July 13, 2005

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American Advertising Federation States Support of Industry Self Regulation

WASHINGTON, D.C- A day before the Joint Workshop of the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Health and Human Services on Marketing, Self-Regulation, and Childhood Obesity, the American Advertising Federation (AAF) today made clear its support of the Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU) and its indispensable role in promoting industry self-regulation.

AAF president & CEO Wally Snyder said, "The critics of CARU are judging it unfairly when they demand it evaluate the food product rather than the advertising. CARU's role in self-regulation is examining the advertising message itself. Therefore, the proper assessment of CARU's success is how successful it is in regulating advertising to children. By this appropriate standard, CARU's record is outstanding.

"To ask CARU to judge the relative merits of foods - to participate in the so-called 'good foods/bad foods' debate - is both unworkable and inappropriate. CARU's expertise is in the message, not the manufacturing.

"CARU is woven into the entire fabric of self-regulation. Its guidelines are the foundation for those of advertisers, agencies and media companies which independently self-regulate advertising during the creative process. Every day, pouches of scripts and commercials are sent to the networks for review.

"The CARU guidelines are not static. In the recent past, the guidelines evolved to address Internet advertising. Currently, a panel of expert advisors is reviewing potential guidelines for advergaming.

Advertising will be part of the solution in the search for healthier lifestyles," concluded Snyder.

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The American Advertising Federation (AAF), headquartered in Washington, D.C., acts as the "Unifying Voice for Advertising." The AAF is the oldest national advertising trade association, representing 50,000 professionals in the advertising industry. The AAF has a national network of 200 ad clubs located in ad communities across the country. Through its 215 college chapters, the AAF provides 6,500 advertising students with real-world case studies and recruitment connections to corporate America. The AAF also has 130 blue-chip corporate members that are advertisers, agencies and media companies, comprising the nation's leading brands and corporations. For more information, visit the AAF's Web site at www.aaf.org.