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

 


 
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?

 

 


 
Who Makes The Rules?

Who actually makes the rules about what is and isn’t truthful and transparent advertising?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

ChromaDex, Inc. Discontinues Advertising Claims for Tru Niagen Dietary Supplement Following National Advertising Division Challenge

New York, NY – October 5, 2021 – Following a National Advertising Division (NAD) challenge, brought as part of NAD’s routine monitoring of national advertising for truth and transparency, the advertiser ChromaDex, Inc. permanently discontinued advertising claims regarding the performance benefits of its...

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Decision

DSSRC Refers Earnings and Health-Related Product Performance Claims for Q Sciences to FTC and Utah Attorney General

McLean, VA – September 28, 2021 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) of BBB National Programs referred certain earnings and representative product performance claims to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Utah Attorney General’s Office for possible enforcement action after Q Sciences, a direct selling...

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Decision

NAD Finds Certain Environmental Benefit Claims for Quilted Northern Ultra Soft & Strong Bathroom Tissue Supported; Recommends Modification of Others

New York, NY – September 28, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP provided a reasonable basis for the environmental benefit claims referenced below for its Quilted Northern Ultra Soft & Strong...

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Decision

Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Recommends RootWellness Discontinue Certain Health-Related Product Performance Claims

McLean, VA – September 23, 2021 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) recommended that certain product performance claims made by Root Wellness, LLC, a direct selling company that markets and distributes health and wellness nutritional supplement products, and its salesforce be...

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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

Children’s Advertising Review Unit Issues Revised Guidelines for Responsible Advertising to Children, Effective January 1, 2022

McLean, VA – July 29, 2021 – BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) today announced the issuance of the revised CARU Advertising Guidelines, widely recognized industry standards to assure that advertising directed to children is not deceptive, unfair, or inappropriate for its intended...

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Press Release

U.S.-Based BBB National Programs Announced as Winner for “Best Sectoral Initiative” by International Council of Advertising Self-Regulation

On 15 June 2021, the International Council for Advertising Self-Regulation (ICAS) announced the winners of its second edition of the ICAS Global Awards. The objective of the ICAS Awards is to reward initiatives that contribute to responsible marketing practices and a more effective and impactful...

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Press Release

BBB National Programs Adds FTC Veteran Mamie Kresses as Vice President, Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU)

McLean, VA – April 12, 2021 – BBB National Programs, the independent non-profit organization that oversees more than a dozen industry self-regulation and dispute resolution programs, today announced the hire of FTC veteran Mamie Kresses as Vice President, Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU). Kresses moves from the...

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Decision Press Release

CapRate Events, LLC Violates National Advertising Division Procedures with Public Mischaracterization of France Media, Inc. Case Decision

New York, NY – October 28, 2020 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) today determined that CapRate Events, LLC 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...
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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

Veeva Global Summit

Eric Unis, Attorney, National Advertising Division, BBB National Programs joins the Managing Advertising Claims in a Digital and Social World panel
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Oct 21, 2021 Virtual

Institute for Perception's Current Topics in Sensory and Consumer Science

BBB National Programs Speaker Annie M. Urgurlayan, Assistant Director, National Advertising Division
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Oct 26, 2021 White Sulpher Springs

RILA Retail Law Education Conference 2021

Mary Engle, Executive Vice President, Policy, BBB National Programs will speak on Avoiding Dark Patterns While Meeting Consumer Demand and Preferences in Online Shopping Experiences
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Oct 26, 2021 Virtual

UK Advertising Association (AA) Ad Net Zero Global Summit

Mary Engle, Executive Vice President, Policy, BBB National Programs discusses global SRO's industry action plans around environmental claims and greenwashing.
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Nov 03, 2021 Virtual