BBB National Programs Archive

CARU Recommends Scholastic Modify Website; Company Does So

New York, NY – Aug. 16, 2013 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit has recommended that the Scholastic Inc., administrator of the website, modify the site to assure that advertising for products labeled “keep out of the reach of children” does not appear on child-directed areas of the site. The company has done so.

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

In this case, advertising at the site for Pedia-Lax – products designed to regulate children’s digestive systems – came to the attention of CARU through CARU’s routine monitoring practices.

Advertising for the products, which range from probiotics and fiber supplements to oral and rectal laxatives, appeared on the website’s homepage as a banner ad and again on pages intended for younger children. Pedia-Lax products are labeled “keep out of the reach of children.” The ads featured a disclosure that said “parent ad.”

In response to CARU’s inquiry, Scholastic stated that the advertising was targeted to parents, not to children. The company did, however, agree to remove the advertising at issue from the homepages and pages directed to children.

Scholastic, in its operator’s statement, said the company “appreciates CARU’s concerns and in response to CARU’s inquiry, Scholastic removed the advertising from the Website. Further, Scholastic values the self-regulatory process and will take CARU’s comments into consideration in future ads.”