The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) has referred ads for yet another PG-13 movie to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) for being advertised during children’s programming. The move is the latest in what appears to be an increasingly tense stand-off between CARU, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory arm, and the motion picture industry.
CARU said it referred TV advertising for the Warner Bros. film, “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” to the MPAA for being shown on Nick 1 during children’s programming. The movie was rated PG-13 by the MPAA for “Mature material and sensuality,” noted CARU. Similarly, CARU has referred ads to the MPAA for PG-13 rated movies such as “The Incredible Hulk,” “Indiana Jones,” “Get Smart,” “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” and “The Rocker” for being shown during kids’ shows.
CARU’s Self-Regulatory Program for Children’s Advertising states that advertisers “should take care to assure that only age appropriate videos, films and interactive software are advertised to children, and if an industry rating system applies to the product, the rating label is prominently displayed.”
The referrals fall under an agreement struck by CARU and the MPAA, which cover ads for films rated PG-13, R or NC-17 that run in any medium primarily directed to children under 12. CARU agreed to first attempt to determine whether an ad placement was intentional, and if it was found to have been unintentional, to ask the advertiser to pull its ad and ensure the placement did not reoccur.
If an ad placement in children’s media was deemed to have been intentional, CARU agreed to refer the matter to the MPAA Advertising Administration, which pledged to determine whether the film at issue “is appropriate to be advertised to children.”