2007-12-07 / Community

CPB:Advertising Circulars 'Misleading'

In continuation of Toy Safety Awareness Month, the New York State Consumer Protection Board (CPB) is advising consumers not to be confused by advertising circulars that continue to display items that have been recalled from stores. The appearance of the ads in newspaper circulars sends a mixed message to the public, who are already besieged with numerous toy and other product recalls.

"Despite ongoing efforts by retail establishments, it has come to our attention that ads for Aqua Dots continue to appear in some advertising circulars," said Mindy A. Bockstein, CPB Chairperson and Executive Director. "While we understand that retailers have expended considerable resources to create attractive advertising that is printed weeks in advance and in large quantities, the appearance of ads for recalled items in newspapers throughout New York State has caused considerable consumer confusion."

The CPB is urging retailers to provide a public retraction, advisory or qualifying statement to inform consumers that products, such as Aqua Dots, that may continue to appear in circulars distributed in the coming weeks, have been recalled and still pose a health and safety risk. Even if an item is not available for purchase in a store, the advertisement may confuse the public and lead them to erroneously conclude that a recalled product has somehow changed and is now safe to use, retain or give as a gift.

Some retailers have advised media and others that the ads for some already recalled products may continue to appear in circulars for several weeks during this holiday season. Further, new recalls continue to be issued, making it imperative for consumers to stay informed about product safety and information. The CPB offers tools to assist consumers in staying up-to-date with information, all of which are available on the Agency website, at www.nysconsumer. gov. Of particular importance is the highly touted Toy Safety Inventory Checklist that enables families to catalog their toys and quickly check them against recall notices.

The CPB closely monitors toy and other product recalls, and updates its website with new information as soon as it becomes available. Together with other State agency partners, the Agency conducts sweeps to monitor the removal of recalled toys from store shelves.

The CPB, established in 1970 by the New York State Legislature, is the State's top consumer watchdog and think tank. The CPB's core mission is to protect New Yorkers by publicizing unscrupulous and questionable business practices and product recalls; conducting investigations and hearings; enforcing the Do Not Call law; researching issues; developing legislation; creating consumer education programs and materials; responding to individual marketplace complaints by securing voluntary agreements; and representing the interests of consumers before the Public Service Commission (PSC) and other State and federal agencies.

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