Advertising Initiatives

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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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

Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Recommends Le-Vel Discontinue Certain Earnings and Health-Related Product Performance Claims in Compliance Inquiry

McLean, VA – January 19, 2022 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) opened a compliance inquiry to review advertising from Le-Vel Brands, LLC that had been the subject of an inquiry from 2020. DSSRC recommended that the new product performance and earnings claims identified in...
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Decision

National Advertising Division Finds Glad Trash Bags Product Packaging Not Misleading; Recommends Glad Discontinue or Modify Other Advertising Claims

New York, NY – January 19, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that product packaging for Glad Products Company’s ForceFlex Plus with Clorox Tall Kitchen Drawstring Bags appropriately ties the Clorox brand to its odor elimination role, and that product packaging for...

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Decision

Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Recommends Immunotec Discontinue Certain Earnings and Health-Related Product Performance Claims

McLean, VA – January 18, 2022 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) recommended that certain product performance and earnings claims made by Immunotec and its salesforce be discontinued. 

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Decision

National Advertising Review Board Recommends PLx Pharma Either Discontinue or Modify “Clinically Shown” Claim for its Vazalore Aspirin Product

New York, NY – January 13, 2022 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) recommended that PLx Pharma Inc. either discontinue use of the claim that Vazalore “is the first liquid-filled aspirin capsule clinically shown to cause fewer ulcers than plain aspirin” or modify it to...

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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.

 

 

 

Latest Announcements

Press Release

BBB National Programs Announces 85 Distinguished Panel Pool Members for National Advertising Review Board and New Vice Chair

McLean, VA – January 11, 2022 – BBB National Programs today announced the 85 panel pool members of the 2022 National Advertising Review Board, as well as its 2022 vice chair, Heather Hippsley, who retired in 2020 as Deputy General Counsel of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) where, among many senior roles over...

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Press Release

BBB National Programs Children’s Advertising Review Unit Begins Monitoring Child-Directed Content for Compliance with Revised Advertising Guidelines

McLean, VA – January 4, 2022 – BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) begins monitoring child-directed advertising under the revised CARU Advertising Guidelines, widely recognized industry standards to assure that advertising directed to children is not deceptive,...

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Press Release

BBB National Programs Board of Directors Welcomes IAB CEO David Cohen and Re-Elects Three Members, Including P&G’s Ken Patel as Chair

McLean, VA – December 20, 2021 – The Board of Directors of BBB National Programs, an independent non-profit organization that operates more than a dozen independent industry self-regulation, accountability, and dispute resolution programs, today announced that it has welcomed a new member and re-elected...

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Press Release

BBB National Programs National Advertising Division Launches Expedited Fast-Track SWIFT Lane Designed to Address Misleading Advertising Disclosures

New York, NY – November 9, 2021 – Mindful of recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) actions, BBB National Programs today announced a new, streamlined lane of the expedited Fast-Track SWIFT challenge submission process, one designed specifically to address the prominence and sufficiency of...

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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

IAA Evolving Self-Regulation

Mary Engle, Executive Vice President, Policy, BBB National Programs joins an international panel to discuss the evolving landscape of industry self-regulation
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Jan 20, 2022 Virtual

International Advertising Association (IAA) Evolving Self-Regulation

Mary Engle, Executive Vice President, Policy, BBB National Programs joins an international panel to discuss the evolving landscape of industry self-regulation.
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Jan 20, 2022 Virtual

ACI 5th Advertising Claims Substantiation Conference

Mamie Kresses, Vice President, Children's Advertising Review Unit is featured in the session Spotlight Interview and Q+A with CARU: A Deep Dive into Recent New Changes to Children’s Advertising Guidel ...
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Feb 02, 2022 Virtual

ANA Legal Affairs Committee Meeting

Laura Brett, Vice President, National Advertising Division will discuss diversity and inclusion in advertising
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Feb 02, 2022 Virtual