BBB National Programs Archive

CARU Recommends Big Time Toys Modify “Dippin Dots” Ads To Better Disclose Items Included With Initial Purchase; Company Agrees Does So

New York – Jan. 28, 2011 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended that Big Time Toys modify broadcast advertising for the “Dippin Dots Frozen Dot Maker,” to better disclose the items included with the initial purchase. The company has done so. 

The broadcast advertising at issue came to the attention of CARU, the children’s advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, through CARU’s routine monitoring of advertising directed to children. 

The commercial opened with several children dancing around the Dot Maker machine as the following jingle plays: “Dippin’ Dots they’re a taste sensation.  Lots of fun, lots of taste sensations.” 

The commercial featured two children using the Dot Maker machine as the announcer stated, “Pick a flavor you really like a lot then create your own frozen dots.  Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, banana split, cookies’n’cream, cotton candy … .” 

As the announcer listed flavors, three packages of Dippin’ Dots Flavor Packs danced over a child’s head. The commercial closed with a shot of the Dot Maker, two templates, four bowls, two pens, and three trays. 

Underneath the shot, a very small white super stated, “Flavor Packs Sold Separately.” 

After reviewing the product and advertising, CARU was concerned that children might believe that the Flavor Packs were included in the purchase of the Dot Maker. 

In response to CARU’s inquiry, the advertiser said it would modify the advertising to address CARU’s concerns. The company did so by adding a clear and understandable audio disclosure stating, “Flavor packs sold separately.” 

CARU noted in its decision that the advertiser acted expeditiously to address concerns. Big Time Toys, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company “agrees with the principles that CARU operates on. Their feedback ultimately made our commercial better.”