Advertising Self-Regulation

 

Promoting truthful, transparent, responsible advertising through self-regulation, monitoring, and enforcement

 

Businesses that advertise and market their products and services need to commit to truthful and responsible advertising, allowing consumers to make informed choices and companies to build and nurture valuable consumer relationships.

 

To learn more about our work—and to join in the effort—please check out the programs, initiatives, and resources below. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

50 Years of Advancing Responsible Child-Directed Marketing & Privacy

 

For the last 50 years, companies marketing to children have held each other to a higher standard. In 1974, the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) was established as the U.S. mechanism of independent self-regulation for protecting children under age 13 from deceptive or inappropriate advertising.  

 

 

 

 

NAD 2024: Charting the Global Future of Ad Law

September 16-17, 2024 in New York City

 

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Advertising Guidance

 

Since the creation of the National Advertising Division (NAD) in 1971, the advertising industry has supported high standards for truth and transparency through a comprehensive system of independent industry self-regulation programs.

 

Those programs enforce high standards of truth and accuracy in national advertising and ensure that advertising to children is not misleading or inappropriate. Beyond formal guidance, each of our case decisions contain real-world guidance on important advertising issues that attorneys can leverage for their clients and marketing professionals can follow to avoid advertising substantiation problems. Access summaries of all decisions in our Case Decision Summary library. Subscribe to the Online Archive for the full text of all decisions.

 

As the advertising landscape continues to evolve, we adapt our programs to the challenges posed by new products, new industries, and new advertising technology.

 

 

Truth in Advertising 101

 

Our educational resource library of tips, videos, and guidance shares advertising law basics, including defining common terms like ‘puffery,’ and how to draw the line between truthful and misleading advertising.

 

 


 

Endorsements & Testimonials

What is the proper way to use endorsements and testimonials in advertising, while staying truthful and out of the crosshairs of NAD and the FTC?

 

 


 
Puffery

Why don’t exaggerated or boasting claims made in advertising, known as puffery, require a reasonable basis of evidence?

 

 


 

Express and Implied Claims

What is the difference between an express or implied claim and does an advertiser need to have evidence to support both?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Process

 

Our advertising programs uphold standards for truthful and responsible advertising and responsible targeted advertising data collection practices through:

 

  • independent monitoring;

 

  • competitor challenges; and

 

  • corporate commitments to voluntary standards.

 

 

Though competitor advertising challenges, business can play a significant role in building trust with consumers and supporting fair competition in the marketplace.

 

 

 

 

 

Reports

The expansion of industry self-regulation programs across industries, most recently with the direct selling and dietary supplement industries, demonstrates how this voluntary system can be a proactive solution to emerging industry challenges. 

 

 

 

 

 

Recent Case Decisions

Decision

National Advertising Division Recommends T-Mobile Discontinue or Modify “Price Lock” Claim for 5G Home Internet Service

New York, NY – June 17, 2024 – The National Advertising Division recommended that T-Mobile US discontinue its “Price Lock” claim for 5G home internet service or modify the claim to explain how T-Mobile’s “Price Lock” policy differs from a “price lock” which locks the price for the term of a service.

Read the Decision Summary
Decision

Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Recommends Magnetude Jewelry Modify or Discontinue Earnings and Product Performance Claims

McLean, VA – June 6, 2024 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) opened a compliance inquiry to review advertising from Magnetude Jewelry, following up on an administratively closed April 2023 case concerning earnings claims.

Read the Decision Summary
Decision

Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Recommends inCruises Discontinue Salesforce Member Earnings Claims

McLean, VA – June 5, 2024 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) of BBB National Programs recommended that inCruises discontinue certain earnings claims made by salesforce members on social media.  

Read the Decision Summary
Decision

Children’s Advertising Review Unit Finds YouTube Channel “Vlad and Niki” in Violation of its Advertising Guidelines; Recommends Disclosure Modifications

New York, NY – May 29, 2024 - The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) launched an investigation into the YouTube channel “Vlad and Niki” to determine if the channel's video content and advertisements comply with CARU’s Self-Regulatory Guidelines for Children’s Advertising.

Read the Decision Summary

 

BBB National Programs provides summaries of all case decisions in the Case Decision Summary library. For the full text of National Advertising Division, National Advertising Review Board, and Children’s Advertising Review Unit decisions, subscribe to the Online Archive. Other case decisions are available publicly: Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council and Digital Advertising Accountability Program. For members of the press, the full text of any BBB National Programs decision is available by emailing the request to press@bbbnp.org

 

 

Filtered Case Feeds

 

 

 

Online Archive

 

Gain access to all BBB National Programs full legal decisions in the Online Archive, a unique and valuable resource that provides years of insightful guidance and in-depth knowledge on important advertising issues. Learn more about the Online Archive.

 

The full text of some case decisions are available publicly: Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council and Digital Advertising Accountability Program. For members of the press, the full text of any BBB National Programs decision is available by emailing the request to press@bbbnp.org.

 

 

 

Latest Announcements

Press Release

BBB National Programs Issues Compliance Warning for Use of AI in Child-Directed Advertising and Data Collection

McLean, VA – May 1, 2024 – BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) today issued a new compliance warning on the application of CARU’s Advertising and Privacy Guidelines to the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), putting advertisers, brands, endorsers, developers, toy manufacturers, and others on...

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Press Release

BBB National Programs Announces 98 Distinguished Panel Pool Members for 2024 National Advertising Review Board

McLean, VA – January 9, 2024 – BBB National Programs today announced the 98 panel pool members of the 2024 National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate body for the U.S. advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. 

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Press Release

BBB National Programs Unveils New Guardrails for Child-Directed Advertising & Privacy in the Metaverse

McLean, VA – October 3, 2023 – BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) today released new Guardrails for Child-Directed Advertising and Privacy in the Metaverse, a set of realistic, actionable recommendations and best practices intended to help companies develop metaverse experiences directed to children,...

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Press Release

BBB National Programs Announces 91 Distinguished Panel Pool Members for 2023 National Advertising Review Board

McLean, VA – January 10, 2023 – BBB National Programs today announced the 91 panel pool members of the 2023 National Advertising Review Board, the appellate body for the U.S. advertising industry’s system of self-regulation, selected for their stature and experience in their fields.

Read the Press Release

 

 

 

Resources

Breaking Down Greenwashing in Advertising

 

The 4A’s resource, Greenwashing and Advertising: What Your Agency Needs to Know When Making Environmental Claims provides an outline of the rules around making environmental advertising claims and how the National Advertising Division (NAD) and others are helping to regulate them. In the past decade, NAD cases involving environmental claims in advertising have been on the rise. NAD vice president Laura Brett said “Once you see something become a priority for consumers, the response of course is for the industry to offer products that meet that demand, and I think that is why we have seen an increase in challenges to environmental claims, a high-profile issue that a lot of consumers are concerned about.”

 

 

 

Events

2024 AWE US Conference

Dona Fraser, Senior Vice President, Privacy Initiatives, BBB National Programs panel on Generative AI, Manipulation, and Virtual Worlds
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Jun 18, 2024 Long Beach, CA

9th Anti-Ageing Skin Care Conference

Annie Ugurlayan, Assistant Director, National Advertising Division, BBB National Programs will discuss US Advertising Self-Regulation’s Overview of Anti-Ageing Claims in the Beauty Industry
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Jun 26, 2024 London, UK

ACI-CRN Dietary Supplements Conference

Eric Unis, Attorney, National Advertising Division, BBB National Programs will lead a discussion on Critical Takeaways from the Latest Dietary Supplement Advertising Decisions Issued by the National A ...
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Jun 26, 2024 New York, NY

Summer CARU Supporter Meeting

During 2024, the 50th anniversary of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), we will celebrate the “evolution” of children’s advertising and privacy. In July, CARU Supporters will discuss progr ...
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Jul 17, 2024 Virtual