BBB National Programs Blog

  • A Beginner's Guide to Reading Privacy Policies

    Privacy policies are complicated and can be frustrating to read, especially when you are trying to learn about your child's data privacy online. The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) reviews child-directed online environments to ensure that children’s data is collected and handled responsibly. As a parent, follow these steps to take a proactive role in your child’s data privacy, using privacy policies as your guide to better understand an online service’s data collection practices.
    Apr 15
  • Q&A: What is an SRO? A Beginner’s Guide to International Advertising Self-Regulation

    Advertising is a cutting-edge industry, so it is no surprise that the ad business has been at the forefront of a global trend building for almost 60 years – independent industry self-regulation. In the U.S., the National Advertising Division is the industry’s widely recognized “truth-in-advertising” body, an independent third party that enables competitors to resolve disputes outside the courtroom. It is the self-regulatory organization (SRO) of the U.S. In this Q&A with Mary Engle, Executive Vice President, Policy, here at BBB National Programs, we dig into what industry self-regulation looks like in other parts of the world.
    Apr 13
  • Substantiating Advertising Claims in Three Steps: A How-To Checklist for Advertisers

    Substantiating advertising claims is important, both to comply with the law and to avoid regulatory scrutiny or a potential challenge from a competitor in court or in a proceeding before the National Advertising Division (NAD). NAD examines the fit between challenged claims and the substantiation provided. What follows is not legal advice but a basic one-two-three checklist for advertisers concerned about substantiating their advertising claims.
    Apr 8
  • Six Tips to Properly Advertise Your Health and Wellness Claims

    Although businesses can advertise the benefits of their products, all messages conveyed by the advertising must be supported by a reasonable basis. Failure to adequately support a health or wellness claim can quickly get a business into trouble. Recently, NAD and Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP presented a webinar event providing guidance on how to stay out of trouble when making health and wellness claims. We share six of the key takeaways discussed.
    Mar 31
  • “Make Every Bite Count” When Feeding the Youngest Consumers

    The recently updated 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) ask us to “make every bite count.” This is an important message in a year when parents have faced challenges on so many fronts, including cooking for their families and eating at home more often than pre-pandemic. For parents feeding very young children, timely guidance in the form of the latest edition of the DGAs arrived at the end of 2020 when, for the first time, they addressed the diets of infants and toddlers.
    Mar 30
  • Bridgers At The Gap: How Executives Can Share Best Practices Across Sectors

    Nonprofit organizations are often viewed as fundamentally different than for-profit enterprises, but those of us known as “bridgers” see striking similarities, albeit through a professional bifocal lens. We bridgers have transitioned in our careers from publicly traded or privately owned for-profit enterprises to nonprofit organizations, often with a goal to grow these nonprofits in pursuit of their missions. Our insights from both sides of “the bridge” provide us a dual perspective, where we can see that the needs, limitations and goals of for-profits and nonprofits are closer than they may seem at first glance.
    Mar 25
  • Using Cy Pres to Tangibly Reduce Consumer Deception and Harm

    In class action settlements, the cy pres doctrine (from a French phrase meaning “as close as possible”) allows for the distribution of unclaimed settlement funds to non-profit organizations that indirectly benefit the injured class. While much of the work of the National Advertising Division (NAD) involves resolving truth-in-advertising challenges brought by one competitor against another, NAD also fulfills its consumer protection mission through its own robust independent monitoring and investigation of misleading advertising in the marketplace. These efforts have led to NAD being named as a cy pres recipient in several class action settlements.
    Mar 24
  • Nutritional Advertising Claims: This Trend Requires No Sugar-Coating

    Though the food advertising world has changed in many ways, health claims continue to play a role in food advertising and present challenges. Today’s food and beverage purchase decisions are influenced by far more than price, taste, familiarity, and brand loyalty. Consumers crave more information about the foods they eat and expect more from the food industry. In an overwhelming marketplace, verifying the accuracy of food ad claims is a challenge. How can you be sure that the food claims you see are truthful and supported by reliable evidence?
    Mar 10
  • Behind the seal: What does it mean to be a CARU Safe Harbor company?

    When the Children’s Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) passed in 1998, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) began to approve industry groups to administer an independent, self-regulatory program that implements protections for children as outlined in the COPPA Rule. The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) was the first such group in the U.S. to receive FTC approval. Learn more about what's behind the CARU Safe Harbor seal.
    Mar 4
  • Protecting Consumers Against False Advertising: Lessons from the National Advertising Division

    During this year’s National Consumer Protection Week it's worth taking a closer look at how advertising fits into the consumer protection puzzle. Consumer protection is core to our mission at the National Advertising Division (NAD) and critical to a robust and competitive marketplace. When faced with false or misleading claims, companies have a variety of options, including filing an NAD challenge. Here we outline seven distinct advantages of filing an NAD challenge.
    Mar 3