CARU Reviews Advertising Created By Tribune Co.’s WPIX For Six Flags

New York, NY –  Feb.  13,  2008 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc., has determined that sweepstakes advertising that featured scenes from a television show rated TV-14 ran in error in children’s programming and has closed its review.

The television commercial for a sweepstakes offered by Six Flags Great Adventure, New Jersey, ran during children’s programming by WPIX, a television station owned by Tribune Companies. The advertisement featured suggestive romantic footage from the CW Television Network program “One Tree Hill,” which is rated TV-14 by the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board.  Programs issued the TV-14 rating (Parents Strongly Cautioned) are generally unsuitable for children under the age of 14 without the guidance of a parent or guardian.  

The advertising in question came to the attention of CARU, the children’s advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, through CARU’s its routine monitoring.  

CARU reviewed the advertising to determine whether the product or content was inappropriate for children.

In response to CARU’s inquiry, WPIX informed CARU that it had created the commercial in connection with a separate commercial time purchase by Six Flags and intended that the sweepstakes be limited to viewers 13 and older. WPIX advised CARU that an internal trafficking error caused the advertisement to appear during children’s programming.  CARU closed its inquiry.

The television station, in its advertiser’s statement, said it “endeavors to schedule age-appropriate advertising and promotional announcements during all programming segments, including children’s programming segments, and to promptly remedy any scheduling errors or mistakes of which it becomes aware.”