BBB National Programs Archive

Skechers Discontinues Spot Following CARU Inquiry Into Safety Concerns

New York, NY – Dec. 1, 2016  – Skechers, maker of Skech-Air shoes, said it would discontinue a broadcast spot that raised the concern of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) over the depiction of activities that might be unsafe for children.

Television advertising  for Skech-Air shoes came to the attention of CARU through CARU’s routine monitoring of advertising directed to children.

CARU, an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation, monitors advertising directed to children in all media and across all platforms. CARU is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

The spot featured a boy, clearly late for class, who leaps a concrete bench, cartwheels mid-air alongside an outdoor concrete staircase with a metal bannister and somersaults across a wet floor.

CARU’s guidelines provide that advertisers should not portray children in unsafe situations or in acts harmful to themselves or others. In this case, CARU was concerned that children viewing the advertisement might be prone to imitate the stunts performed in the commercial without regard to risk.

In response to CARU’s inquiry, the advertiser said that the company is “sensitive to CARU’s concerns and Guidelines on safety.  Skechers understands that children are prone to exploration, imitation, and experimentation and may imitate product demonstrations or other activities depicted in advertisements. Although it believes it unlikely that a child will mimic the behavior in the commercial, Skechers  has discontinued the advertising in question and agrees that it will not run it again without modifications that address CARU’s concerns.”