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).
Monitoring and EnforcementCARU 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 ServiceFrom 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 ServicesCARU 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.
Interested in exclusive CARU’s 50th events and meetings? Learn more about Becoming a CARU Supporter.
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
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.
Want to see if your metaverse experience complies with recommendations outlined in the Guardrails? Sign up for a CARU Pre-Screen.
News & Blog
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.
CARU Finds Gameloft’s Disney Getaway Blast App in Violation of COPPA and CARU’s Advertising and Privacy Guidelines; Gameloft Agrees to Corrective Actions
McLean, VA – November 1, 2022 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) has found Gameloft S.A. in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and CARU’s Self-Regulatory Guidelines for Advertising and for Children’s Online Privacy Protection. Upon receipt...
KOSA (and Children’s Privacy) on the Move
COPPA Safe Harbor: Understanding the Seals
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 email@example.com.
Q2 CARU Supporter Meeting
Q3 CARU Supporter Meeting
Q4 CARU Supporter Meeting
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