BBB National Programs Archive
CARU Recommends Redwood Ventures Depict Adult Supervision in Advertising for ‘IDO3D’ Pen; Company to Comply
New York, NY – Aug. 11, 2017 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit has recommended that Redwood Ventures clearly depict adult supervision in advertising for the company’s “IDO3D” pen. Following its review of the company’s advertising, CARU also determined that the advertising adequately communicated to children the nature of the product and the variety of product sets and colors. CARU further determined that the product operated as advertised.
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.
Television advertising for The IDO3D product line includes many playsets all of which enable children to create three-dimensional designs with the use of a 3D pen and polymer gel or “ink.” These playsets include varying numbers of 3D pens and an array of colored polymer gels. One type of playset, the IDO3D Vertical Go, includes wind-up motors that can be decorated and turned into animals or other figures.
The 3D pen is light, soft, and squeezable. It has a detachable blue LED light that can be snapped securely into place near the pen tip. As the polymer ink is emitted from the pen, the LED light shines on the design and dries or “cures” the polymer ink.
Packaging includes the following warning:
- WARNING: Do not apply liquid to skin under concentrated light or in direct sunlight. May cause allergic reaction, irritation or burns. ADULT SUPERVISION REQUIRED
Upon initial review, CARU had three concerns:
- Whether the commercial created the impression that the product could perform in a manner that it could not. Specifically, does the gel dry and harden very quickly? and could the toy animals shown moving on their own actually do so?
- Whether children watching the commercial would understand what is being advertised.
- Whether the commercial adequately depicted adult supervision.
Following its examination, CARU determined that the advertising did adequately communicate to children the nature of the product and the variety of product sets and colors. CARU further determined that the product operated as advertised.
CARU remained concerned that the commercial did not depict adult supervision. CARU’s safety guidelines state that, when an activity would be unsafe without adult supervision, supervision should be depicted. CARU recommended that future advertisements for the product include both representations of parental supervision and audio statements regarding the need for such supervision.
Redwood, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company “appreciates the opportunity to participate in CARU’s regulatory process. We are pleased that CARU recognized those efforts and accept CARU’s recommendation.”