Advertising Self-Regulation

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

Following National Advertising Division Recommendation, Charter Agrees to Modify Spectrum Mobile Cost Savings Claim

New York, NY – February 21, 2024 – In a Fast-Track SWIFT challenge, the National Advertising Division recommended that Charter Communications discontinue the claim that Verizon customers will “save over $1,500 in their first year” if they switch to Spectrum Mobile or modify the claim by adding or improving certain disclosures.

Read the Decision Summary
Decision

In NAD Fast-Track SWIFT Case, Performance Designed Products LLC Voluntarily Modifies or Discontinues Claims for Motion Supported Game Controllers

New York, NY – February 13, 2024 – BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division closed a Fast-Track SWIFT challenge initiated by ACCO Brands regarding advertising by Performance Designed Products for certain game controller claims.

Read the Decision Summary
Decision

National Advertising Review Board Recommends Mint Mobile Discontinue or Modify Certain Claims for its Wireless Service

New York, NY – February 8, 2024 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) recommended that Mint Mobile modify or discontinue cost-per-month pricing promos, discontinue the “cut out the cost of retail service and passed those sweet savings directly to you” claim, and discontinue disparaging social media...

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Decision

National Advertising Review Board Recommends Comcast Discontinue Use of “10G” When Referring to the Name of its Network

New York, NY – February 5, 2024 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) recommended that Comcast discontinue use of the term 10G in the product service name “Xfinity 10G Network” and when 10G is used descriptively to describe the Xfinity network.

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 98 Distinguished Panel Pool Members for 2024 National Advertising Review Board

McLean, VA – January 9, 2024 – BBB National Programs today announced the 98 panel pool members of the 2024 National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate body for the U.S. advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. 

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Press Release

BBB National Programs Unveils New Guardrails for Child-Directed Advertising & Privacy in the Metaverse

McLean, VA – October 3, 2023 – BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) today released new Guardrails for Child-Directed Advertising and Privacy in the Metaverse, a set of realistic, actionable recommendations and best practices intended to help companies develop metaverse experiences directed to children,...

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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.

Read the Press Release
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.

Read the Press Release

 

 

 

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

DIA’s Advertising and Promotion Regulatory Affairs Conference

Laura Brett, Vice President, National Advertising Division, BBB National Programs participates in Power Learning Session 3: Pharma Marketing and the Role of BBB National Programs’ National Advertising ...
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Mar 12, 2024 Arlington, VA

ACI's 11th Annual Legal Regulatory and Compliance Forum on Cosmetics & Personal Care Products

Annie Ugurlayan, Assistant Director, National Advertising Division, BBB National Programs will discuss Beauty Under the Influence: Adhering to the Latest FTC Guidance on Endorsements, Influencers and ...
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Mar 21, 2024 New York, NY

Q2 CARU Supporter Meeting

During 2024, the 50th anniversary of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), we will celebrate the “evolution” of children’s advertising and privacy. In April, CARU Supporters will discuss prog ...
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Apr 17, 2024 Hybrid/New York, NY

Q3 CARU Supporter Meeting

During 2024, the 50th anniversary of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), we will celebrate the “evolution” of children’s advertising and privacy. In July, CARU Supporters will discuss progr ...
Learn more
Jul 17, 2024 Virtual