CARU Recommends Duncan Enterprises Discontinue Certain Claims For ‘Glam-It-Up! Iron-On Crystals’

 New York, NY – Jan.  13, 2010 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CARU) has recommended that Duncan Enterprises discontinue certain advertising for the company’s Tulip Glam-It-Up! Iron-On Crystals.

CARU, the children’s advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, reviewed print and Website advertising for the product pursuant to CARU’s routine monitoring of advertising directed to children.

Tulip Glam-It-Up! Iron-On Crystals are iron-on “crystals,” that come in a variety of colors and are glued to fabric. The crystals and other Duncan Enterprises tools and equipment were featured in a full-page layout in “Discovery Girls” magazine.

The layout featured a photograph of a girl wearing a tee-shirt that has been decorated with the crystals, along with the statement “I love to create fashion that brings out my inner rock star.  I glam rock it up with crystals and paint!”  The page invited readers to log on to a Website to learn more about the girl depicted. Also included was the statement, “What do you love to create?  Show us at www.ilovetocreate.com and you might be featured in a future ad!”  Small pictures of the iron-on crystals and various other Tulip products, e.g., paint and a heat-setting tool were featured as well.

Upon its initial review, CARU was concerned that the layout was not clearly identified as advertising and did not clearly indicate which product purchases were required to create the design shown. Further, CARU was concerned that the layout implied that the girl depicted had won a design competition and indicated to readers that, by submitting a design via Tulip’s website, they would be eligible to win.

CARU recommended that Duncan should include a conspicuous and understandable disclosure indicating the content of such a layout is advertising, not editorial. CARU recommended Duncan clarify what is included in the initial purchase and disclose the purchases necessary to create designs depicted. Further, CARU recommended the advertiser discontinue the solicitation to submit designs in exchange for the opportunity to be featured in an advertisement.

Duncan, in response to CARU’s inquiry, said that the advertisement had completed it run. The advertiser noted that the contest was terminated before CARU’s inquiry and the statement “you might be featured in a future ad” had been removed from all advertising. While the girl depicted in the layout was the daughter of a Duncan employee, the company noted, as well, that – until it terminated the contest – those who submitted designs to the company via the Website were eligible for inclusion in the company’s advertising.

Duncan, in its advertiser’s statement, said the advertisement at issue “is no longer being circulated as our advertisements are used for only three months and then a new one is created.  We do not plan to change the ad since it will not be used again.  If for any reason we decide to use the ad again, we will support CARU’s change requests.”