Do You Know Where Your Kids Are -- Online?

CARU Produces Its First PSA Effort to Help Parents With Internet Issues

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Looking to protect kids online, the Children's Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus is running its first public service campaign, targeting children's internet safety.

The effort, which addresses parents, is made up of 10-, 15- and 30-second TV spots looking at three different scenarios. In the first, four boys want to download a video game, but need a Social Security number. In the second, three girls try to join a fan club, but are asked for a credit card number. In the third, tween girls post questionable pictures on a social networking site. In all three cases, parents step in with concern.

Actress Catherine Hicks hosts the spots and asks the question, "Do you know where your children are—on the Internet?" She then urges parents to contact CARU for more information.

"The campaign was created with a twofold purpose in mind," said CARU Director Wayne J. Keeley in a statement. "First, as an awareness vehicle for parents to think about where their children may be surfing and, second, to direct them to CARU for more information about Internet safety."

The campaign was produced by CARU and is running on broadcast and cable TV, including Discovery Kids, as well as online. In fact, the video on YouTube has had more than 5,000 hits so far.

"We are really please because it's hitting the target audience, and we are getting really good feedback," Keeley says.

CARU was created in 1974 by the advertising industry to review and evaluate child-directed advertising in all media. When advertising is found to be misleading, the organization works for change through voluntary cooperation of advertisers.