CARU Reviews ‘Collect It’ Feature in Boy’s Life Magazine; Determines Recommendation to Collect ‘Captain America’ Toys is Editorial, Not Advertising

CARU Reviews ‘Collect It’ Feature in Boy’s Life Magazine; Determines Recommendation to Collect ‘Captain America’ Toys is Editorial, Not Advertising

 New York, NY – July 18,  2016  – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit has determined “Boy’s Life” Magazine did not blur the line between editorial and advertising content when it featured “Captain America: Civil War”  action figures, made by Hasbro, in its “Collect It” section.

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

CARU monitors advertising directed to children and online services for compliance with CARU’s Self-Regulatory Program for Children’s Advertising, including guidelines on Online Privacy Protection, as well as with the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

“Collect It” is a recurring feature where readers tell the magazine what they like to collect. The June 2016 issue of Boys’ Life presented a recommendation by magazine staff to purchase “Captain America: Civil War” action figures.  Included in the content was a link to Hasbro’s Marvel product page

Upon initial review, CARU questioned whether the content was editorial and represented the independent recommendation of the magazine, or whether it was advertising.

In response to CARU’s inquiry, Boys’ Life said that “Collect It” is not an advertisement, but editorial content.  Further, Boys’ Life stated that its editors have tested and studied the product and were, indeed, recommending it.

Based on the advertiser’s representation that the feature was not paid advertising,  CARU determined that it  did not present a concern under CARU’s Guidelines.