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CARU Levels Fire at Goblet

The Children's Advertising Review Unit has advised Warner Bros. not to advertise Harry Potter-The Goblet of Fire DVD's or software in kids TV shows. It also advised Lionsgate Entertainment not to advertise its Ultimate Avengers DVD in kids TV shows. Both are rated PG-13.

Warner Bros. defended its ads, which aired on Saturday morning on ABC, saying it thought they complied with CARU guidelines, though it pointed out the campaign has already ended. Lionsgate agreed not to advertise a similar title in certain kids programming.

The Lionsgate campaign, which aired on Fox on Saturday mornings, has also ended, but that company said it would not air the ad again and would refrain from advertising Ultimate Avengers 2 in similar venues.

“Going forward," the company said, "Lionsgate shall take CARU’s guidelines into account in reviewing the placement of advertising for its PG-13 animated movie titles to ensure the appropriateness of the advertising for the audience.  In particular, in connection with the release of ‘Ultimate Avengers 2’ DVD and taking CARU's guidelines into account, Lionsgate will not air advertisements for this PG-13 animated movie during certain programming blocks aimed at children."

But even though Lionsgate complied, it did not supply CARU with the material requested, a point CARU made pointedly.

"Although the company, which is not a traditional children’s marketer, responded to CARU’s inquiry," it said "[Lionsgate] declined to provide any of the materials CARU requested in the course of its inquiry.  As is its standard procedure, CARU requested a product sample, samples of all “Ultimate Avengers” DVD advertisements directed to young children and a commercial flight schedule."