BBB National Programs Archive

CARU Finds Fischer Price “Power Wheels Ford F-150” Advertising Adequately Depicts Adult Supervision

New York, NY – April 1, 2009 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has determined that television advertising for the Power Wheels Ford F-150 Truck, marketed by Fisher Price, adequately depicts the need for adult supervision. 

The advertising at issue came to the attention of CARU through its routine monitoring practices.  

The commercial featured two children driving a Power Wheels Ford F-150 Truck. The commercial featured an adult male throwing a bag into the bed of his truck and then turning around to look at the children as they mimicked his actions and put a bag into the bed of their toy truck.  As the boys drove away in the vehicle, the passenger turned around and waved to the adult. The advertisement also included a voiceover and a written super stating that “parental supervision is required.”   

CARU’s guidelines on “Unsafe and Inappropriate Advertising to Children” state that advertisers should take into account that children are prone to exploration, imitation and experimentation and may imitate product demonstrations or other activities depicted in advertisements without regard to risk. Further, the guidelines note that when an activity would be unsafe without adult supervision, supervision should be depicted. 

Following its review of the advertising at issue, CARU determined that the advertising provided a meaningful depiction of adult supervision. The back-to-back scenes of supervision, with the adult observing the children’s actions and the child waving to the adult, demonstrated a sense of constant supervision and understanding of this supervision by the child.  This continuity served to strengthen the take-away message for viewers that adult supervision is required. 

Fisher-Price, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company “appreciates the opportunity to participate in the self-regulatory process.”