Children's Advertising Review Unit - Advertising to Children

Children’s Advertising Review Unit

The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), 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.

Program Impact

CARU was established in 1974 to support self-regulation in the advertising industry and promote responsible advertising to children. The results of CARU’s work is available to the public.

Monitoring and Enforcement

CARU monitors child-directed media to ensure that advertising is truthful, accurate, appropriate, and compliant with its self-regulatory guidelines, and that online marketing is compliant with both the CARU guidelines and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”).

Pre-Screening Service

From concept to final cut, CARU’s pre-screening services help businesses and agencies spot and correct problems before ads and promotional websites go live. Take advantage of our one-on-one support as you navigate COPPA and CARU compliance.

COPPA Safe Harbor Services

CARU is the first FTC-approved Safe Harbor Program under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and can help your company achieve its business goals while ensuring compliance with COPPA requirements, other applicable online data privacy laws, and CARU’s guidelines.

CARU partners have access to benefits and resources including:

 

Access to CARU experts to answer your questions about advertising and privacy issues directed to children

 

Advertising pre-screening and guidance from expert staff  

 

Invitation to the annual Supporters’ Council Meeting to discuss industry challenges

 

20% discount on Safe Harbor Program services

 

Special rates for CARU conferences and events 

 

 

 

Guidelines & Procedures


CARU leads the development and ongoing management of advertising guidelines for children (defined as individuals age 12 or younger). To help businesses and advertisers, CARU provides education, one-on-one support, and legal guidance on: 

 

  • How to be compliant in the delivery of everything from digital ads to product packaging
  • The art of delivering for an impressionable and vulnerable child audience
  • Children’s privacy, unique to digital content and data collection for children age 12 and under (these guidelines reflect changes in COPPA)
  • How to approach product presentations, appropriate disclosures, sweepstakes and contests, safety, endorsements, and sales pressure

News & Blog

Decision

CARU Determines Social Media Platform Discord Complies with COPPA and CARU Guidelines with Proper Protections for Children Under 13

New York, NY – October 6, 2020 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), a division of BBB National Programs, determined that Discord Inc. is not an online service directed to children as defined by Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and CARU’s Guidelines for...
Read Decision
Blog

Risky Business: A New Study Assessing Teen Privacy in Mobile Apps

Teen privacy is more at risk online than ever. The TeenAge Privacy Program (TAPP) new whitepaper, Risky Business: The Current State of Teen Privacy in the Android App Marketplace, examines how teens put themselves at risk when they engage with mobile apps.
Read more
Blog

Defining 'Child-Directed' and Addressing New Technology: Discussing COPPA Updates at CARU 2020

On September 22, the 2020 CARU Conference kicked off the Fall Series with a keynote from the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC)'s Peder Magee, and Phyllis Marcus, a Partner at Huton Andrews Kurth and one of the original authors of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
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Blog

What Parents Need to Know About Mobile App and Device Permissions

If there is one thing most parents know, it’s that Kids. Love. Apps. But how do you determine what apps are "safe" for your child to download? If you want to evaluate an app to determine how safe your child’s data will be if they use it, let's start by understanding the permissions the app asks for.
Read more
 

 

 

Upcoming Events

CARU Conference: Virtual Series

Why Diversity and Inclusion is Good for Business: This presentation will cover why a workplace culture that supports diversity is the key to garnering unique ideas that just may be the next big thing. ...
Learn more
Nov 17, 2020 Virtual

Kidvertising 101

Kidvertising 101 is a two-day seminar that provides advertisers, marketers, and legal counsel with the tools and best practices needed to stay out of the crosshairs of the FTC. Whether you are new to ...
Learn more
Nov 18, 2020 Virtual
 

 

 

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