CARU Squeezes Mattel for New JUICE BOX Ads.

Mattel’s new television commercial, which advertises its new JUICE BOX personal video-stereo system caught the eye (or ire) of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), which monitors advertising directed at children.

The JUICE BOX is a media player that allows children to play music, look at digital photoes, and even watch programming. The JUICE BOX, which contains a proprietary software, plays software called ‘JUICE WARE.” While the commercial adequately informed children of all the cool things the JUICE BOX could do, it was less clear that in order to do those things, additional purchases would be required. Indeed, in addition to purchasing the JUICE BOX player, parents still had to plunk down ducats for the Juice Ware Chips and Jice Box MP3 Starter Kit if they wanted the player to be used to its full potential.

Mattel was not inclined to change the JUICE BOX commercials, maintaining that their disclosures were adequate and complied with CARU guidelines, but did thank CARU for helping to “ensure responsible advertising practices” . . . . especially when it comes to the competition.

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