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 under age 13 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.

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

News & Blog

Decision

CARU Finds Tilting Point Media in Violation of COPPA and CARU’s Advertising and Privacy Guidelines; Company Agrees to Corrective Actions

McLean, VA – September 7, 2022 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) found Tilting Point Media, owner and operator of the SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off app, in violation of COPPA and CARU’s Self-Regulatory Guidelines for Advertising and for Children’s Online Privacy Protection.

Read the Decision Summary
Decision

Moose Toys Discontinues its Fail Fix Dolls Advertising to Comply with Children’s Advertising Review Unit Guidelines on Negative Social Stereotypes

McLean, VA – August 10, 2022 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) has determined that Moose Toys product advertising to children for its Fail Fix Total Makeover Dolls failed to comply with CARU’s Advertising Guidelines, specifically a provision stating that advertising should not...

Read the Decision Summary
Blog

Know the Rules: How to Be Age Appropriate in the Metaverse

As the metaverse evolves, CARU will continue to advise businesses on implementing CARU’s Advertising and Privacy Guidelines and age-appropriate design approaches to ensure children’s safety and wellbeing are considered and protected.
Read more
Blog

Advertising And Privacy: The Rules Of The Road For The Metaverse

The metaverse is being hailed as the next big technological revolution. Through the lens of advertising and privacy, and the intersection of these with children’s well-being, what are the rules of the road for businesses interested in diving into the metaverse?
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

Let's Talk About... Kids & Contests

Contest and sweepstakes promotions can be exciting for kids and effective for brands; however, designing them in the kids’ space to comply with relevant privacy and advertising laws and best practices ...
Learn more
Oct 06, 2022 Virtual

Federal Trade Commission Protecting Kids from Stealth Advertising in Digital Media

Mamie Kresses, Vice President, Children's Advertising Review Unit will present Children’s Advertising Show and Tell to discuss children's digital spaces, techniques used to advertise to them, and an o ...
Learn more
Oct 19, 2022 Virtual

2022 ANA/BAA Masters of Marketing Law Conference

Mamie Kresses, Vice President, Children's Advertising Review Unit, BBB National Programs will participate in a breakout session panel discussion on Navigating Children's Advertising and Privacy on Tik ...
Learn more
Nov 08, 2022 Hollywood, FL
 

 

 

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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