BBB National Programs Blog

  • 5 Tips: How to Successfully Use Product Reviews in Advertising

    Product reviews should be what they appear to be—authentic reviews that reflect the range of reactions and actual opinions of consumers. If an advertiser does not include all reviews for a product in its advertising, only cherry picking or collecting the positive reviews, then the reviews are being used as testimonials and trigger the need for independent substantiation of any claims made in those reviews. These best practices explain how to use truth-in-advertising principles to the use of reviews and testimonials, and provide guidance for brands looking to use product reviews in their advertising without conveying a misleading message.
    Jun 23
  • Pivotal Moments for Ad Law in the 70s: Pfizer Factors and Comparative Advertising

    In NAD’s first decade (the 1970s), the industry experienced two pivotal legal developments that continue to impact advertising law and NAD cases today. Many advertisers are familiar with “the Pfizer factors,” but most would probably say they do not know much about the facts of the case that created them. And when it comes to comparative advertising, can you identify the FTC document that sent a strong message about the value of truthful comparative advertising?
    Jun 16
  • Interoperability: The Foundation for Achieving Compliance with Global Privacy Laws

    Despite what you may hear about global privacy laws, exceeding minimum standards with a unified privacy program is feasible for most businesses. While there is not one common global data privacy law, there are standard privacy practices common across jurisdictions. This idea can be summed up in one word: interoperability. Standard data privacy practices, when properly documented and certified, are recognized as a baseline around the world.
    Jun 15
  • Vehicle Warranty 101

    The term “warranty” is common and can be applied to many different things – the purchase of a house, a new piece of technology, or a vehicle. Though a familiar term, what a warranty is and does is not always known beyond the general “it protects my purchase.” A warranty is a contract between the “purchaser” of a product, often called the “consumer,” and the “seller” of that product, usually a business.
    Jun 9
  • Breaking Down Privacy Certification Options – Why, What, Who

    In today’s data-driven economy, good privacy practices are inextricable from good business. Everyone is taking a closer look at how personal information is collected and used these days. Consumers and employees are more informed about how to protect the privacy of their data. Regulators are raising the temperature, armed with updated rules. And businesses are requiring much more than general assurances that their contracting parties will handle data with care. Know the why, the what, and the who of privacy certifications.
    Jun 3
  • Best Practices in Global Data Privacy

    Privacy has become a very public matter. The issue of properly managing personal data is not only big in the U.S.; it is increasingly important around the world. Even though global privacy regulations are actively shifting, maintaining a robust privacy program with independent indicators will go a long way toward minimizing the scrutiny of consumers and government agencies.
    May 26
  • Understanding Dark Patterns: How To Stay Out Of The Gray Areas

    Where is the line between ethical, persuasive design and dark patterns? Businesses should engage in conversations with IT, compliance, risk, and legal teams to review their privacy policy, and include in the discussion the customer/user experience designers and coders responsible for the company’s user interface, as well as the marketers and advertisers responsible for sign-ups, checkout baskets, pricing, and promotions. Any or all these teams can play a role in creating or avoiding “digital deception.”
    May 19
  • Flexible, Adaptable, Yet Firm in its Foundation: 50 Years of Advertising Industry Self-Regulation

    This week we celebrate the 50th anniversary of independent self-regulation in advertising. On May 18, 1971, the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) and its investigative arm, the National Advertising Division (NAD) were announced. By the end of summer that year, NAD was staffed and began receiving complaints and reviewing national advertising for truth and transparency.
    May 19
  • The Critical Components for Self-Regulation in Direct Selling

    Direct selling – when done correctly – can benefit distributors and consumers. Unfortunately, it only takes a few bad actors to compromise the integrity of an entire industry. The direct selling industry faces difficult and important challenges in enhancing consumer and regulatory confidence in the marketing of its products and services. Successful and effective self-regulation has often been described as a marathon and not a sprint and, as such, requires ongoing commitment and participation from the industry.
    May 11
  • Truth-in-Advertising: Who Makes the Rules?

    It is a common misunderstanding that the National Advertising Division (NAD) creates or establishes standards for the U.S. advertising industry. NAD does not make the rules, but instead serves as one arm of the U.S. system of independent advertising self-regulation to hold companies to established standards for claim substantiation. Substantiation standards may be set by laws, guidance documents, or industry organizations. This post outlines how NAD looks to those different sources for guidance when reviewing advertising claims.
    Apr 29