CARU Recommends Bandai Modify ‘Ben 10’ Advertising Featuring Sweepstakes to Better Disclose Free Means of Entry

New York, NY – Feb. 13, 2013 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit recommended Bandai America Inc., modify broadcast and website advertising for the Ben 10 Omniverse Touch and Atlantis Sweepstakes.

CARU is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

The advertising at issue came to the attention of CARU through CARU’s routine monitoring of advertising directed to children.

Upon its initial review, CARU questioned whether the broadcast advertising adequately disclosed the free means of entry for the sweepstakes, which featured the grand prize of a trip to the Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas.

On the Bandai.com homepage, visitors who clicked on the image of Ben 10, an animated character, were brought to the Ben 10 Omniverse area, which featured information about Ben 10 toys and the sweepstakes, but did not include information on how to enter the sweepstakes without buying a toy.

CARU questioned whether the commercial and the website adequately disclosed how to enter the sweepstakes without a purchase.

Upon receipt of CARU’s inquiry, the advertiser said it would modify the website to
include the visible hyperlink to the free method of entry. Specifically, it stated, the new hyperlink will read, “Sweepstakes Rules and Regulations, and How to Enter Sweepstakes Without Purchase or Code,” which will link the user to the official rules where the free method of entry will be highlighted.

With respect to the television advertising, the advertiser asserted that the commercial was approaching its final air date and would not be aired again in the future. The advertiser said it would take CARU’s concerns into consideration when planning future advertising campaigns.