Expanding SWIFT: What’s New for 2023

Feb 22, 2023 by Eric Unis, Senior Attorney, National Advertising Division, BBB National Programs

Since 2020, the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs has reviewed dozens of challenges through our Fast-Track SWIFT process, an expedited path for single-issue truth-in-advertising challenges. Last year, I took you behind the scenes of issues we saw in 2021 and announced the new SWIFT challenge lane built specifically to address the prominence and sufficiency of disclosures in national advertising

This year, NAD is expanding Fast-Track SWIFT so that all single-issue claims, express and implied, that do not require review of complex evidence or substantiation are eligible. 

In SWIFT, challenges are limited to issues that do not require review of complex evidence or substantiation, such as clinical or technical testing or consumer perception evidence, and cases are resolved within 20 business days or less.

Based on our experience in reviewing Fast Track SWIFT challenges, the previous express claim limitation had prevented review of certain simple cases that could have been resolved in the 20-day window. 

In addition, we have removed the page limit for evidence submitted in support or defense of a challenge. We learned that the page limit prevented consideration of evidence that was not complex, but which exceeded the page limitation. 

In sum, NAD’s guidance has been updated to state that NAD accepts the following types of claims for Fast-Track SWIFT challenges:

  • Misleading express or implied claims that do not require review of complex evidence or substantiation such as clinical or technical testing or consumer perception evidence;
  • The prominence or sufficiency of disclosures including disclosure issues in influencer marketing, native advertising, and incentivized reviews; and
  • Misleading price and sales claims.

 

NAD’s procedures have also been modified to remove the page limit for exhibits submitted in Fast-Track SWIFT cases. 

If you have any questions about these changes or the Fast-Track SWIFT process generally, please contact NAD@bbbnp.org.

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