BBB National Programs Archive

CARU Recommends Telebrands Add Audio Disclosure to ‘Wow Cup’ Advertising

New York, NY – July 17, 2014 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit has recommended that that Telebrands, Inc. modify advertising for the company’s “Wow Cup” to better disclose the full cost of the product. The company has agreed to do 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.

CARU monitors advertising to children in all media. CARU also examines websites and apps for compliance with CARU’s Self-Regulatory Program for Children’s Advertising – which includes guidelines on online privacy protection – as well as with the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Television advertising for the patented non-spill cup came to the attention of CARU through CARU’s ongoing monitoring of advertising directed to children. The advertising at issue aired on Cartoon Network during the program “Codename: Kids.”

The advertising showed Wow Cups manipulated in ways that would cause liquid to spill from standard cups or glasses. The commercial featured a shot of Wow Cups held over a computer without spilling, along with the cost of a single cup displayed in a large font: “$10.”

A small written disclosure stated: “$5.99 S&H and $6.99 Separate Fee.”

The final voiceover of the commercial stated “Must be 18 years or older to order.” The voiceover did not mention the additional fees.

CARU questioned whether the commercial adequately informed children of the price of the Wow Cup. Following its review, CARU recommended that Telebrands add an audio disclosure that clearly states the price, including all additional fees.

Telebrands, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company “believes that the terms of the offer as expressed in the commercial are clear enough to be fully comprehended by anyone who would be purchasing the product. As the decision notes, a purchaser must be 18 years of age or older to order. Additionally, they presumably, have access to a credit card, so the audience for the pricing terms is not an unsophisticated one. That said, out of regard for the self-regulatory process, Telebrands agrees to add the audio disclosure recommended by CARU.”