Ad Watchers: Putting Ads to the Truthfulness Test

Mar 8, 2022 by La Toya Sutton, Attorney, National Advertising Division, BBB National Programs

The monthly Ad Watchers podcast kicked off in the 50th year of the National Advertising Division (NAD), providing listeners with behind-the-scenes access to the nitty-gritty of advertising law. Why? As the co-hosts told you, it’s “because advertising law is simple, it’s the execution that’s hard.”  

To get things started, the podcast answered the foundational question: who makes the rules? It is a common misunderstanding that NAD creates or establishes standards for the U.S. advertising industry. But NAD does not make the rules (learn who does in Who Makes the Rules). Rather, NAD monitors the marketplace and resolves conflicts between companies regarding the truthfulness and accuracy of advertising, ultimately determining whether it is misleading and if the ad needs to be modified based on standards and guidance set by the Federal Trade Commission.  

Across the seven episodes in season one of Ad Watchers, NAD attorneys broke down some of the most frequent advertising issues addressed in NAD cases to reveal the complexity of keeping claims truthful and accurate. Our hosts answered questions like, ‘what makes a disclosure easy to notice, read, and understand?’ and ‘where is the line between opinion and fact?’ applied to current advertising examples from NAD case decisions.  

Season two is just around the corner. This year we have seven more episodes coming your way on topics such as effectively using consumer perception surveys, diversity and inclusion in advertising, and demystifying dark patterns.  

Have an idea for a topic you would like to see covered or a question you want answered in season two? Let us know here


Catch up on Season One’s Episodes 

  • Ep. 1: Who’s making these advertising rules? 
  • Ep. 2: What does it mean to have a reasonable basis?
  • Ep. 3: What’s the recipe for a proper advertising disclosure?
  • Ep. 4: How do we step into the shoes of the consumer?
  • Ep. 5: The best podcast ever – what is puffery?
  • Ep. 6: When are advertisers responsible for consumer ratings and reviews?
  • Ep. 7: What evidence do you need to support health claims? 


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