BBB National Programs Archive

NAD Finds Generac Violated NAD Procedures in Communication to Customers

New York, NY – Oct. 11, 2012 – The National Advertising Division has determined that Generac, the maker of home generators, violated the procedures that govern the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. Generac promoted the outcome of a case heard by NAD directly to Generac customers and, in the process, mischaracterized NAD’s findings.

The self-regulatory process requires fair dealing on the part of all parties. The procedures that govern the self-regulatory system and the participation agreements signed by all parties make clear that parties are prohibited from mischaracterizing NAD decisions or using decisions for promotional purposes.

In the underlying case, advertising by Generac was challenged by Kohler. Shortly after NAD’s decision was announced, NAD learned that Kohler contacted customers directly with information concerning NAD’s findings, a communication that represented a promotional purpose.

Subsequently, Generac – which had complained about Kohler’s conduct – issued a lengthy communication to customers that omitted key information about NAD’s findings, mischaracterizing the outcome.

“Manipulation of the self-regulatory system  is unseemly and inappropriate. We offer a user-friendly forum, where parties can expeditiously resolve their advertising claims’ disputes. It reflects poorly on those who seek to use the system for commercial advantage,” said Andrea Levine, NAD’s Director.