CARU 1974-2024 50th

Advancing Responsible Child-Directed Marketing & Privacy Practices for 50 Years

For the last 50 years, companies marketing to children have held each other to a higher standard. In response to a credible threat to advertising to children, 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.  

 

 

The History

 

 

 

1970

In the 1970s there was a credible threat to, if not an outright ban on, advertising to children. In efforts to severely curtail it, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) established a subcommittee to draft a code governing advertising directed at children.  

 

 

 

1974

The result was the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), established in May 1974, recognized by the FTC as the U.S. mechanism of independent self-regulation for children’s advertising, a system that has stood the test of time and technological innovation. 

 

 

 

1996

CARU’s Online Privacy Guidelines on protecting children’s data privacy online helped build the foundation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), enacted in 1998.

 

 

 

2001

In 2001, CARU became the first FTC-approved COPPA Safe Harbor Program, helping companies achieve their business goals while ensuring compliance with COPPA requirements. 

 

 

 

2010s

Between 2012-2014, CARU revised its guidelines to include provisions on online advertising, social media, mobile applications, in-game advertising, and other interactive features targeted at children. In 2018, CARU referred Musical.ly, today known as TikTok, to the FTC, which led to the landmark FTC case that resulted in the largest monetary settlement in a COPPA case.

 

 

About CARU

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.

 

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

 

About CARU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's frequently said that industry must choose between self-regulation and regulation, but they both have an important role to play. For the last 50 years in the children’s space, companies have held each other to a higher standard while complying with federal and state law, and continue, into CARU’s 50th year, to raise the bar for the protection of children.

 

 

Rukiya Bonner
Director, Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU)
BBB National Programs

 

 

Supporting CARU’s 50th Year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Events

East Coast CARU Supporter Meeting

CARU Supporters, join us in New York City to reflect on the “evolution” of children’s advertising and privacy. At this meeting, we will discuss program and policy updates, what happens when legislatio ...
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Apr 17, 2024 Hybrid/New York, NY

CARU’s 50th Anniversary Reception

BBB National Programs will host a special reception in New York to celebrate 50 years of independent industry self-regulation in children's advertising and privacy.
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Apr 17, 2024 New York, NY

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 ...
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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 ...
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Oct 23, 2024 West Coast (TBD)

 

 

CARU Supporter Meetings are an exclusive benefit to National Partnership with BBB National Programs. Please reach out to learn more about joining this exciting community of leaders in the children’s space.

 

 

 

 

Thought Leadership

Blog

American Privacy Rights Act: A Primer for Business

Was it the recent series of natural phenomena that prompted Congress to move on a bipartisan, bicameral federal privacy bill? We can’t say with certainty, but we can outline for you what we believe to be, at first glance, the most compelling elements of the American Privacy Rights Act of 2024 (APRA).
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Blog

KOSA (and Children’s Privacy) on the Move

The Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) is gaining traction in the U.S. Senate after the most recent round of revisions released this month by Senators Richard Blumenthal and Marsha Blackburn, following on the heels of proposed changes to the COPPA Rule. Here are CARU's high-level takeaways from the KOSA revisions with some insight into each revision.
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Blog

COPPA Safe Harbor: Understanding the Seals

On December 20, 2023, the FTC proposed changes to the COPPA Rule that would impact every COPPA Safe Harbor Program. While the CARU team continues to review the FTC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, this blog provides answers to some frequently asked questions about our COPPA Safe Harbor Program and explains the various safe harbor seal types.
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Blog

Explainer: COPPA Rule Proposed Changes

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has given us a lot to think about by publishing its proposed changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule. While the FTC does not propose many wholesale revisions to the COPPA Rule, CARU breaks down what the FTC is proposing.
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