease of assembly of the products. CARU also determined that Jazwares Micro Machines Corvette video advertisement unrealistically portrayed the playset’s performance. CARU recommended that the advertiser modify the advertisements and product packaging to clearly portray what the playset products include, to make clear and conspicuous disclosures where necessary, and in the case of Corvette advertisements, to accurately describe the cars performance.
Jazwares product advertisements and packaging came to CARU’s attention through its routine monitoring of children’s advertising in the marketplace. Both products were advertised as suitable for ages 4 and up, and the video ads appeared during children’s programming. Identical advertisements are also shown on YouTube.
CARU evaluated television and online advertisements and original product packaging provided by Jazwares. In this review, CARU determined:
- The stark impression created by the Corvette Playset and World of Micro Machines advertisements is likely to mislead children about what is included with the purchase of each playset and what must be purchased separately, and audio disclosures and video ads (even if made plain and obvious, which they weren’t) could not remedy the misleading Internet impressions of the ads.
- The advertisements do not clearly and prominently disclose that each playset comes with only one vehicle.
- The Corvette Playset advertisement created the deceptively clear impression that the playset can perform in ways it cannot.
- The Corvette Playset ad did not adequately disclose that the playset requires adult assembly.
Based on these findings, CARU recommended that advertisements be changed to clearly show what comes with the purchase of each playset and what should be purchased separately, and refrain from depicting excessive product in any advertisement in order to not to mislead children about what is announced. . In addition, CARU recommended that advertisements include clear and prominent video and audio information indicating that only one vehicle is included with an initial purchase of each playset, and that multiple vehicles and/or playsets described in ads must be purchased separately. CARU further recommended that the Corvette Playset advertisement be edited to accurately portray the actual performance of the Corvette Playset and the car in a way that children can clearly and visibly duplicate and disclose, both in audio and video, that an adult must assemble the toy to be used as instructed.
Finally, CARU recommended that the product packaging for the playsets be changed to represent clearly, visually, and through clear, visible disclosures in language that children will understand, that each set includes only one car.
Jazwares agreed to comply with CARU’s recommendations and immediately discontinued the challenged television advertisements. On social media, Jazwares will remove ads or revise them to address CARU’s concerns. Jazwares also said it will update any future product packaging to comply with CARU’s recommendations.
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About National BBB Programs: National BBB programs are where businesses turn to build consumer confidence and consumers are heard. The nonprofit organization creates a fairer level playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party liability and dispute resolution programs. Assuming its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs now oversees more than a dozen national industry self-regulatory programs and continues to evolve its work and increase its impact by providing business advice and promoting best practices in areas such as advertising, marketing to children and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the Children’s Advertising Review Unit: The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), a National Programs Division of the BBB and the nation’s first Safe Harbor program under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) , helps businesses comply with laws and guidelines that protect children from misleading or inappropriate advertising and ensure that, in an online environment, children’s data is collected and handled responsibly. Where advertising or data collection practices are misleading, inappropriate or inconsistent with laws and guidelines, CARU seeks to make a difference through voluntary business cooperation and, where appropriate, enforcement action.
SOURCE BBB National Programs