BBB National Programs Adds FTC Veteran Mamie Kresses as Vice President, Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU)

In leading BBB National Programs’ CARU, Kresses will be at the helm of the first FTC COPPA Safe Harbor in the U.S. 

McLean, VA – April 12, 2021 – BBB National Programs, the independent non-profit organization that oversees more than a dozen industry self-regulation and dispute resolution programs, today announced the hire of FTC veteran Mamie Kresses as Vice President, Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU). 

Kresses moves from the FTC’s Division of Advertising Practices to lead BBB National Programs’ CARU, the first FTC-approved COPPA Safe Harbor in the U.S. and the independent industry self-regulation program responsible for protecting children from deceptive and inappropriate advertising and irresponsible online data collection practices. 

Eric D. Reicin, President and CEO, BBB National Programs, made the announcement. In this role, Kresses will report to Dona Fraser, Senior Vice President, Privacy Initiatives.  

Prior to joining BBB National Programs, Kresses spent more than 30 years at the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection including more than two decades working on federal consumer protection law enforcement actions, rulemaking, and business outreach activities for the Division of Advertising Practices, specifically in the areas of advertising law, online privacy, and COPPA enforcement. Among Kresses’ many responsibilities, she co-led the FTC’s 2012 COPPA rule review.  

“I am pleased to welcome Mamie to this leadership role at BBB National Programs,” said Reicin. “BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit has been working with companies to protect children for more than 45 years, and Ms. Kresses’ decades of experience at the Federal Trade Commission in both children’s privacy and advertising law is an incredibly valuable addition to our growing organization.”  

Through competitor challenges and marketplace monitoring, BBB National Programs’ CARU ensures that advertising directed to children is compliant with both the CARU Advertising Guidelines and COPPA. In addition to its enforcement role, CARU works with companies to provide education, one-on-one support, and guidance on complying with regulations in the children’s space. 

Kresses’ experience at the FTC, which includes the honor of a Robert Pitofsky Lifetime Achievement Award, well equips her to lead stakeholders in the children’s space in the roll-out of the update to CARU’s Advertising Guidelines (scheduled to be released at the CARU 2021 Annual Conference in June) and to support companies anticipating the results of the FTC COPPA Rule review.  

Kresses will join Reicin and Fraser at BBB National Programs headquarters in McLean, VA. BBB National Programs also announced the addition of two CARU senior attorneys. They are: 

  • James Davis from Northwestern University’s Office for Research Integrity and more than fifteen years with the Midwest Region FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection; and 
  • Debra Policarpo from Integreon and formerly in-house counsel at Choice Hotels.  

###  

About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.  

About the Children’s Advertising Review Unit: The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), a division of BBB National Programs and the nation’s first Safe Harbor Program under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), helps companies comply with laws and guidelines that protect children from deceptive or inappropriate advertising and ensure that, in an online environment, children's data is collected and handled responsibly. When advertising or data collection practices are misleading, inappropriate, or inconsistent with laws and guidelines, CARU seeks change through the voluntary cooperation of companies and where relevant, enforcement action.  

Latest Decisions

Decision

National Advertising Division Finds Claim that Almased Diet and Weight Loss Program is “So Safe that Even People with Diabetes Can Use It” Supported

New York, NY – September 16, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that Almased USA, Inc.’s claim that its Almased Diet/Weight Loss Program is “. . . so safe that even people with diabetes can use it” was supported. 

Read the Decision
Decision

National Advertising Division Finds SlimFast “Energy For Hours” Claim Supported; Advertiser Appeals Recommendation to Discontinue “Clinically Proven” Claims

New York, NY – September 15, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that KSF Acquisition Corp. (SlimFast) provided a reasonable basis for its “energy for hours” claim for its SlimFast Food Products & Weight Loss Plans. However, NAD...

Read the Decision
Decision

Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Recommends SwissJust Discontinue Certain Health-Related Product Performance and Earnings Claims

McLean, VA – September 15, 2021 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) recommended that certain product performance and earnings claims made by SwissJust USA, a direct selling company that markets and distributes natural products for emotional, physical, and dermo-cosmetic well-being, and...

Read the Decision
Decision

National Advertising Division Refers Advertising Claims for Gravity Defyer Shoes to Federal Trade Commission for Possible Enforcement Action

New York, NY – September 14, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs is disappointed that Gravity Defyer Medical Technology Corporation declined to participate in the industry self-regulation process. As a result of the advertiser’s failure to participate, NAD has...

Read the Decision