CARU’s West Coast Conference Will Examine Digital Marketing to Children

The Children’s Advertising and Review Unit (CARU) will hold its fourth annual West Coast Conference on May 7 in Beverly Hills, Calif. The daylong conference, entitled Marketing to Children in a Digital Landscape, will feature panel discussions examining a range of child-direct advertising issues of interest to the toy industry.

Topics include the aftereffect of changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act that went into effect last July, the effectiveness and challenges of online advertising, how to ensure that websites and apps are legally compliant, and more.

Participants will receive practical insights into understanding self-regulatory guidelines for children’s advertising, as well as specific examples of how to effectively work with CARU throughout its decision-making process. The West Coast Conference will take place at the Beverly Hilton hotel; event registration is open, and the full agenda can be viewed at the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council homepage.

FTC Advises App Developers to “Build in Compliance from the Start”

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a new guidance document for mobile app developers titled Marketing Your Mobile App: Get it Right from the Start to assist developers in ensuring that their apps meet the FTC’s truth-in-advertising standards and basic privacy principles.

The six-page document re-states the FTC’s recent rulemaking and enforcement actions and delineates how any developer–regardless of level of experience–can “build in compliance from the start.”

Key tips outlined in the document include being honest about the product description in advertising, disclosing key information visibly, being obvious and secure in data practices, and honoring privacy promises. The FTC also calls out protecting kids’ privacy as one of their nine best practice guidelines, with a specific reference to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Marketing Your Mobile App: Get it Right from the Start is a companion resource to two documents recently created by the Toy Industry Association’s Responsible Marketing to Children Committee. The Changing Privacy and Data Security Landscape: From Mobile Apps to OBA, and a corresponding Checklist for Mobile Apps and Promotions, are two Members Only publications that aim to assist members of the industry in understanding an ever-expanding array of laws and regulations, policy initiatives, self-regulatory standards and reports addressing various aspects of privacy and data security.

More information about Responsible Marketing to Children can be found on the TIA website; for additional information, contact TIA’s Stacy Leistner (646.520.4858).

This post was originally written by the Toy Industry Association and published at ToyAssociation.org. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Webosaurs Exits Beta, Enters Market With New Features

Reel FX Creative Studios (RFCS) has announced that its online educational and social game, Webosaurs, is now live following a yearlong open beta test. Based on the free-to-play model, with premium enhancements available for a price, Webosaurs is the brainchild of Reel FX Entertainment and Jacques Panis, who said he saw a market opportunity for boy-centered online entertainment after his twins found it difficult to find such content online.

Webosaurs’ official market release brings with it new content in the form of enhanced privacy controls, virtual pets, an arcade room, new quests, more Webosodes–educational, live-action clips–from Nigel Marven, new domains to explore, new games, and a virtual catalog to purchase various goods and services. A reconstructed homepage, virtual recycling program, expanded help, and a new parents page, as well as the ability to add more avatars to a user’s collection, round out the list of enhancements.

With plans for ancillary products ranging from RFCS’s iPhone app to a comic book series, Webosaurs is set to build upon its brand power. For boys–although girls can play, too–ages 5 to 10, Webosaurs combines action gaming with educational aspects to create a prehistoric experience in a COPPA-compliant environment.