BBB National Programs Archive

CARU Recommends Swimways Modify Advertising To Clearly Depict Adult Supervision

New York, NY – March 10,  2009  – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit  of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc., has recommended Swimways Corporation modify future advertising to assure that broadcast advertising for its products depicts appropriate adult supervision. The company has agreed to do so.

Advertising for the Swimways Subskate, a swimming pool flotation board, came to the attention of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) through its routine monitoring of advertising directed to children.  The commercial appeared during children’s programming.

The commercial opened with a large crowd of children running out of school.  One boy jumps in the air and into the camera frame.  In the next frame, the same child lands in a swimming pool.  In the next scene, another child also jumps into the pool. The scenes that follow show three children playing with Subskate flotation boards and performing maneuvers underwater that include balancing, performing flips and spinning around while balanced on the board. In some of the scenes, an adult is glimpsed in the background.  Finally, the audio disclosure in the island shot stated “Always swim with an adult.”

CARU questioned whether the referenced commercial adequately depicted adult supervision and properly disclosed the need for adult supervision.  

At the outset, the advertiser informed CARU that the commercial in question is no longer being run. The advertiser stated that should it decide to run this commercial in the future, it would modify it to make the parental supervision clearly apparent.

The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said it “appreciates CARU’s efforts and the opportunity to participate in the self-regulatory process” and noted that it is developing a new commercial for the 2009 summer season.