BBB National Programs Archive

CARU Recommends PlayMonster Better Disclose that its ‘Chrono Bomb’ Game Uses String to Simulate Laser Field

New York, NY – Nov. 7,  2016  – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) has recommended that PlayMonster, LLC, the make of the “Chrono Bomb” game, add an audio disclosure to broadcast advertising to assure child viewers better understand that the game uses colored string to simulate a laser field. The advertiser has agreed to do so.

CARU, an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation, monitors advertising directed to children in all media and across all platforms. CARU is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Chrono Bomb is a spy mission game where players navigate through a simulated laser field. It is recommended for children ages 7 and up.

To play the game, a “laser field” is first created by attaching thin blue colored string to furniture and fixtures around a room with plastic clamps, which are included in the game.  The string is attached to a sensor and a timer.  If the child navigating the field touches the string, the sensor is triggered and the timer runs out more quickly.  If a child does not make it through the course before the timer runs out, the “bomb”  is activated and the child loses the game.

Following its review of the commercial and the product packaging, CARU determined that one reasonable take-away message was that the game included laser-type lights or other materials that could light up or glow, when in fact it did not.

CARU recommended that the commercial should be modified to include an audio disclosure conveying the fact that string is used to simulate lasers.  CARU also recommended that a disclosure on the product packaging, which states, “Strings imitate the laser field experience,” should be repositioned to the front of the box where it is prominent and proximate to the advertising’s main message.

CARU noted that it was “pleased that PlayMonster agreed to modify both the commercial and the product packaging to comply” with CARU’s guidelines.

PlayMonster, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company appreciated  the opportunity to participate in the advertising self-regulatory process and has implemented changes to its advertising.