BBB National Programs Archive

Hydro Toys Discontinues Environmental Claims for Water Balloons Following NAD Inquiry

New York, NY – Nov. 4, 2015 – Hydro Toys, LLC, the maker of ZORBZ water balloons said it will discontinue advertising claims that the product is “environmentally friendly” or biodegradable, following an inquiry from the National Advertising Division.

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

NAD requested substantiation for claims found at the advertiser’s website,, including:

  • “100% biodegradable.”
  • “Environmentally friendly.”
  • “Our water balloons . . . are environmentally friendly.”
  • “Are ZORBZ safe for the environment? Yes, ZORBZ are made from 100% biodegradable latex and are safe for the environment.”

In response to NAD’s inquiry, the advertiser advised NAD in writing that it had elected to permanently discontinue all claims at issue. NAD noted in its decision that it appreciated the advertiser’s voluntary discontinuance of the challenged claims.

In reliance on the advertiser’s representation that these claims have been permanently discontinued, NAD did not review these claims on their merits.  The voluntarily discontinued claims will be treated, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended their discontinuance and the advertiser agreed to comply.

Hydro Toys, in its advertiser’s statement, said that it “supports NAD and encourages others in the advertising industry to participate in the self-regulatory process, particularly the larger toy companies that continue to widely disseminate the same claims that were the subject of this proceeding.”

Note: A recommendation by NAD to modify or discontinue a claim is not a finding of wrongdoing and an advertiser’s voluntary discontinuance or modification of claims should not be construed as an admission of impropriety. It is the policy of NAD not to endorse any company, product, or service. Decisions finding that advertising claims have been substantiated should not be construed as endorsements.