BBB National Programs Archive

CARU Recommends Build A Bear Workshop Modify Future Advertising to Clarify Pricing

New York, NY –Nov. 14, 2008 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc., has recommended Build-A-Bear Workshop (BABW)  modify or discontinue price advertising claims that may confuse child consumers.

Television advertising for BABW 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 in question depicted a child at a BABW store, selecting a stuffed monkey, clothing and accessories. The announcer states, “You can make a new furry friend starting at $10.00 and continue the adventure online for free at Buildabear.com.”

The commercial closes with a shot of a bear.  The bear initially appears without clothing or accessories but within seconds is wearing a shirt, shorts, aviator sunglasses and sneakers.  There is a large video super at the bottom of the island shot which states, “Animals starting at $10.00.” 

CARU concluded that a child could reasonably believe that any fully clothed and accessorized animal would cost $10, although the monkey depicted cost $18 and outfitting the animal similar to the one depicted would cost approximately $40. Accordingly, CARU recommended that the advertiser clarify any reference to price in future advertising to include mention of the purchase of additional clothing and accessories.

In response to CARU’s inquiry, the advertiser noted that the advertising in question was no longer running and that no additional air time for the commercial had been purchased.

The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said CARU’s concerns would be considered in future advertising. Further, the company said, it “reiterates its commitment to the goals of the CARU and will continue to develop its advertising in conformity with its understanding of CARU Guidelines.”