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A Recap of CARU's 2016 West Coast Conference

The preliminary feedback is in and CARU’s 2016 Annual Conference was a resounding success. Indeed, one comment was that the conference was taken to an entirely different level this year. It was held at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton in Marina Del Ray. It was very well attended with both CARU Supporters and others in the children’s advertising industry including: Cartoon Network, Disney, Dreamworks, General Mills, Google, MPAA, Nickelodeon and many more. The conference was officially titled, Reimagining Children’s Advertising: Getting it Right in an Evolving Landscape. All of the panels featured expert speakers and in-depth substantive content.

The conference got a rousing start from a fireside chat between Paul Berberian, CEO of Sphero (maker of BB-8 toy from Star Wars) and ASRC’s CEO, Lee Peeler. Paul described the process by which Sphero obtained the contract from Disney to create and market BB-8 and the various pitfalls they worked hard to avoid along the way. If you haven't read it already, be sure to check out the recent article published in the New Yorker about Sphero and featuring Paul Berberian.

The lineup also included an inside look at COPPA and the aftermath of the amendments to the Rule. The panel featured Lindsey Tonsager of Covington & Burling and Matthew Vidal from Nickelodeon.

Of course, the explosion of mobile marketing to children merited a panel with Amy Mudge of Venable LLP, Don McGowan of The Pokemon Company and Michelle Lee of IDEO.

The audience was able to participate in groups and submitting feedback the next panel on Data Security hosted by Liisa Thomas of Winston & Strawn, LLP and Molly Morse of Kekst.

After a sumptuous networking lunch held alfresco right next to the marina, CARU’s second keynote speaker, Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Gender in the Media Institute engaged the audience with a fascinating discussion about gender bias in the media.

The afternoon continued with interesting panels. Alan Friel of Baker Hostetler, Linda Goldstein of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP and Sara Perry from Dreamworks discussed native advertising and endorsements, two extremely current topics facing the industry. 

The CARU & CFBAI year in review was given by CARU’s own Angela Tiffin and CFBAI’s Maureen Enright.

The final panel, a humorous and insightful presentation on marketing toys featured  Sheila Millar of Keller and Heckman, Mick Monahan of Mattel and Amanda O’Keefe of Activision Blizzard, Inc.
Overall, it was a great day for all and CARU looks forward to its next conference.

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