October 20, 2021

Volume XI, Number 293

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October 19, 2021

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October 18, 2021

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CARU Revises its Guidelines to Address Increase in Online Media

The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) recently revised its children’s advertising guidelines to address the increased prevalence of online media directed to children. Of note, the guidelines now apply to content directed to children under 13 -in line with COPPA- rather than the previous applicability to children under 12.

The updated guidelines will go into effect January 1, 2022, and among other changes, the revisions:

  • Address in-app and in-game advertising and purchases: under the revised guidelines, there are specific requirements for game and app developers to avoid unfair, deceptive, or other manipulative in-app and in-game advertising. If the game or app allows children to make purchases, the advertiser must be clear that it involves real money.

  • Incorporate FTC guides on endorsement and influencer marketing: To address CARU’s concern that children are easily influenced, advertisers that pay -or give free product- to influencers must disclose that the influencer has been paid to promote the brand/play with the advertiser’s products.

  • Require transparency and avoidance of blurring: The new guidelines continue the requirements around blurring, making it clear what content is advertising and what content is not advertising, but emphasize that transparency in explaining the difference is critical.

  • Promote a more diverse and inclusive space for all children: in an effort to promote diversity, the new changes prohibit ads from encouraging negative social stereotyping, prejudice or discrimination.

Putting It Into Practice: While companies that advertise to children have time before the new guidelines go into effect, they would be well served to review the modified requirements, especially if they create online media.

Copyright © 2021, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 238
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About this Author

Liisa Thomas, Sheppard Mullin Law Firm, Chicago, Cybersecurity Law Attorney
Partner

Liisa Thomas, a partner based in the firm’s Chicago and London offices, is Co-Chair of the Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice. Her clients rely on her ability to create clarity in a sea of confusing legal requirements and describe her as “extremely responsive, while providing thoughtful legal analysis combined with real world practical advice.” Liisa is the author of the definitive treatise on data breach, Thomas on Data Breach: A Practical Guide to Handling Worldwide Data Breach Notification, which has been described as “a no-nonsense roadmap for in-house and...

312-499-6335
Snehal Desai, attorney, Sheppard Mullin
Attorney

Snehal Desai is an associate in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in the firm's San Francisco office. She is a member of the Privacy and Cybersecurity Team, the Advertising Team and the Technology Transactions Team.

Areas of Practice

Advertising: Snehal advises clients in conducting advertising campaigns, contests and sweepstakes, and brand marketing campaigns. 

Technology and Commercial Transactions: Snehal drafts and negotiates...

415-774-2960
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