BBB National Programs Archive

CARU Refers Haribo Advertising to FTC for Further Review

New York, NY – May 27,  2010 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc., has referred broadcast advertising for Haribo of America, Inc.’s Gold-Bears Gummy Candy to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for further review.

 CARU, the children’s advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum,

recommended in 2010 that the advertiser modify broadcast advertising for the product to avoid the depiction of over-consumption. The advertiser agreed “to take CARU’s concerns into account in future advertising.”

 In March 2011, CARU reviewed a commercial for Gold-Bears which was substantially the same as the commercial reviewed in 2010.

 In the advertising at issue, several children in business attire are seated around a conference-room table, discussing the product. The table holds four large bowls of candy and each child is eating from a bag of Gold-Bears that contains 3.5 servings.

 CARU’s guidelines, which offer guidance to advertisers on food marketing to children, state in part that the amount of product featured “should not be excessive or more than would be reasonable to acquire, use or consume by a person in the situation depicted.  For example, if an advertisement depicts food being consumed by a person in the advertisement, or suggests that food will be consumed, the quantity of food shown should not exceed the labeled serving size on the Nutrition Facts panel … .”

 In response to CARU’s compliance inquiry, the advertiser responded that it did not believe that the referenced commercial encouraged excessive consumption of Gold-Bears.  The advertiser noted that the commercial at issue had not been edited.

 CARU was disappointed the Advertiser did not address CARU’s concerns in its advertising.  Pursuant to CARU’s procedures, the advertising has been referred to the FTC for further review.