The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) recently recommendedthat Stride Rite Children’s Group, LLC discontinue certain claims in TV ads for Leepz shoes. The ads featured children wearing Leepz shoes jumping extremely high and appearing to bounce and leap with each step and the statement, “Leepz, the incredible shoe with sky-high technology. Reach new heights with Leepz!” Stride argued that “sky-high technology” refers to the “high tech,” innovative and sophisticated lighting in the shoes; and that “reach new heights with Leepz” was an allegory for growing older and achieving new milestones, and was not literally referring to height. CARU disagreed and found that due to the combination of the voiceover, visual elements, and product name, a child could reasonably take away the unsubstantiated claim that Leepz shoes enable the wearer to jump very high.

TIP: Advertisers have special responsibilities when advertising to children and should take into account the limited knowledge, experience, sophistication, and maturity of the audience to which the message is directed. The net impression and audience of the entire advertisement is evaluated with examining both express and implied claims.