BBB National Programs Blog

  • 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
  • Harmful Stereotyping in Advertising Must Not Be a “Forever Problem”

    Though the annual celebration of Black History Month is drawing to a close, the plethora of issues raised by the study of Black history must always remain top of mind. For those of us who work in truth in advertising at BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division (NAD), we are paying very close attention to the issues of diversity and stereotyping, as presented in various forms of advertising. Developing a mechanism to addressing representation in advertisements would not be simple, but the time is now to start the conversation. Harmful stereotypes in advertising must not be a forever problem.
    Feb 26
  • 5 Tips for Truthful and Transparent Influencer Marketing and Product Reviews

    BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division is dedicated to truth-in-advertising. To help you ensure that influencer marketing and the use of product reviews in your advertising is both transparent and truthful, we offer the following five tips.
    Feb 24
  • In 2021, Consumer And Stakeholder Privacy Is About Defining Trust

    As business and nonprofit leaders navigate the Fourth Industrial Revolution, consumer and stakeholder privacy has become a matter of defining trust. As new digital services and connected devices fueled by personal data flourish, consumers’ reasonable expectation of privacy shifts. If expectations do not match reality, it can lead to gaps in trust and new paths for litigation and regulatory enforcement. In this piece I outline a few 2021 privacy developments business and nonprofit leaders should note.
    Feb 19
  • Broadening the Definition of Express and Implicit Representation in Children’s Advertising

    One way to gauge exactly how far we have come in implementing diversity and inclusion is by analyzing what we see on our screens, particularly in advertising. The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) recognizes the special vulnerabilities of children with their limited knowledge, experience, sophistication, and maturity and often places itself in children’s shoes to gain insight when assessing the role advertisement has in shaping their perception.
    Feb 18
  • Misleading Health Claims in COVID-19 Advertising

    Consumers rely on ads, especially those that claim a product will support their immune system or help ward off disease. When they hear these claims, they also expect that there is science that supports such claims. Truth in advertising is important to protect consumers and help level the playing field for fair competition in the marketplace. This core concept becomes especially important when advertising health-related products, including over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements.
    Feb 17
  • Big Game, Ad Claims: Reflecting on Super Bowl Advertising Tactics

    Super Bowl LV was watched by a total of 96.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings provided by CBS Sports, and you may have noticed on social media that we decided to have some fun this year. With a little creative help, we developed a game called #BigGameAdClaim BINGO. Being competitive types, we were looking closely for our industry’s fun phrases such as sustainability claims, anthropomorphic animals, and superior performance claims.
    Feb 10