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

News & Blog

Decision

Children’s Advertising Review Unit Recommends Jazwares Modify Misleading Ads and Product Packaging for Micro Machines; Company Agrees to Comply

McLean, VA – March 17, 2022 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) determined that Jazwares advertising and product packaging for Micro Machines Corvette and World of Micro Machines Playsets were likely to mislead children. CARU also determined that Jazwares’ Micro Machines Corvette...

Read the Decision Summary
Decision

Children’s Advertising Review Unit Recommends Moose Toys Include Disclosures and Adult Supervision in Gotta Go Turdle Ads; Company Agrees to Comply

McLean, VA – March 16, 2022 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) recommended that Moose Toys modify its television and YouTube advertisements promoting the Little Live Pets Gotta Go Turdle, as well as the product’s packaging, to include clear and conspicuous disclosures that children...

Read the Decision Summary
Blog

Case Study: Getting to Compliance with CARU and COPPA

In a recent case, CARU worked with TickTalk to help them achieve compliance with CARU’s Privacy Guidelines and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). CARU sat down with TickTalk once the case had closed to discuss their experience as well as some of the privacy challenges many companies face in the children’s space.
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Blog

Pursuing Best Practices For Representation In Advertising

As advertising volume increases, so too do people’s expectations of representation in advertising. Unfortunately, advertising collectively is still falling short, and consumer perceptions reflect that. Why answer this call from consumers? And what is being done about it?
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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

Council for Responsible Nutrition's ABCs of Children’s Supplements

Maureen Enright, Vice President, CFBAI, Debra Policarpo, Senior Attorney, CARU, and Annie M. Ugurlayan, Assistant Director, NAD discuss Playing Smart with Advertising, Scientific Substantiation, and M ...
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Jun 01, 2022 Virtual

WireWheel SPOKES Privacy Technology Conference Summer 2022

Dona Fraser, Senior Vice President, Privacy Initiatives, BBB National Programs
Learn more
Jun 22, 2022 Virtual

ACI Food Law – Regulation, Compliance, and Litigation

Debra Policarpo, Senior Attorney, Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) and Lauren Eskenazi, Program Manager, Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) join In-Person Workshop A ...
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Jul 12, 2022 Chicago, IL

NAD 2022 Annual Conference

Register today for the National Advertising Division (NAD) annual conference, NAD 2022, which will focus on the evolving nature of the intangible contract that exists between brands and consumers. The ...
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Sep 19, 2022 Washington, DC
 

 

 

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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