BBB National Programs Archive

CARU Recommends Toys ‘R’ Us Add Audio Disclosure To Broadcast Ad For ‘Work Bench’ Toy

New York, NY – Jan. 13, 2010 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CARU) has recommended that Toys “R” Us’ modify advertising for the Home Depot Work Bench with Lights and Sounds to better disclose that the product does not come with batteries and does require some assembly.

CARU, the children’s advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, reviewed broadcast advertising for the product pursuant to CARU’s routine monitoring of advertising directed to children.

The advertising at issue featured a young boy playing with a toy “Home Depot” work bench in a garage while he described the accompanying power tools.  In the middle of the commercial, a white super appeared at the bottom of the screen, which stated, “Some assembly required.  Batteries sold separately.”  There was no audio disclosure to accompany the super. 

CARU questioned whether the written disclosures in the commercial were adequate to inform children that some assembly was required in order to effectively use the product and that batteries were not included. CARU’s guidelines note that “disclosures should be conspicuous in the advertising format and media used … in television, advertisers should use audio disclosures, unless disclosures in other formats are likely to be seen and understood by the intended audience.”

Following its review, CARU recommended that the advertiser use audio voiceovers to accompany the written disclosures so that young children can understand them. 

The company, in its advertiser’s statement, noted that it is a “strong supporter of the self-regulatory process and while for unrelated reasons, we have ceased airing the commercial, we will take CARU’s recommendations into account in future advertising.”