BBB National Programs Archive

CARU Reviews Advertising for Cra-Z-Art ‘Lite Brix,’ Recommends Company Add New Disclosures to Broadcast Ad

New York, NY – April 23, 2013 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit recommended that LaRose Industries, LLC, doing business as Cra-Z-Art, modify broadcast advertising for the company’s Lite Brix products to better disclose the items that come with initial purchase and the need for batteries.

CARU is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

The Lite Brix Building System is a line of translucent brick building toys that include special connector pieces with embedded LED lights. Each Lite Brix set makes a specific toy. A plastic battery power pack – which uses three double-A batteries and plugs into the completed model – is required to power the lights.

The commercial CARU viewed, which aired in programming directed to children, featured several Lite Brix sets – including a helicopter, motorcycle, race car, fire engine and jet fighter – as well as Lite Brix building structures. At the end of the commercial, an island shot showed four boxed sets: Extreme City Lights, Lumi-Star Racer, Super Jet Fighter, and Lumi-Port.

In this case, the excess of product shown in the commercial directly contradicted what appeared in the island shot. CARU has consistently held that the presence of an island shot does not always remedy a confusing commercial. In this instance, the effect of the island shot was to produce more confusion regarding what was being advertised generally, (all the products in the advertisement or the products in the island shot) and specifically, what would be included with the initial purchase of a Lite Brix set.

Although it is not uncommon in children’s advertising to show multiple sets or items within a line of toys, in order to avoid confusion, CARU has consistently required that advertisers clearly disclose what comes with each initial purchase.

CARU recommended that the advertiser modify the commercial to include a separate audio disclosure to inform children that multiple sets are shown. CARU further recommended that the advertiser modify the commercial to clearly show the items that come with the initial purchase of each set.

CARU noted in its decision that in most scenes throughout the commercial, viewers could see the lights of various vehicles and buildings flash, but could not see the necessary battery pack. A written disclosure stated that batteries are not included.

CARU recommended that the company add an audio disclosure stating that batteries are not included and that the commercial be modified to accurately depict the product’s method of operation.

Cra-Z-Art, in its advertiser’s statement, said that while the company “believes that the advertisement is in compliance with CARU’s guidelines, Cra-Z-Art values the self-regulatory process and will take CARU’s comments into consideration in future advertisements.”