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NARC Releases White Paper on Food Advertising Self-Regulation

The National Advertising Review Council (NARC), the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, today released a White Paper titled “Guidance for Food Advertising Self-Regulation.” NARC published the White Paper to provide leadership in advertising self-regulation and to increase the understanding of the role of self-regulation of food advertising. It includes a section on current developments that synthesizes the Principles, Guidelines and decisions of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) that are related to food advertising to children.

“Our purpose is to raise the visibility of self-regulation and provide guidance that is based on our rich archive of food advertising cases that span three decades,” said James R. Guthrie, president and CEO, NARC. “We believe this timely report will increase public awareness and promote greater understanding of the work self-regulation has accomplished.”

The White Paper documents ongoing self-regulatory efforts and highlights existing decisions that have been made in the category of food advertising. A historical overview of the work of CARU and the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus—with representative examples from more than 900 cases and inquiries on food and nutrition advertising—showcase the effectiveness of advertising self-regulation.

The NARC Board asked Howard Bell, Chairman of National Advertising Review Board (NARB) and a highly respected founder of the self-regulatory system, to appoint and chair an ad hoc panel of experienced professionals who advised and commented on the White Paper. “This is a powerful document that will clearly explain and demonstrate the effectiveness of the self-regulatory system,” said Howard Bell, chair, NARB.

The White Paper can be downloaded for free from the NARC’s web site, www.narcpartners.org.

About the National Advertising Review Council

The National Advertising Review Council (NARC) was formed in 1971 by the Association of National Advertisers, Inc. (ANA), the American Association of Advertising Agencies, Inc. (AAAA), the Ame rican Advertising Federation, Inc. (AAF), and the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. (CBBB). Its purpose is to foster truth and accuracy in national advertising through voluntary self-regulation. NARC is the body that establishes the policies and procedures for the CBBB’s National Advertising Division (NAD), the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), and the National Advertising Review Board (NARB).

About NAD, CARU and NARB

NAD and CARU are the investigative arms of the advertising industry’s voluntary self-regulation program. Their casework results from competitive challenges from other advertisers, and also from self-monitoring traditional and new media, including the Internet. The National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appeals body, is a peer group from which ad-hoc panels are selected to adjudicate those cases that are not resolved at the NAD/CARU level. This unique, self-regulatory system is funded entirely by the business community; CARU is financed by the children's advertising industry, while NAD/NARB’s sole source of funding is derived from membership fees paid to the Council of Better Business Bureaus.


James Guthrie, National Advertising Review Council. June 2, 2004.

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