BBB National Programs Archive

CARU Recommends J&J Discontinue Certain Advertising During Children’s Programming

New York, NY –Nov. 17, 2008 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc., has recommended Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies discontinue advertising for Clean & Clear Day Soft Oil-Free Moisturizer during children’s television programming hours.


Advertising for the product appeared during the program “H2O: Just Add Water” (H2O) at 7:30-8 pm on Nickelodeon. The commercial featured two teenage girls alternately applying the product and riding around in a convertible.  The voiceover stated, “Get your best skin, soft, healthy, protected.” The product carries the label “keep out of reach of children.”  


In its initial inquiry, CARU questioned the appropriateness of advertising a product directly to children that is labeled “keep out of the reach of children.”


The advertiser noted that the product carries a label, mandated by the Food and Drug Administration, because it contains SPF 15 UVA/UVB protection.  Further, the advertiser contended that the commercial aired during programming hours aimed at older children and young adults.


The advertiser provided demographic information that indicated that 55.8 percent of the viewers for the programming in question are children aged 2-11, one of several factors that CARU weighed in making its determination. CARU noted, as well,  that while the advertiser did not intend to direct the challenged commercial to children under 12, CARU nevertheless had jurisdiction to review the advertising.


CARU noted that its guidelines “explicitly and unambiguously provide that advertisers should not advertise products directly to children that are labeled, “keep out of the reach of children” and recommended the advertiser discontinue such advertising.


The company, in its advertiser’s statement, took issue with CARU’s decision regarding both the placement of the advertisement and CARU’s position on advertising products labeled “keep out of the reach of children.”


The company noted, however, that the ad in question is no longer running and the company has not plans to advertise the product during the hours in question in the future.