Children's Advertising Review Unit - Advertising to Children

Children’s Advertising Review Unit

The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) helps companies comply with laws and guidelines that protect children under age 13 from deceptive or inappropriate advertising and ensure that, in an online environment, children's data is collected and handled responsibly.

 

Separately, CARU is the nation’s first Safe Harbor Program under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

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 all child-directed media to ensure that marketing and data collection and management practices are compliant with CARU’s self-regulatory advertising and privacy guidelines.

Pre-Screening Service

From concept to final cut, CARU provides pre-screen services to help businesses and agencies spot and correct advertising and privacy issues before ads, contests, and promotional websites go live.

COPPA Safe Harbor Services

CARU is the first FTC-approved Safe Harbor Program under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), helping companies achieve business goals while ensuring COPPA compliance.

 

 

50 Years of Advancing Responsible Child-Directed Marketing & Privacy

 

For the last 50 years, companies marketing to children have held each other to a higher standard. In 1974, the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) was established as the U.S. mechanism of independent self-regulation for protecting children under age 13 from deceptive or inappropriate advertising.

 

 

 

Guidelines & Procedures


CARU leads the development and ongoing management of advertising guidelines for children under age 13. 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 under age 13 (these guidelines reflect changes in COPPA)
  • How to approach product presentations, appropriate disclosures, sweepstakes and contests, safety, endorsements, and sales pressure

 

August 2022 Compliance Warning: Advertising Practices in the Metaverse

May 2024 Compliance Warning: AI in Child-Directed Advertising and Data Collection

Guardrails for the Child-Directed Metaverse

 

 

The Guardrails for Child-Directed Advertising and Privacy in the Metaverse, developed by the BBB National Programs Metaverse Working Group, are a set of realistic, actionable recommendations and best practices intended to help companies to:

 

  • Develop metaverse experiences directed to children,
  • Comply with existing advertising and privacy law, and
  • Engage responsibly with children online. 

 

Read the Press Release

 

 

Access the Guardrails

 

 

Want to see if your metaverse experience complies with recommendations outlined in the Guardrails? Sign up for a CARU Pre-Screen.

News & Blog

Decision

Children’s Advertising Review Unit Finds YouTube Channel “Vlad and Niki” in Violation of its Advertising Guidelines; Recommends Disclosure Modifications

New York, NY – May 29, 2024 - The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) launched an investigation into the YouTube channel “Vlad and Niki” to determine if the channel's video content and advertisements comply with CARU’s Self-Regulatory Guidelines for Children’s Advertising.

Read the Decision Summary
Decision

Children’s Advertising Review Unit Finds Roblox in Violation of Its Advertising Guidelines; Recommends Modifications and Compliance Monitoring

McLean, VA – May 12, 2023 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) has found Roblox in violation of CARU Advertising Guidelines for responsible advertising to children under age 13. This case also reviewed privacy concerns that will be addressed with Roblox's COPPA Safe Harbor. 

Read the Decision Summary
Blog

Warning: Use Caution with AI in the Children’s Space

Children are engaging with various forms of artificial intelligence (AI), a technology that can provide significant benefits that can be accompanied by a series of risks. The Children’s Advertising Review Unit compliance warning regarding the use of AI in practices directed to children reminds industry of its special responsibilities to children.
Read more
Blog

Continuing to Evolve: the 10s, 20s, and the Future of CARU

The confluence of social media, apps, and digital advertising in the 2010s and 2020s generated new issues that inspired multiple revisions to CARU's Guidelines as well as compliance warnings to address new platforms breaking onto the scene.
Read more

 

BBB National Programs provides summaries of all case decisions in the Case Decision Summary library. For the full text of National Advertising Division, National Advertising Review Board, and Children’s Advertising Review Unit decisions, subscribe to the Online Archive. For members of the press, the full text of any BBB National Programs decision is available by emailing the request to press@bbbnp.org

 

 

 

Upcoming Events

Summer CARU Supporter Meeting

During 2024, the 50th anniversary of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), we will celebrate the “evolution” of children’s advertising and privacy. In July, CARU Supporters will discuss progr ...
Learn more
Jul 17, 2024 Virtual

West Coast CARU Supporter Meeting

During 2024, the 50th anniversary of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), we will celebrate the “evolution” of children’s advertising and privacy. In October, CARU Supporters will discuss pr ...
Learn more
Oct 23, 2024 West Coast (TBD)
 

 

 

CARU Supporters

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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

  • Complimentary advertising pre-screening and guidance from expert staff

  • Invitation to the annual Supporters’ Council Meeting to discuss industry challenge

 

 

 

Interested in more information about becoming a CARU Supporter?  Contact our National Partners team to learn how.

 

 


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