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

National Advertising Division Finds Claim that Almased Diet and Weight Loss Program is “So Safe that Even People with Diabetes Can Use It” Supported

New York, NY – September 16, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that Almased USA, Inc.’s claim that its Almased Diet/Weight Loss Program is “. . . so safe that even people with diabetes can use it” was supported. 

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Decision

National Advertising Division Finds SlimFast “Energy For Hours” Claim Supported; Advertiser Appeals Recommendation to Discontinue “Clinically Proven” Claims

New York, NY – September 15, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that KSF Acquisition Corp. (SlimFast) provided a reasonable basis for its “energy for hours” claim for its SlimFast Food Products & Weight Loss Plans. However, NAD...

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Decision

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

McLean, VA – September 15, 2021 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) recommended that certain product performance and earnings claims made by SwissJust USA, a direct selling company that markets and distributes natural products for emotional, physical, and dermo-cosmetic well-being, and...

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Decision

National Advertising Division Refers Advertising Claims for Gravity Defyer Shoes to Federal Trade Commission for Possible Enforcement Action

New York, NY – September 14, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs is disappointed that Gravity Defyer Medical Technology Corporation declined to participate in the industry self-regulation process. As a result of the advertiser’s failure to participate, NAD has...

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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

NAD 2021 Annual Conference

Register for NAD 2021 to celebrate 50 years of advertising industry self-regulation and high standards of truth and accuracy in national advertising. Industry, government, agency, and legal profession ...
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Sep 29, 2021 Virtual

Cardozo Fashion Law Society & Cardozo FAME Center's It's Not Easy Being Green

Hal Hodes, Senior Attorney, National Advertising Division discusses FTC policies and compliance.
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Oct 04, 2021 Virtual

Kidvertising 101

Kidvertising 101 is a one-day workshop providing attendees with hands-on education. This year the event is dedicated to the new Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) Advertising Guidelines, recent ...
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Oct 13, 2021 Virtual

DSA Legal & Regulatory Seminar

Peter Marinello, Executive Director, Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council and Howard Smith, Senior Staff Attorney, Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council will provide the Direct Selling Self-Regulat ...
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Oct 15, 2021 Crystal City