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

 


 

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

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

McLean, VA – November 24, 2021 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) recommended that certain product performance and earnings claims made by Daxen, Inc. and its salesforce be discontinued. Central to this inquiry was a concern that the challenged product performance claims communicated...

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Decision

T-Mobile Appeals National Advertising Division Recommendation to Discontinue “America’s . . . Most Reliable 5G Network” and Other Claims

New York, NY – November 23, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended that T-Mobile discontinue certain advertising claims for T-Mobile’s 5G network. T-Mobile will appeal NAD’s decision. The claims, which appeared in television, radio, and internet advertising, were challenged by...

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Decision

T-Mobile Appeals National Advertising Division Recommendation to Discontinue Claims that T-Mobile Has the Most Reliable 5G Network According to umlaut

New York, NY – November 23, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended that T-Mobile discontinue all claims that it has the most reliable 5G network according to the third-party testing company, umlaut. T-Mobile will appeal NAD’s decision. The express and implied claims,...

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Decision

NAD Finds AT&T’s “Faster Internet Experience” Claim Supported in Large File Upload and Self-Comparative Contexts; Advertiser Appeals Other Findings

New York, NY – November 18, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that the AT&T Services, Inc. claim to have a “faster internet experience” than cable with respect to large file uploads was supported in the context in which it was presented, as well as the claim that...

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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

BBB National Programs National Advertising Division Launches Expedited Fast-Track SWIFT Lane Designed to Address Misleading Advertising Disclosures

New York, NY – November 9, 2021 – Mindful of recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) actions, BBB National Programs today announced a new, streamlined lane of the expedited Fast-Track SWIFT challenge submission process, one designed specifically to address the prominence and sufficiency of...

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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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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