The Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU) has referred two cases to the Federal Trade Commission because the advertisers failed to substantively respond to its inquiries.

CARU examined advertising for the "Spray Racer," a toy vehicle powered by water and air that is compressed when a child manually pumps a holding tank. CARU questioned whether a TV commercial showing a child pumping once to launch the car at a speed of 272 scale miles per hour was an accurate reflection of the product's performance.

The self-regulatory group asked the advertiser, Summit Products, whether substantial pumping was in fact required to maintain the speed depicted. When the advertiser did not respond, CARU referred the matter to the FTC.

CARU also referred to the FTC a case involving the website www.virtualfamilykingdom.com after the company that operates the site allegedly did not respond to CARU's inquiry regarding apparent failures to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA).

Upon reviewing the site, CARU noted that it had an option whereby personal information could be collected from children without first obtaining parental permission, and that the site failed to include offline contact information, as required by COPPA. In addition, the posted privacy policy did not conform to actual practices on the site, CARU claimed.

View a summary of the "Spray Racer" case and of the Virtual Family Kingdom case at caru.org.