BBB National Programs Archive


New York, NY – March 26, 2012  – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended that Jay at Play modify broadcast advertising for Little Miss Muffin products to assure child viewers better understand what toys are included in each purchase. The company has agreed to do so.


The advertising at issue came to the attention of CARU through its routine monitoring of advertising directed to children.


Little Miss Muffin is a small doll concealed inside a plush cupcake. The advertising at issue featured a child opening a cupcake to reveal the doll inside and a second product, a small stuffed animal that comes with a matching cookie cutter and recipe card.  A second child then joined the first and together they played with the toys, as a voiceover stated:  “Look, it’s Little Miss Muffin, so cute so mini, and a surprise pet with matching cookie cutter.”


The final shot showed an assortment of stuffed animals with cookie cutters,  one doll, and cupcake with a doll concealed inside. CARU questioned whether the advertisement clearly depicted what was included with the purchase of the product.


In response to CARU’s inquiry, the advertiser stated that the pet with the matching cookie cutter was sold separately from the doll, and that only one item – either a pet and cookie cutter or a doll and cupcake, came with each purchase.  The advertiser agreed to modify the commercial to add a disclosure stating, “each sold separately” in future advertising.




CARU’s inquiry was conducted under NAD/CARU/NARB Procedures for the Voluntary Self-Regulation of National Advertising.  Details of the initial inquiry, CARU’s decision, and the advertiser’s response will be included in the next NAD/CARU Case Report.


About Advertising Industry Self-Regulation: The National Advertising Review Council (NARC) was formed in 1971. NARC establishes the policies and procedures for the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the CBBB’s Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) and the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP).


The NARC Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the American Advertising Federation, Inc. (AAF), American Association of Advertising Agencies, Inc., (AAAA), the Association of National Advertisers, Inc. (ANA), Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. (CBBB), Direct Marketing Association (DMA), Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).  Its purpose is to foster truth and accuracy in national advertising through voluntary self-regulation.


NAD, CARU and ERSP are the investigative arms of the advertising industry’s voluntary self-regulation program. Their casework results from competitive challenges from other advertisers, and also from self-monitoring traditional and new media. NARB, the appeals body, is a peer group from which ad-hoc panels are selected to adjudicate NAD/CARU cases that are not resolved at the NAD/CARU level. This unique, self-regulatory system is funded entirely by the business community; CARU is financed by the children’s advertising industry, while NAD/NARC/NARB’s primary source of funding is derived from membership fees paid to the CBBB. ERSP’s funding is derived from membership in the Electronic Retailing Association. For more information about advertising industry self-regulation, please visit