CARU Recommends Idea Village Modify Broadcast Ad, Website for Wuggle Pets

Company Agrees to Do So

New York, NY – June 21,  2012 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit has recommended that Idea Village modify certain broadcast and Internet advertising for the company’s child-directed “Wuggle Pets” toys. The company has agreed to do so.
CARU is an investigative arm of the advertising industry’s self-regulatory system and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
Wuggle Pets, a stuff-your-own kit, come with two pets (Starter Pack) or eight pets (Party Pack), stuffing, a stuffing “machine” and other tools and accessories.  A voice recorder box, which allows children to record their voices and insert the box into the pet, is available separately.
The television commercial at issue featured several Wuggle Pets without specifying the items included with the purchase of a Starter Pack or Party Pack. Following its review, CARU determined that the ad created the impression that the initial purchase of Wuggle Pets included more products than it does.
CARU noted the advertiser’s argument that viewers would not be confused because the commercial provided the URL for the product’s website, where visitors were provided with additional information.
In reviewing the website, CARU noted that visitors could not navigate away from the site without first receiving a pop-up message that stated: “You qualify for a special offer!!! Press cancel on the next screen to view your offer.”
Following its review of the commercial and the website, CARU recommended that the advertiser modify its broadcast advertising to better depict which products are included with the initial purchase of a Wuggle Pets kit. CARU determined that the pop-up messages at the website could create a sense of sales pressure in young children and further recommended that the advertiser remove such messages.
Upon receipt of CARU’s inquiry, the advertiser removed from the website any language that may have created a sense of urgency in the child audience to buy the products. The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said that it “accepts CARU’s decision and in the spirit of cooperation, has stopped airing the … spot in question.  Should Idea Village wish for the … second spot to air again, it will modify it to address CARU’s concerns.”