BBB National Programs Archive

CARU Recommends Mattel Implement Age-Screening at its ‘Barbiethedreamcloset’ Website; Company Does So

New York, NY – July 25,  2012 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit has recommended that Mattel implement an age-screening mechanism at the website Barbiethedreamcloset.com, to prevent child visitors from accessing a widget that would take them to a social media site intended for adults. The company has done so.
CARU is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. CARU monitors websites for compliance with CARU’s Self-Regulatory Program for Children’s Advertising, including guidelines on Online Privacy Protection, as well as with the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
CARU, through its routine monitoring, determined that child visitors to Barbiethedreamcloset.com – a site intended for adult doll collectors – also could access the social-media site Polyvore.com via a Barbie Polyvore widget.
At Polyvore.com, registrants can freely communicate with each other and disclose  personally identifiable information, create fashion collages and view and follow the fashion interests of others. The site does not age-screen its registrants.
CARU was concerned that Barbiethedreamcloset.com linked to and allowed children to register for Polyvore.com, a website that does not comply with CARU’s Guidelines.
Mattel, upon receiving CARU’s inquiry, said Barbiethedreamcloset.com would be updated to include a neutral age screening mechanism to prevent children under 13 from accessing the Polyvore widget.