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

 

 

 

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 Recommends IMC Toys Include “Non-Edible” Disclosure in Cry Babies Magic Tears Tutti Frutti Doll Advertisement

New York, NY – May 27, 2021 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) recommended that IMC Toys USA Inc. modify its television advertisement promoting the Cry Babies Magic Tears Tutti Frutti doll to include a clear and conspicuous disclosure that children should not consume the jell-like...

Read the Decision
Blog

The Do’s and Don’ts of Buying Smart for Baby: A Primer from Privacy Experts

Researching a new product and finding the critical or in-depth information you are looking for to build confidence in your purchasing decision often requires sifting through superficial lists of “best products.” These lists are often sponsored by the products they feature, which means instead of a focus on being helpful they are full of incentivized endorsements and affiliate links. In this blog, we provide a list – not a sponsored list – of some do’s and don’ts for how to confidently research smart devices.
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Blog

Marking a Milestone: New Ad Guidelines, Influencers, Gaming, and More at CARU 2021

In a world where ads are woven seamlessly into online content, advertising and data collection practices become more complex, especially in the children’s space. On June 8 and 9, 2021, the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) virtually convened experts in children’s advertising, privacy, influencers, gaming, ed tech, and state and federal regulations around the globe for our annual conference, CARU 2021 to discuss challenges, best practices, and the year ahead.
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Blog

Understanding Dark Patterns: How To Stay Out Of The Gray Areas

Where is the line between ethical, persuasive design and dark patterns? Businesses should engage in conversations with IT, compliance, risk, and legal teams to review their privacy policy, and include in the discussion the customer/user experience designers and coders responsible for the company’s user interface, as well as the marketers and advertisers responsible for sign-ups, checkout baskets, pricing, and promotions. Any or all these teams can play a role in creating or avoiding “digital deception.”
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Upcoming Events

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) PrivacyCon

BBB National Programs Speaker: Cameryn Gonnella, Compliance Manager, Children’s Advertising Review Unit
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Jul 27, 2021 Virtual

Kidvertising 101

Kidvertising 101 is a one-day workshop providing attendees with hands-on education. This year the event is dedicated to the new Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) Advertising Guidelines, recent ...
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Oct 13, 2021 Virtual
 

 

 

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

 

 


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