The Toy Association Statement on Responsible Marketing and Communications to Children

The Toy Association and its members are proud of the important, life-shaping role that toys, games, and play have in the development and growth of children. Play is an integral component of an educational, happy, healthy, and well-rounded childhood.

We believe it is appropriate to market and provide information about toys and games to families – from grandparents to kids – as long as that information is provided responsibly. And we believe that communications created with children in mind, while fun and interactive, should also take into account the special vulnerabilities of children. Communications should never be deceptive, unfair, or inappropriate for their intended audience.

The Toy Association and its members understand that a parent or primary caregiver knows his or her child best. We believe that most parents and caregivers will agree that they are, and should be, involved in all aspects of their child’s life, including the child’s television viewing, computer time, mobile app use, and family purchasing decisions. To help parents teach their children about the principles of advertising and how to identify its many forms, The Toy Association collaborated with the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) to produce A Parent’s Guide to Advertising and Your Child, a free guide filled with practical tips and activity ideas.

The Toy Association is committed to promoting best practices in all aspects of marketing and advertising to children and to adhering to all applicable government regulations and requirements, including the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule.

The Toy Association monitors and reviews relevant laws and standards pertaining to responsible marketing and advertising to children, educates its members about these principles, and provides information and resources that help toy companies interact with kids in a responsible way.

The Toy Association is also committed to the advancement of self-regulatory practices in both traditional and online communications, especially as technologies continue to evolve, in order to protect consumers and safeguard the ability of businesses to offer and improve engaging products and content for children. To this end, we encourage toy companies to adhere to advertising and marketing self-regulation programs across all applicable channels of communication, and to monitor data protection best practices and identify how they apply to emerging technologies, such as mobile apps.

The Toy Association educates its members about the principles established by organizations such as CARU, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), and the International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI). Furthermore, we collaborate with CARU to educate both toy companies and consumers on issues pertaining to children’s privacy online, adequate disclosures, and the depiction of products in a truthful and accurate fashion.

The Toy Association and its members will continue to educate and empower families to make informed choices about the toys and games they bring into their home. The safety and well-being of children is always our top priority.

This statement was reaffirmed by The Toy Association in September 2020.