BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) issued a new compliance warning regarding the application of CARU’s Self-Regulatory Guidelines for Children’s Advertising to advertising practices directed to children in the metaverse. The announcement was made by Mamie Kresses, vice president, CARU.
Said Kresses: “Our warning puts advertisers, brands, influencers and endorsers, developers, and others on notice that CARU’s Advertising Guidelines apply to advertising in the metaverse and that CARU will strictly enforce its Guidelines against metaverse advertising.”
CARU’s Advertising Guidelines are widely recognized industry standards designed to assure that advertising directed to children is not deceptive, unfair, or inappropriate for its intended audience. CARU monitors child-directed media to ensure compliance with its Advertising Guidelines, seeking the voluntary cooperation of companies and, where necessary, referral for enforcement action to an appropriate federal regulatory body, usually the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), or to a state Attorney General.
In this compliance warning for the metaverse, CARU reminds advertisers that the Advertising Guidelines apply to all advertising, in any medium, directed to children under age 13, and that the Guidelines require that advertising be neither deceptive nor unfair to the children to whom it is directed, as these terms are applied under the FTC Act.
In the metaverse, according to CARU’s Kresses, advertisers should be particularly cautious in the following areas:
In this compliance warning, CARU alerts industry to its enforcement priorities regarding advertising in the metaverse, as well as in augmented and virtual reality worlds. Kresses encourages advertisers, developers, influencers and endorsers, and others to review CARU’s Advertising Guidelines to understand how to truthfully, transparently, and appropriately advertise to children in these and other media.
About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About Children’s Advertising Review Unit: The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), a division of BBB National Programs and 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 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.