CapRate Events, LLC Violates National Advertising Division Procedures with Public Mischaracterization of France Media, Inc. Case Decision
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New York, NY – October 28, 2020 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs today determined that CapRate Events, LLC (CapRate) violated Section I2(b) of the Procedures for the U.S. advertising industry’s process of self-regulation by mischaracterizing NAD’s decision regarding advertising for its competitor, commercial real estate publisher France Media Inc, (FMI), via email to multiple industry professionals. The advertising claims at issue in the FMI case decision were challenged by CapRate.
The Procedures specifically state that “[b]y participating in an NAD or NARB proceeding, the parties agree…not to mischaracterize any decision issued or use and/or disseminate such decision for advertising and/or promotional purposes.”
In direct violation of this agreement, CapRate disseminated NAD’s case decision announcement concerning advertising for FMI to industry professionals in the commercial real estate arena, including to FMI’s clients, asserting that “NAD did in fact find that France misrepresented itself and its services.”
To the contrary, in the FMI case, NAD rejected virtually all of CapRate’s allegations regarding FMI’s advertising, finding that FMI properly substantiated its claims for its commercial real estate publishing platform that:
- FMI’s readership is “more than 322,000 industry professionals”; and
- FMI “offers more exposure and visibility for your company’s name/logo than any other conference series in commercial real estate.”
Further, NAD recommended that FMI merely modify its claims that it is the “largest commercial real estate publisher in the United States” to more accurately reflect that it is the “largest commercial real estate publisher of print and digital magazines”—a recommendation that FMI accepted and agreed to follow, noting that it “shares NAD’s interest in ensuring that business professionals understand the measures by which France Media is accurately described as the ‘largest’ commercial real estate publisher.”
When an advertiser agrees to voluntarily modify its advertising in cooperation with self-regulatory efforts, the advertiser has participated in good faith and its agreement to modify is in no way to be construed as a finding of impropriety by NAD.
The integrity and success of the self-regulatory forum hinges on the voluntary agreement of participants in an NAD proceeding to abide by the rules set forth in the BBB National Programs’ Procedures. As a voluntary process, fair dealing on the part of the parties is essential and requires adherence to both the letter and the spirit of the process. CapRate’s violation of its agreement under the Procedures and its misuse of NAD’s decision for promotional purposes undermines NAD’s mission to promote truth and accuracy of advertising claims and foster consumer trust in the marketplace.
About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD), a division of BBB National Programs, provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.
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