We’ve already seen a bulging Santa-sack full of toy ads in the run up to Christmas, and we know there are more to come. Here’s a rundown of five things you need to know if you deal with toy ads:
If the toy is shown moving on its own, lighting up, shooting laser beams or flying around the room then this should be a genuine demo. This includes the quality of any noises a toy makes. We are likely to need a sample for these kinds of toys.
The ad should make it unambiguously clear what size a toy is. Stating the size in on screen text isn’t enough – kids will be so excited by your awesome toy that they may not understand what it means. Showing a child holding the toy is the most obvious solution, but we have also accepted toys being shown next to common household items that kids could reasonably use as a comparison.
The BCAP code is pretty unambiguous here – ads must not directly exhort kids to buy a product OR to ask their parents to buy it. This means that phrases like “Buy it now” can’t be included, but “Available now” would be fine. You could also try addressing ads to a parent or guardian instead.
Pricing (part 1)
Price-minimisation isn’t allowed in ads for children’s products. What does that mean specifically? Words like ‘only’ or ‘just’ in front of a price are a no-go.
Pricing (part 2)
If a toy costs £30 or more, the price must be stated in the ad – this can be in on screen text. If you are featuring a number of different toys at varying prices then you’re ok to state the range of prices rather than every single price individually.