The Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU)


CARU is pleased to provide this information to help you guide your children through our brave new world of mass media and digital technology. The purpose of this section is threefold: to provide guidance to help you keep your children safe on the Internet; to provide you with basic information on the do’s and don’ts of advertising directed to children; and to help you to teach your children about advertising literacy.

CARU was established in 1974 by the advertising industry to promote responsible national advertising to children and to respond to public concerns. The central mission of CARU is the review and evaluation of child-directed advertising in all media. When children’s advertising is found to be misleading, inaccurate or inconsistent with its Guidelines, CARU seeks changes through the voluntary cooperation of advertisers.

CARU also is a clearinghouse source of information for parents and educators. To that end, CARU is pleased to offer the following resources. It should be noted that no one resource can provide all of the answers to children’s advertising issues or children’s safety on the Internet.

Rather, CARU provides these resources as a starting point for further inquiry.

The SOS guide, “Safety on Screens,” was developed as an overview of children’s Internet safety issues and provides basic information, guidance and tips for parents for further information and future reference;

2. A reference listing of several important links with information on both Internet safety and advertising literacy is also available.

3. CARU’s Self-Regulatory Program for Children’s Advertising, voluntary industry guidelines, enforced by CARU, which set out how to ensure that advertising to children is accurate, appropriate and not misleading and that website practices conform to CARU’s guidelines on Online Privacy Protection, which are part of the guidelines; and,

4. CARU’s Consumer Complaint Form, an online form through which you can refer advertisements and/or website practices that appear to violate CARU’s guidelines.

Thank you for your interest and your support.


SOS — Safety on Screen: Keeping Your Children Safe on the Internet
The most important thing that parents can do to keep their children safe on the Internet is to talk to children about the Internet.


Online Safety Resources
There are some great sites out there with important information on Internet safety and advertising literacy. This list is regularly updated.