The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) has recommended that Moose Toys, an Australian toy company, modify ads and packaging of its “Little Live Pets Gotta Go Turdle” toy to disclose that kids should not eat the synthetic “Turdle food” that comes with the toy. CARU also recommended that future promotions of the toy depict adult supervision.
The Gotta Go Turdle is an “interactive, toilet-trained turtle.” TV and YouTube ads of the Gotta Go Turdle featured young children excitedly feeding the electronic toy turtle brightly-colored aqua sand Turdle food, then watching the turtle excrete the food into a toy toilet.
In reviewing the ads of the toy, CARU concluded that they reasonably could convey to kids that the Turdle food is edible and safe for consumption. The Turdle food is, in fact, composed primarily of silicon dioxide. CARU also determined that because no adults were shown in the ads, it gave the impression that adult supervision is not required when playing with the toy.
In reviewing the product packaging, CARU further found that it did not adequately disclose that kids should not eat the Turdle food. A warning of a “choking hazard” was found to be insufficient.
Moose Toys agreed to pull the advertising in its current format and follow CARU’s recommendations.
Children’s advertising compliance, enforcement, and litigation should be handled in connection with counsel. Hunton Andrews Kurth has a team of experienced advertising and marketing attorneys that helps clients navigate these issues.