BBB National Programs Archive

CARU Finds Telebrands’ ‘Phantom Saucer’ Ad Accurately Depicts Toy’s Capabilities, Recommends Additional Disclosure

New York, NY – Aug. 20,  2014 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit has determined that advertising for Telebrands’ Phantom Saucer accurately depicts the toy’s capabilities. CARU has also recommended that the advertiser add an audio disclosure to broadcast advertising for the toy, to better assure that children understand there’s an additional fee for shipping and handling.

CARU is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. CARU monitors advertising to children in all media. CARU also examines websites and apps for compliance with CARU’s Self-Regulatory Program for Children’s Advertising – which includes guidelines on online privacy protection – as well as with the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

The Phantom Saucer came to the attention of CARU through CARU’s routine monitoring of advertising directed to children. The Phantom Saucer is advertised as an “illusion” or magic trick. The shiny cardboard flying saucer comes with nearly invisible strings that attach to the saucer and to the user, creating the illusion that the saucer flies on its own.

Following its examination of the toy, CARU determined that toy did perform the tricks and aerial movements depicted in the commercial.  CARU further determined that the full cost of the toy, which includes a shipping and handling fee, was not clearly disclosed.  CARU recommended the company add an audio disclosure to its broadcast ad.

Telebrands, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company “is pleased that CARU is satisfied that the Phantom Saucer can perform the tricks and aerial movements portrayed in the television commercial that was the subject of the CARU inquiry.”

“Although Telebrands believes that the terms of the offer are sufficiently clear so as to be understood by those to whom the offer was directed, Telebrands will in the future accompany its offers on commercials for children’s products with an audio disclaimer, as CARU suggested. Indeed, this audio disclosure has already been implemented on the commercial for the Phantom Saucer,” the company added.