The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU)

The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), a unit of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council, is the advertising industry’s primary self-regulatory organization responsible for monitoring ad content – across all media channels – directed at children.

In general, CARU aims to make sure that advertising directed at kids is not deceptive, unfair, or inappropriate.  It also has developed a set of Guidelines that cover a range of areas, including sweepstakes and privacy protection.  Despite its wholesome goals and guidelines, however, CARU doesn’t appear to have much bite – it has to rely on the voluntary cooperation of the advertisers in order to seek change.

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CARU, or the Children’s Advertising Review Unit, keeps tabs on advertising directed at children, and issues recommendations to advertisers when ads are deceptive or target children unfairly. But because the CARU is a self-regulatory group, advertisers can ignore its recommendations. CARU is administered by the Council for Better Business Bureaus.

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