National Advertising Division Finds Niantic’s Charitable Donation Claims Supported

For Immediate Release
Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs

703.247.9330 / press@bbbnp.org

New York, NY – March 1, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that Niantic, Inc. was able to support claims pledging charitable donations to “Black gaming” as well as social and racial justice organizations.

Niantic, a software development company, claimed on its website:

  • We’ll be donating Niantic proceeds from Pokémon GO Fest 2020 ticket sales, committing a minimum of $5 million. Half of the proceeds donated will be used to fund new projects from Black gaming and AR creators that can live on the Niantic platform, with the ultimate goal of increasing content that represents a more diverse view on the world. The other half will go to US nonprofit organizations that are helping local communities rebuild. 
  • We’ll be donating $100,000 to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and doing an employee match of up to $50,000.
  • We’re expanding our partnership with Gameheads a nonprofit that teaches kids how to develop games from beginning to end. This year, they are going fully virtual and taking the program global. We’ll be providing $25,000 in scholarships, sponsoring their annual showcase with $15,000, and donating $20,000 to create a new “Developing for AR 101” program where students can earn college accreditation in partnership with Cal State. 

 

This inquiry was initiated through NAD’s routine monitoring program. NAD’s public interest mission to ensure consumers receive truthful advertising extends to companies’ representations committing to support social justice initiatives. 

NAD reviewed whether Niantic could support its representations that it was making significant monetary donations to Black Lives Matter and related charities. 

Based on evidence provided by Niantic, NAD determined that the challenged advertising claims were substantiated. NAD noted that it appreciates Niantic’s commitment to social justice and its participation in the self-regulatory process.

All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive.

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About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.

About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.  

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