CARU Recommends Moose Modify Broadcast Advertising for Fortune Cookie Maker

New York, NY – March 13, 2013 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit recommended Moose Toys modify advertising for its Fortune Cookie Maker to better disclose what is included with an initial purchase. The company agreed to do so in future advertising.

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 clearly showed the products included with the initial purchase.

The Fortune Cookie Maker allows children to fill a fortune cookie mold with dough sold by Moose, insert a paper fortune and then seal the cookie. Children can also decorate the fortune cookies with frosting, sprinkles or other decorations once the cookie has been sealed.

The opening shot of the commercial at issue showed many different fortune cookies with a variety of toppings, followed by shots of a child writing a fortune and inserting it into the cookie. The next few shots showed fortune cookies with different toppings including hearts, dots, and multiple icing colors. A small, written disclosure stated “fortune cookie maker includes mix, sprinkles, and icing only.”

Following its review of a product sample, CARU noted that only a single topping was included with initial purchase. To duplicate the designs depicted in the advertising at issue required the purchase of additional toppings.

CARU has routinely held that in television advertisements an audio voiceover should accompany a written disclosure in advertisements directed to children because younger children may not be able to read or otherwise understand a written disclosure.

CARU recommended that, should the company decide in future advertising to depict items that are not included with the initial purchase, it “should use audio voiceovers to clarify what is included.”

Moose, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company appreciated CARU’s review of its advertising and would “accept CARU’s recommendation for changes in our role as responsible advertisers.”