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 Supporters 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

Children’s Advertising Review Unit Determines that Visual Supply Company App Is Not “Directed Primarily or Secondarily to Children”

New York, NY – January 21, 2021 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) determined that Visual Supply Company (VSCO) is not an online service directed primarily or secondarily to children under age 13 as defined by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and...
Read the Decision
Blog

CARU’s Year in Review: Defining Kidvertising and Tackling Hot Topics Head On

During an uncertain year, the team at the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) stayed busy. Through casework, online conferences, an evolving technology landscape, updates to policy and guidelines, and new thought leadership, our efforts furthered our mission to help companies comply with the laws and guidelines that protect children and their personal data.
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Blog

Navigating In-App Advertising in Children’s Apps

While the FCC regulates children’s cable television and allows for only 10.5-12 minutes of advertising to be shown per hour, there is no comparable guidance to regulate the volume or frequency of ads in digital advertising. Most mobile device users have grown accustomed to dealing with the ubiquitous presence of ads in apps. However, there are a few ad practices that can become problematic when used in children’s apps. Read on to see what our experts had to say.
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Blog

CARU's Tips for Parents: Safe and Efficient Holiday Shopping

2020 has been a year unlike any other. In a time of great uncertainty, facing the holidays can feel be daunting. When it comes to holiday shopping, it is safe to say that many of us will be primarily shopping online this year. To help ensure your online holiday shopping experience is safe and efficient this holiday season, the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) team has put together some tips and red flags to consider when making those all-important gift selections.
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Upcoming Events

CARU 2021 Annual Conference

The CARU 2021 Virtual Conference, hosted by BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), convenes child-directed advertising and children’s privacy experts to help you learn how t ...
Learn more
Jun 08, 2021 Virtual
 

 

 

CARU Supporters

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