BBB National Programs Archive

CARU Finds Computer-Generated Imagery In Jakks ‘Fly Wheels’ Advertising Does Not Mislead Consumers

New York, NY – August 10,  2009 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CARU) has determined that computer-general imagery (CGI) in television advertising for Jakks Pacific “FlyWheels 2.0,” does not mislead child viewers. CARU has recommended, however, that the advertiser modify the commercial to better depict adult supervision.

The advertising at issue came to the attention of CARU, the children’s advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, though its routine monitoring practices. 

The 30-second commercial opens with a shot of the product, which is composed of a base handle, a launch cord and a wheel.  A child holds the handle and pulls the launch cord, sending the wheel flying through the air. The commercial features sequences of children in different environments playing with the products; in a street, in a field, and on a racetrack, using a stunt ramp to make the toy jump over a car, a truck and an airplane. As the wheels fly over each vehicle, a blue computer generated image marks the trail each toy travels. A small, white video super flashes on the screen each time the graphic is shown, which states “Simulated Trail Graphic.”

What appears to be an adult is shown briefly standing behind the children in three shots and there is a quick audio disclosure at the end of the commercial, which states “Adult supervision required.”

Upon its initial inquiry, CARU questioned whether children could be misled as to the toy’s performance capabilities because the advertisement features CGI and whether the advertisement adequately depicted adult supervision.

Following its review, CARU determined that the CGI featured in the commercial served as a visual aid to focus viewers’ attention on the toy and would not mislead children as to the toy’s performance capabilities.

CARU further determined, however, that the advertisement did not adequately depict adult supervision. CARU noted in its decision that the toy is capable of flying at high speeds and, depending on where it is aimed, could easily hit a child and cause injury. CARU noted that the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission has determined that flying toys are the cause of the second highest number of injuries to young children. 

JAKKS Pacific, in its advertiser’s statement, said it was “glad that CARU agrees that JAKKS did not in any way mislead children with our use of computer-generated imagery in our FlyWheels 2.0 commercial.”

The company said that it disagreed with CARU’s findings regarding the depiction of adult supervision, but will “continue to develop and refine our rigorous commercial development review process in conformance with (CARU’s) Principles and Guidelines … .”