BBB National Programs Archive

CARU Recommends Kraft Modify Sweepstakes Advertising to Better Disclose Prizes, Odds of Winning

New York, NY – Jan. 11, 2013 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit recommended Kraft Foods Global Inc., modify sweepstakes advertising to better clarify for a child audience the chances of winning and the available prizes.

CARU is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

The broadcast and website advertising at issue came to the attention of CARU through CARU’s routine monitoring of advertising directed to children.

Television advertising referred children to the website, which was hosting the “Never Be Bored Again Sweepstakes.”

Visitors to the website were greeted with a screen that featured the following text: “You could win one of over 1,000,000 prizes. Enter Now.”

The screen also featured depictions of games and sports equipment, as well a hyperlink that invited visitors to “Learn More.” Visitors were then taken to a page that featured the following text: “You could win an ultimate tree house, ultimate game room, ultimate sport court or one of over 1,000,000 other prizes. Enter Now.”

Next to the description of the grand prizes was a separate link to “Prize Details.” The text at that page described the remaining prizes: “25,000 First Prizes: Your choice of a Hasbro Toy: Nerf-N-Strike, KRE-O Transformer Ratchet, Littlest Pet Shop Scooter, Sorry! Game, Bop-It Bounce Game or Family Game Night for XBOX 360.

1,000,000 Second Prizes: Your choice of a video download: My Little Pony: Friendship Magic, Transformers: Prime or Kaijudo.”

Upon its initial review, CARU questioned whether the prizes were clearly depicted and whether the odds of winning were clearly disclosed.

Following its review, CARU determined that the prize depiction was not clear and understandable to a child audience and recommended that the advertiser move the prize descriptions upfront where children will definitely see them. CARU also determined that the Sweepstakes did not clearly disclose the chances of winning. CARU recommended that the advertiser employ a disclosure like “Many will enter, three will win a grand prize,” to better clarify the likelihood of winning.

Kraft, in its advertiser’s statement, said that while the company believes the website was in compliance with CARU’s guidelines, it would take “the concerns expressed by CARU under advisement and implement as appropriate for future online sweepstakes.”