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

In Two Fast-Track SWIFT Cases, National Advertising Division Recommends Advertiser Claims be Discontinued in One, Modification of Disclosures in Other

New York, NY – June 28, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs closed two Fast-Track SWIFT cases in May 2022. In these cases, AT&T Services, Inc. challenged Charter Communications, Inc.’s (Spectrum) claim that AT&T’s internet service provides...

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Decision

National Advertising Division Finds Challenged DuckDuckGo Privacy Claims Supported; Recommends Clarifications for Use of App

New York, NY – June 23, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that DuckDuckGo provided a reasonable basis for certain claims related to its Privacy Browser mobile app and Privacy Essentials desktop extension. 

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Decision

National Advertising Division Finds Brave, Inc. Claim that it Does Not Share Data with Third Parties Supported; Recommends Two Other Claims be Discontinued

New York, NY – June 22, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that Brave, Inc. supported the implied claim that its Brave web browser does not share personal data with third parties. However, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue two other claims. Brave is...

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Decision

Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Recommends Stella & DOT Discontinue Salesforce Member Earnings Claims

McLean, VA – June 15, 2022 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) recommended that certain earnings claims disseminated by Stella & DOT salesforce members be discontinued. Stella & DOT is a multi-level direct selling company that sells jewelry, bags, accessories, and women’s clothing headquartered in...

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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

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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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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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 Advanced Summit on Food Law - Regulation, Compliance, and Litigation

Katherine Armstrong, Deputy Director, National Advertising Division, BBB National Programs on Formulating an In-Depth and Sound Approach to Substantiating Green Claims
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Jul 13, 2022 Chicago, IL

Practising Law Institute (PLI) Hot Topics in Advertising Law 2022

Eric Unis, Senior Attorney, National Advertising Division will lead FTC and NAD Updates: Year in Review and Enforcement Priorities
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Jul 13, 2022 New York, NY

ACI's 6th Advanced Summit on Food Law – Regulation, Compliance, and Litigation

Debra Policarpo, Senior Attorney, Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) and Lauren Eskenazi, Program Manager, Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) discuss Addressing the Uni ...
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Jul 14, 2022 Virtual

Direct Selling Summit: Building Brand Trust

The annual Direct Selling Summit is an educational event designed to provide direct selling industry business leaders, legal and advertising professionals, and salesforce members with insider knowledg ...
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Jul 27, 2022 Virtual