BBB National Programs Archive

CARU Recommends Crayola Modify Advertising for ‘Melt N’ Mold’ Factory to Depict Adult Supervision

New York, NY – May 13,  2015 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit has recommended that Crayola, in future advertising for its “Melt N’ Mold Factory,” visually depicts prominent adult supervision in addition to the audio disclosure stating “adult supervision required” and make clear which products come with an initial purchase.

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 Crayola’s Melt N’ Mold Factory came to the attention of CARU through its routine monitoring of advertising directed to children.

The Melt N’ Mold Factory is a machine that melts old crayons and molds them into new crayons or rings to wear and color with. The temperature of the melting plate is adjusted by turning a dial.

The 30-second commercial showed  several children melting broken crayons on the Melt N’ Mold hotplate, but did not depict any adult supervision.

CARU’s guidelines are clear that when an activity would be unsafe without adult supervision, such supervision should be depicted. In this case, in addition to the inherent risk of electric shock, there is also the risk of burning from the heating element.

While CARU noted that the commercial featured a written disclosure on the screen stated “supervision required,” this disclosure by itself did not adequately convey that adult supervision was necessary.

CARU considered the advertiser’s argument that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends some level of adult supervision, but “just how much supervision is necessary is … a matter of judgment.”  However, CARU noted, the CPSC also recommends that parents supervise the use of any electrical toy product.

CARU recommended that future advertising directed to children for the Melt N’ Mold Factory visually depict prominent and meaningful adult supervision in addition to the audio disclosure stating “adult supervision required.”

CARU further concluded that the commercial did not adequately convey that the additional car mold set featured in the commercial was sold separately.  CARU recommended that the advertiser include an audio voiceover to clarify that this was an additional purchase requirement.

Crayola, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company “appreciates the opportunity to participate in the in CARU process. The advertisement at issue has completed its scheduled run, but Crayola will take CARU’s concerns into account in future advertising.”