German grocery chain Lidl has recalled four PAW Patrol food items sold at British locations after a URL printed on the packaging led to a website featuring content “not suitable for child consumption.”
PAW Patrol is a Canadian-produced children’s series which follows a kid named Ryder who conducts search-and-rescue operations with the eponymous anthropomorphic dogs. 10 seasons have aired on TV, and a theatrical feature was released in 2021. A sequel will arrive at the end of this month. Predictably, all of its branding is aimed squarely at preschool-age children.
"We have been made aware that the URL of the supplier which is featured on the back of the packaging has been compromised and is being directed to a site that is not suitable for child consumption," Lidl explained in their recall statement. "We recommend that customers refrain from viewing the URL and return this product to the nearest store where a full refund will be given." The items recalled were: All Butter Mini Biscotti Biscuits, Chocolate Chip Mini Biscotti Biscuits, Yummy Bake Bars Raspberry, and Yummy Bake Bars Apple.
🚨 URGENT RECALL: Four types of Paw Patrol snacks are being recalled by Lidl after a website URL listed on the back of the packaging was compromised with explicit content unsuitable for children.
Customers should return the products to their nearest Lidl store for a full refund. pic.twitter.com/xMqX34CWid
— Which? (@WhichUK) August 30, 2023
When accessed from a desktop computer, the site shows only an error message in Chinese. When viewed from a mobile device, however, the website immediately displays a variety of sexually explicit imagery and advertisements. Business Insider reported that the website is registered to a person in Jiangsu, China. The URL previously linked to a page for the PAW Patrol products manufacturer, Appy Kids Co, but according to public records that company was dissolved in 2022.
Lidl didn’t immediately respond to additional requests for comment outside of their statement. PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie hits theaters on September 29. You can watch the trailer below.