BBB National Programs Archive

CARU Refers Advertising For Paramount’s ‘Iron man’ DVD To MPAA For Further Review

New York, NY – Dec. 29, 2008– The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc., has referred television advertising for the DVD of the Paramount Pictures film “Iron Man” to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) for further review.

Broadcast advertising for the “Iron Man” DVD aired during children’s programming hours. The film is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) for “some intense sequences of Sci-Fi action and violence and brief suggestive content.” The commercial aired during children’s programming.

CARU’s Self-Regulatory Program for Children’s Advertising states in part that advertisers “should take care to assure that only age appropriate videos, films and interactive software are advertised to children, and if an industry rating system applies to the product, the rating label is prominently displayed.”

In evaluating whether the content of movie and video games are inappropriate for children, CARU looks to industry ratings. According to MPAA Advertising guidelines, PG-13 films with certain content may only be advertised to particular audiences. The Advertising Administration works with film companies in targeting ads appropriately; ads for films containing mature content may not be directed toward children. 

Pursuant to an agreement with MPAA, this case has been referred to the association for further review to determine if the film is appropriate to be advertised to children in light of the rating.

Under the terms of the agreement, if CARU finds an advertisement for a film rated PG-13, or higher in any medium primarily directed to children under 12, CARU will take steps to determine whether the advertisement was placed there unintentionally.

If this is the case, CARU will ask the advertiser to pull the ad and to make sure the placement does not reoccur. If the advertiser complies, CARU will close its inquiry. If the placement was intentional, CARU will refer the matter to the MPAA Advertising Administration to determine whether the film is appropriate to be advertised to children. CARU will publicly report both its closings and referrals.

In this case Paramount Studios has indicated it intended for the ads in question to run on programming which CARU believes is primarily directed to children under 12.