Ad Alert

JT Splatmaster

CARU, or the Children’s Advertising Review Unit, keeps tabs on advertising directed at children, and issues recommendations to advertisers when ads are deceptive or target children unfairly. But because the CARU is a self-regulatory group, advertisers can ignore its recommendations. CARU is administered by the Council for Better Business Bureaus. has recommended that KEE Action Sports, the maker of the JT Splatmaster line of paintball products, change its advertising to better depict adult supervision.

The paintball guns can only be purchased by those 18 and older and must be used with adult supervision, as the ad’s fine print notes. But the ads for JT Splatmaster only briefly show mom before moving to a mom-free shoot ’em up sequence:


See her? Here’s mom outlined with our high-quality photoshopping program:


Anyway, the ad immediately switches to a fantasy sequence of the two boys playing in the woods, apparently sans supervision:

Where's mom

The ad then cuts back to the yard, and oh hey look mom’s been there the whole time:


CARU questioned whether the ad accurately depicted the needed supervision. KEE action sports argued that the ad did, but said they weren’t running the ad anymore anyway.

Our Ad Alerts are not just about false and deceptive marketing issues, but may also be about ads that, although not necessarily deceptive, should be viewed with caution. Ad Alerts can also be about single issues and may not include a comprehensive list of all marketing issues relating to the brand discussed.

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