BBB National Programs Archive

CARU Recommends Time, Inc., Modify Child-Directed Sweepstakes Advertising

New York, NY – March 19, 2014 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) has recommended that TIME Inc., publisher of Sports Illustrated Kids, modify sweepstakes advertising to assure that children better understand the odds of winning.

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

An advertisement for the Sports Illustrated Kids’ “CyberHoop Sweepstakes” appeared in Sports Illustrated Kids magazine. The advertisement directed children to the Nerf website to enter the Sweepstakes.

The five-page advertisement for the “Nerf Cyber Hoop Slam Dunk” Sweepstakes provided information on a Cyber Hoop gaming app and sweepstakes eligibility and directed readers of the magazine to to enter the Sweepstakes.

CARU noted in its decision that the landing page of the website appeared similar to the final page of the print advertisement. The website also offered an electronic means of entering the sweepstakes. However, CARU noted, neither the print advertisement nor the website disclosed the odds of winning as required by CARU’s guidelines.

CARU recommended that future sweepstakes advertising provide disclosures like “Many will enter, few will win” in the ad as well as at the point of entry on the website.

The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said it accepted CARU’s decision and would modify sweepstakes advertising in future promotions.