Skip to main content

Avast There, Buena Vista

In what sounds a lot like battening down the hatches after the storm has already hit, CARU, the Children's Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, has asked Buena Vista not to advertise Pirates of the Caribbean to kids.

Specifically, it recommended--it has no enforcement authority--that it not buy ads for the PG-13 movie during the kids TV shows on Nickelodeon.

The complaint was actually about ads that appeared in June and July.

Buena Vista says it does not plan to re-run the spots--not surprising since the promotional blitz can't go on that much longer anyway, but it pointed out that it was relying on Nickelodeon's clearance department to make sure the ads ran in appropriate shows, acording to CARU.

CARU, which is essentially the ad industry's own self-regulator on ads tagetted to kids 12 and under, frowns on advertising PG-13 movies in kids shows since that designation defines the movie as containing scenes that may not be appropriate for children.

But Pirates has been a big hit with kids. Its marketing in other venues--including inescapable merchandising and branding--has been targetted to kids, from prizes in fast food meals to pirate paraphenalia, including skull-shaped breakfast bowls touted on cereal boxes nationwide.