CARU - Children's Advertising Review Unit

CARU, a division of the National Advertising Review Small -outcome -of -resolve
Council, is the children’s arm of the U.S. advertising industry’s self-regulation program. It evaluates child-directed advertising and promotional material in all media to advance truthfulness, accuracy and consistency through compliance with its Self-Regulatory Guidelines for Children’s Advertising and relevant laws.

CARU recognizes that the special nature and needs of a youthful audience require particular care and diligence on the part of advertisers. Consequently, CARU performs a high level of monitoring, including the scrutinizing of over ten thousand television commercials, and the review of advertisements in print, radio and online media. Its self-regulatory guidelines address issues including age restrictions on certain types of advertising and data collection, enhanced privacy protection, the need for parental approval, blurring of ads and program content, avoidance of sales pressure, and ensuring safe, age-appropriate products and messages.

In addition to evaluating ads in response to complaints, CARU takes an active role in initiating its own reviews. Each year since 2008, the number of advertisements that CARU identified as problematic has dramatically decreased, indicating that advertisers are taking self-regulation seriously and are using CARU’s guidance to avoid issues.