National Advertising Division Recommends Smarter Reviews, a Product Review Site, Discontinue or Modify its Rankings and Review Format

New York, NY – February 27, 2024 – Following a challenge brought by BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division as part of its routine monitoring program, the National Advertising Division recommended that product review site, Smarter Reviews:

  • Discontinue its rankings and reviews format, or 
  • Modify its advertising to avoid conveying a message that the review and rankings webpages and the reviews and rankings themselves are unbiased, genuine, and independent and on an unbiased and objective review site.


In a Google search result, the claim, “2023’s Top Eye Treatment for Refreshed, Youthful-Looking Eyes: We reveal the top 5 products for reducing & preventing the look of aging skin around the eyes,” appeared as part of an article on

The National Advertising Division (NAD) inquiry focused on whether the challenged claims in both the Google Search result and the eye cream rankings on the website reasonably conveyed that they were independent and objective, when, in fact, they are advertisements. 

During the inquiry, Smarter Reviews modified its webpage to add several disclosures that the webpage is advertising for TruAlchemy’s Eye Elixir, the #1 ranked product, including “owned and operated by Scale Media, Inc.”  

While NAD appreciated the changes made by Smarter Reviews, NAD determined that it was not sufficiently clear that the content is advertising, noting that the reviews and rankings on the webpage appear to be the product of a dispassionate, independent analysis conducted by an editorial team. 

NAD concluded that when advertisers control review websites, a disclosure, even if clear and conspicuous, may not be sufficient to alert consumers that the review is created or sponsored by the advertiser and advertising websites. Further, NAD found no evidence that Smarter Reviews has the expertise it purports to have in reviewing and ranking products, nor is there evidence that the endorsement is based on the expertise the website purports to have. 

In its advertiser statement, Smarter Reviews stated that it “agrees to comply with NAD’s recommendations” although it “believes that the content and the disclosures on Smarter Reviews clearly and conspicuously explain the nature of the relationship between the products advertised and Scale Media, consistent with the FTC’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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.

Please Note: The advertising at issue in this case was initially referred to an appropriate government agency. Following the referral, Smarter Reviews subsequently returned to NAD and agreed to participate in the advertising self-regulatory forum.


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