Children’s Advertising Review Unit Recommends Jazwares Modify Misleading Ads and Product Packaging for Micro Machines; Company Agrees to Comply
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McLean, VA – March 17, 2022 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), a division of BBB National Programs, determined that Jazwares LLC advertising and product packaging for Micro Machines Corvette and World of Micro Machines Playsets were likely to mislead children about what is included in the purchase of the products, what must be purchased separately, and the ease of assembling the products. CARU also determined that Jazwares’ Micro Machines Corvette video advertisement unrealistically depicted how the playset can perform. CARU recommended that the advertiser modify the advertisements and product packaging to clearly depict what the product sets include, to make clear and conspicuous disclosures where needed, and in the case of the Corvette ads, to accurately depict how the cars perform.
The Jazwares advertisements and product packaging came to CARU’s attention through its routine monitoring of child-directed advertising in the marketplace. Both products were advertised as suitable for ages 4+ and the video advertisements appeared during children’s programming. The identical advertisements are also running on YouTube.
CARU assessed the TV and online advertisements as well as original product packaging for the products as provided by Jazwares. In that review, CARU determined:
- The net impression created by the Corvette Playset and World of Micro Machines advertisements are likely to mislead children about what is included in the purchase of each playset and what must be purchased separately, and the ads’ audio and video disclosures (even if made clearly and conspicuously, which they were not) could not cure the ads’ misleading net impressions.
- The ads did not clearly and conspicuously disclose that each playset comes with only one vehicle.
- The Corvette Playset advertisement created the misleading net impression that the playset can perform in a manner that it cannot.
- The Corvette Playset advertisement failed to adequately disclose that the playset must be assembled by an adult.
Based on these findings, CARU recommended that the advertisements be modified to clearly show what comes with the purchase of each playset and what must be purchased separately, and refrain from depicting excessive product in any commercial so as not to mislead children about what is being advertised. In addition, CARU recommended that the advertisements include clear and prominent video and audio disclosures that only one vehicle comes with an initial purchase of each playset, and multiple vehicles and/or playsets depicted in the ads must be purchased separately. CARU further recommended the Corvette Playset advertisement be modified to accurately portray the real performance of the Corvette Playset and car in a manner that children can duplicate and clearly and conspicuously disclose, in both audio and video, that an adult must put the toy together to be used as shown.
Finally, CARU recommended that the product packaging for the playsets be modified to clearly represent, visually, and through clear and conspicuous disclosures in language that children will understand, that each set includes only one car.
Jazwares agreed to comply with CARU’s recommendations and immediately discontinued the challenged TV advertisements. On social media, Jazwares will either remove the advertisements or revise them to address CARU’s concerns. Jazwares also indicated that it will update any future product packaging to comply with CARU’s recommendations.
About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About Children’s Advertising Review Unit: The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), a division of BBB National Programs and the nation’s first Safe Harbor Program under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), helps companies comply with laws and guidelines that protect children from deceptive or inappropriate advertising and ensure that, in an online environment, children's data is collected and handled responsibly. When advertising or data collection practices are misleading, inappropriate, or inconsistent with laws and guidelines, CARU seeks change through the voluntary cooperation of companies and where relevant, enforcement action.