The self-regulatory group that monitors advertising aimed at children has issued new guidelines designed to ensure that advertisers do not mislead children into believing stationary toys can move on their own.

“Toys that do not move on their own, or cannot perform certain movements on their own, should not be portrayed in advertising in a manner that will lead children to take away the net impression that the toys move on their own,” stated a new guidance released by the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU).

CARU’s new guidance on “Advertising Depicting Movement of Stationary Toys” further states that “[w]hen a doll or toy that cannot move on its own is depicted as moving, there should be a clear and conspicuous appearance of a hand [or hands] (or a person) manipulating the doll or toy…

“Methods that contribute to a misleading impression about a toy’s abilities include the use of stop-action, quick cuts interspersed with animation, disguised or inconspicuous hand manipulation and other techniques,” the guidance noted.

An example of an ad that would not comply with the guidance, according to CARU, would be a commercial for a stationary doll depicting several dolls dancing to music, which includes brief shots of fingers moving the dolls, but the fingers blend with the flesh colors of the dolls and are not noticeable during ordinary viewing. The commercial would not be brought into compliance by including a disclaimer at the end of the commercial stating that the dolls do not move on their own, CARU said.

Read CARU’s press release on the guidance and view CARU’s guidance at