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. 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 Dyper Modify Biodegradable Claims for Dyper Brand Diapers

New York, NY – January 31, 2023 – In a challenge brought by Kimberly-Clark Corporation, the National Advertising Division (NAD) determined Dyper, Inc. supported claims that certain components of its bamboo viscose diapers are biodegradable but recommended the claim be qualified in certain ways.

Read the Decision Summary
Decision

T-Mobile Voluntarily Discontinues “Customer Loyalty 4x Higher than Xfinity” Claim Following National Advertising Division Challenge by Comcast

New York, NY – January 31, 2023 –  Comcast originally filed a Fast-Track SWIFT challenge against competitor T-Mobile’s claim that it has “customer loyalty 4 x higher than Xfinity” made in a television commercial promoting T-Mobile’s Home Internet service. The National Advertising...

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Decision

Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Refers Perfectly Posh Earnings Claims to the FTC and Utah Attorney General for Possible Enforcement Action

McLean, VA – January 26, 2023 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) of BBB National Programs has referred direct selling company Perfectly Posh, LLC. to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Utah Attorney General for possible enforcement action. The referral comes after a lack of...
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Decision

National Advertising Division Finds Certain Claims for T-Mobile Home Internet Supported; T-Mobile Appeals Determination That Certain Claims Were Unsupported

New York, NY – January 23, 2023 – In a challenge brought by Comcast, the National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that T-Mobile’s advertising provided a reasonable basis for its price lock claim and concluded that other challenged claims did not convey false or misleading...

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 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.

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Press Release

Walmart Joins BBB National Programs’ CARU COPPA Safe Harbor Program for Roblox Product

McLean, VA – December 12, 2022 – Walmart joins BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) COPPA Safe Harbor Program to ensure that its new immersive Roblox experience complies with the stringent requirements of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and CARU’s Self-Regulatory Guidelines.

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Press Release

Children’s Advertising Review Unit Issues Compliance Warning for Child-Directed Advertising in the Metaverse

McLean, VA – August 23, 2022 – BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) today issued a new compliance warning regarding the application of CARU’s Self-Regulatory Guidelines for Children’s Advertising to advertising practices directed to children in the metaverse. This warning puts advertisers on notice...

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Press Release

Media Advisory: Sesame Workshop’s Michael Preston and U.S. Representative Kathy Castor to Keynote CARU 2022 Annual Conference

McLean, VA – April 26, 2022 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit of BBB National Programs will host the virtual CARU 2022 Annual Conference May 10-11, 2022, featuring keynote speakers who will address how to create a better digital world for children and what the U.S. policy landscape looks like for the year...

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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

ACI’s 6th Annual Forum on Advertising Claims Substantiation Workshop

The National Advertising Division will lead Workshop B — NAD Working Group: A Guide to Appearing Before and Working with the NAD featuring a Mock NAD Proceeding
Learn more
Feb 08, 2023 New York, NY

California Lawyers Association Annual Privacy Summit 2023

Dona Fraser, Senior Vice President, Privacy Initiatives, BBB National Programs will participate in the day 1 session Keeping Pace with Privacy: Best Practices for Building a Multi-Jurisdictional Compl ...
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Feb 09, 2023 Los Angeles, CA

ACI’s 6th Annual Forum on Advertising Claims Substantiation

Laura Brett, Vice President, National Advertising Division and Eric Unis, Senior Attorney, National Advertising Division participate in a Q&A with The FTC and the NAD.
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Feb 09, 2023 New York, NY

ACI’s 6th Annual Forum on Advertising Claims Substantiation

Debra Policarpo, Senior Attorney, Children’s Advertising Review Unit, BBB National Programs participates in a Fireside Chat with CARU: New Initiatives in Children’s Advertising
Learn more
Feb 10, 2023 Virtual