An ad for Moose Toys' "Selfie Mic," which lets kids create and share music videos via the karaoke app Starmaker, depicts tweens using the device in ways the app developer doesn't allow, according to an industry watchdog.
The Children's Advertising Review Unit, a self-regulatory group administered by the Better Business Bureau, said the ad should be discontinued because it didn't comply with the industry's self-regulatory policies against deceptive advertising.
The ad showed tweens depicts using the Selfie Mic and "Starmaker" karaoke app to create music videos, save them, and send them to friends, according to CARU.
But even though all Selfie Mic users can create music videos, only users who register for accounts can save or share the files, according to CARU. The app doesn't allow users under the age of 13 to register for accounts, CARU writes.
"After carefully reviewing the advertisement and the product, CARU determined that one reasonable take away message was that a child under 13 would think he or she could save videos, download free songs with the bonus tokens and share videos with the product and the Starmaker App, when he or she could not," the watchdog wrote.
The federal Children's Online Privacy Protection Act prohibits operators of Web services aimed at children from collecting personally identifiable information from anyone under 13 without parental consent.
The commercial, which is no longer running, allegedly told viewers they could use the app to record a video and then share it with their friends "with just one tap."
At one point, the smartphone's screen allegedly showed a tween girl texting the video to a friend, according to CARU.
"The bulk of the commercial concentrated on and built up excitement for the features of the App where children were denied access," CARU said in its opinion.