The expanding problem of child obesity in the US has prompted a national children's advertising watchdog to overhaul its rules.

The Children's Advertising Review Unit says its "complete review" will cover online games, paid product placement on TV and the use of licensed characters, among other platforms.

Says Steven Cole, president/ceo of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, CARU's administrative parent: "CARU intends to be a leader in the ongoing public debate regarding the relationship between childhood obesity and marketing practices."

He adds: "We believe the health issues confronting our children require responses from parents, schools, communities and marketers."

The organization oversees and prescreens advertising to children. Although compliance with its rules is voluntary, marketers who ignore its demands risk being referred to the Federal Trade Commission.

The review's recommendations will be made public within four months.

Data sourced from Adweek (USA); additional content by WARC staff