BBB National Programs Archive
CARU Recommends Topps Modify Website To Clearly Disclose Advertising, Company Does So
New York, NY – March 30, 2011 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc., has recommended that Topps Company Inc., modify the Ring Pops section of its Website to clearly disclose that games available to children on the site are advertising.
The Website, www.Topps.com/candy, came to the attention of CARU – the children’s advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum – through CARU’s routine monitoring of Websites and advertising directed to children.
Upon CARU’s initial review, the Ring Pops page of the Website featured five interactive games, two of which integrate animated Ring Pops into the activity of the game.
CARU was concerned that children would not understand that the games on the Website promote the sale of Ring Pops and therefore should be clearly denoted as advertising under the CARU Guidelines.
In response to CARU’s inquiry, the company asserted that it had developed an age-appropriate written disclosure, which states “HEY KIDS THIS IS ADVERTISING.” which has been added to each page where a game appears on its Website.
The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said that “Topps accepts CARU’s decision in its entirety. Topps shares CARU’s goals of ensuring that when it integrates advertising into its websites’ games and activities, it makes it clear and understandable to the intended audience that such content is advertising. All recommended modifications to the websites are in place at the time of this decision.”