National Advertising Division Recommends The Princeton Review Discontinue Point Increase Claims for MCAT Test Preparation Services

New York, NY – April 18, 2024 – In a Fast-Track SWIFT challenge brought by Blueprint Test Preparation LLC, BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division recommended that TPR Education, LLC d/b/a The Princeton Review (TPR), discontinue claims that its students “Score a 515+ on the MCAT or add 15 points depending on your starting score. Guaranteed or your money back.”

Fast-Track SWIFT is an expedited process designed for single-issue advertising cases brought to the National Advertising Division (NAD). Blueprint argued that TPR’s claims of 515+ or +15 points are performance claims that require substantiation.

NAD concluded that the money-back guarantee was clearly and conspicuously disclosed with every iteration of TPR’s claim—either as part of the main claim or immediately afterward. But NAD also concluded that TPR conveyed an affirmative performance claim that a substantial portion of its customers taking these courses will be able to achieve a 15-point increase or a 515+ score. In so finding, NAD noted that TPR is not just claiming that the product will be effective, but that it will be effective in creating particular quantified results.

Since there was no evidence in the record that a substantial proportion of consumers will be able to obtain a 15-point increase or a 515+ score on their MCAT exams by taking TPR’s courses, NAD recommended that TPR discontinue the challenged claims. 

In its advertiser’s statement, TPR said that it “agrees to comply with NAD’s recommendations” though it disagrees with “NAD’s finding that the challenged money back guarantee claims convey a performance message.”

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. Per NAD/NARB procedures, this release shall not be used for advertising or promotional purposes.

 

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