CARU, the Children's Advertising Review Unit of the Better Business Bureau, had asked Major League Baseball to make it clearer in an ad for a contest that entry was not contingent on buying anything. While MLB said it thought the ads were in compliance with existing guidelines, it agreed to change the ads to include the phrase "free game entry at www.bbcards.com."
A&P agreed to bill its America's Choice "Rescue Heroes" Fruit Snacks as "Fruit-Flavored" rather than "Fruit Snacks" and drop the claim "Made with Real Fruit Juice," after CARU suggested kids might be led to believe that "the product contains fruit juice and little else and that eating the product is nutritionally equivalent to eating a piece of fruit."
Initially, A&P asserted that the real juice claim was factually accurate and said it wasn't changing it, said CARU. But, after declining to provide the actual percentage of juice in the snacks to CARU, the company said it would comply fully with both recommendations.
CARU reviews kids ads for violations of industry guidelines on deceptiveness. It has no enforcement authority, but can and has referred complaints to the FTC.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.