CARU Requires Toy Company to Modify Ads to Show Limited Scope of Playsets, Adult Assembly Required, and Real Toy Play
In a rare “some assembly required” and “parts not included” decision, the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), a division of BBB National Programs, scrutinized advertising for Micro Machine toys. CARU determined that Jazwares LLC’s advertising for the toys misled children about what was included in the purchase of the products, what must be purchased separately, and the ease of assembly. CARU also found the ads unrealistically depicted how the toys can perform.
Applying its revised Ad Guidelines (effective January 1, 2022), CARU determined that:
the overall impression created by ads for Jazwares’ Micro Machines Corvette and World of Micro Machines Playsets are likely to mislead children about what is included in the purchase of each playset and what must be purchased separately, and that audio and video disclosures could not cure the primary claims;
the ads did not clearly and conspicuously disclose that each playset comes with only one vehicle;
the Corvette Playset ad created the misleading impression that the playset can perform in a manner that it cannot; and
the Corvette Playset ad failed to adequately disclose that the playset must be assembled by an adult.
CARU advised Jazwares to modify its ads and product packaging to include clear language outlining what the playsets include and what must be purchased separately. CARU also advised the company to stop showing excessive products in commercials and include clear and prominent disclosures that the product only comes with one toy vehicle, not the multiple toy cars depicted in the ads. Additionally, CARU instructed Jazwares to add disclosures that the product must be assembled by an adult. Jazwares indicated it plans to comply with CARU’s instructions.