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Children's TV watchdog files formal ad complaint

By WITH ANALYSIS FROM MONITOR CORRESPONDENTS AROUND THE WORLD, EDITED BY RANDY SHIPP / November 20, 1980



New York

Action for Children's Television filed a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against Tomy Corporation, charging deceptive and unfair advertising practices in certain commercials promoting one of its products. Two commercials show children playing with a completely furnished dollhouse and a doll family. The product, identified as the Smaller Home and Garden Deluxe Set, is exhibited with an array of furniture, while an announcer promises "all this plus other pieces."

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An ACT survey of toy stores found no single product sold as the Smaller Home and Garden Deluxe Set. Available is an empty dollhouse (selling for $32.88 to $ 40), four separate sets of furniture, a set of plants, additional pieces of furniture and accessories (each sold separately), and a family of four dolls. For a child to have the toy as it is shown in the commercial, all the other items must be purchased separately for a total ranging from $110 to $150, ACT said.

Tomy is the first manufacturer cited by ACT in a case-by-case campaign against deceptive children's ads.