Broadcasting and Cable reports that the Better Business Bureau has promoted an investigation as to whether or not Paramount pictures violated film industry guidelines by promoting 'Iron Man' and 'Drillbit Taylor' to children under 12. Both films are rated PG-13 and presumably inappropriate for younger viewers.
PG-13 Iron Man features some scenes of intense violence and was advertised during kids’ shows, said the BBB's Children's Advertising Review Unit. CARU similarly referred another Paramount film, the somewhat lower-profile Drillbit Taylor, to the MPAA for the same call.
The promo for Drillbit Taylor aired during Nickelodeon's Zoey 101. The one for Iron Man also aired on Nickelodeon during Zoey 101, as well as Drake & Josh.
In March, CARU reached an agreement with the MPAA in which it will refer advertisers that intentionally place PG-13 ads during kids’ shows to the MPAA to determine whether they have violated movie-industry guidelines for such advertising. Previously, CARU was making that determination.
Paramount told CARU it intended to place the ads during the Nickelodeon shows, according to CARU.
Apparently there are two issues in play here: did the ads themselves contain any inappropriate content and is it appropriate to advertise a PG-13 film directly to under-13 children. In either case it's the purview of the MPAA to make these determinations, and the questions being asked by the BBB are of an ethical nature, rather than a legal one.