BBB National Programs Archive
CARU Recommends Bravo Sports Depict Safety Gear, Supervision in Future Scooter Ads Directed to Children Under 12
New York, NY – April 28, 2015 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit has recommended that Bravo Sports discontinue advertising certain Pulse Electric Scooters, recommended for children ages 13 and older, to children under 12. CARU further recommended the advertiser depict appropriate adult supervision and safety gear in its advertising. The company has agreed to do so.
CARU is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
A television advertisement for Pulse Electric Scooters came to the attention of CARU through its routine monitoring of advertising directed to children.
The 15-second commercial featured several products, including the Sonic and Super 8 electric scooters which can reach speeds of up to 13 mph and are recommended for ages 13 and older.
In this case, the commercial aired during children’s programming, specifically during the program, “My Little Pony,” which is geared toward a younger audience.
While the commercial did not show young children riding scooters, CARU’s guidelines recognize that children are prone to exploration, imitation, and experimentation and may imitate product demonstrations or other activities depicted in advertisements without regard to risk.
CARU determined that one reasonable take-away message to children under 12 was that it was appropriate to ride electric scooters that are recommended for children aged 13 and older. CARU determined that advertising electric scooters that are intended for use by teenagers directly to children did not comply with its Core Principles or its Guidelines on safety.
CARU further determined that the commercial did not adequately depict adult supervision or the appropriate safety gear.
CARU considered the advertiser’s assertion that, “for an older group of children, adult supervision involves a parent insisting on a helmet and other appropriate safety gear,” but noted that the commercial does not depict such a scenario.
CARU recommended that in future child-directed advertising, the advertiser depict adult supervision and adequate safety gear and avoid promoting products that are inappropriate for their age.
Bravo Sports, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company “accepts the recommendations of CARU. The advertisement reviewed by CARU is no longer being aired, and Bravo Sports has removed it from its website. Bravo Sports will strive to comply with CARU Guidelines in advertisements of children’s products in the future. Bravo Sports appreciates this opportunity to cooperate with CARU.”