BBB National Programs Archive

NAD Refers Advertising Claims Made By Terra Novo to FTC Following Compliance Review

New York, NY – May 5, 2015 – The National Advertising Division has referred advertising claims made by Terra Novo, Inc., to the Federal Trade Commission, following a compliance review.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Advertising claims made by Terra Novo in product brochures, flyers, mailings, e-mail sales messages and at the company’s website for its EarthGuard Fiber Matrix erosion control products were initially challenged before NAD by Profile Products, LLC, maker of Flexterra FGM and Flexterra HP-FGM, competing erosion control products.

In January, NAD determined that certain claims made by Terra Nova were supported, but others should be modified or discontinued. The company said at the time that  it “accepts NAD’s decision and agrees to take NAD’s recommendations into consideration in its future advertising.”

Upon receiving a draft of NAD’s compliance review, the advertiser agreed to make some additional modifications to its advertising. However, the company declined to modify certain other claims, including claims related to the results of testing on its products and cost savings.

NAD noted in its decision that while it “appreciates the advertiser’s agreement to some additional modifications to its advertising, it nonetheless found those efforts insufficient to bring the challenged advertising into compliance with NAD’s decision. NAD was disappointed with the advertiser’s decision not to make all of the recommended modifications as part of NAD’s compliance process.

NAD noted that the recommendations with which the advertiser does not comply relate to impactful claims regarding product performance and cost, and that those claims, without the suggested modifications and disclosures, could convey an inaccurate message regarding the benefits that consumers should expect when purchasing the advertiser’s products.

Given that the advertiser has declined to modify its claims to comply with the NAD’s recommendations in the underlying decision, NAD has referred the advertising at issue to the FTC.