BBB National Programs Archive

CARU Refers Advertising for Two PG-13 Films to MPAA for Review

New York, NY – Sept. 10, 2012 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit referred advertising for “Battleship” and “Men in Black 3” – both rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America – to the MPAA for review.

CARU is an investigative unit of the advertising industry system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
Broadcast advertising for “Battleship” and “Men in Black 3,” both rated PG-13 for “sci-fi action violence, and brief suggestive content” aired on the program “How to Rock,” on Nick East at 6 p.m., raising concerns regarding the appropriateness of advertising a film rated PG-13 to children.
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.”
Under the terms of a referral agreement entered into with the MPAA, if CARU finds an advertisement for a film rated PG-13, R or NC-17 in any medium primarily directed to children under 12, CARU will refer the matter to the MPAA Advertising Administration to determine whether the film is appropriate to be advertised to children.
With respect to the referrals at issue, the MPAA said it determined that TV spots for “were appropriate for the program on which they aired.”
“MPAA Advertising Administration approves advertising for rated motion pictures on a case-by-case basis, taking various factors into consideration, including not only the rating of the motion picture but its content, the content of the programming with which it will be placed and the time of day in which the ad will be run,” the MPAA said.