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

NAD Finds Certain Claims Comparing Comcast Xfinity Internet Speed to AT&T Supported; Recommends Others be Modified or Discontinued

New York, NY – September 28, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that Comcast Cable Communications, LLC provided a reasonable basis for certain internet speed claims, however, NAD recommended that Comcast modify its 

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Decision

NAD Recommends Modification of Disclosures Used in Connection with Comcast Xfinity Mobile vs. Verizon 5G Comparative Savings Claims

New York, NY – September 15, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that comparative savings claims made by Comcast Cable Communications, LLC about its Xfinity Mobile 5G service plan would not be misleading when compared with the cheapest two Ultra Wideband 5G plans by Verizon...

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Decision

National Advertising Review Board Recommends P&G Discontinue Odor Elimination Claims for Febreze Products

New York, NY – September 15, 2022 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) recommended that P&G discontinue certain “odor elimination” claims that P&G makes across its Febreze line of home fragrance products, which include the Febreze air, candle, car, plug, small spaces, and wax melts products.

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Decision

National Advertising Division Recommends CreditAssociates Discontinue “America’s #1 Debt Relief Company” Claim and Certain Consumer Testimonials

New York, NY – September 14, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended that CreditAssociates, LLC discontinue the claim “America’s #1 Debt Relief Company,” “4.9 out of 5 based on 8,641 reviews – Trustpilot,” and savings claims that appeared in testimonials featured on the...

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

Children’s Advertising Review Unit Issues Compliance Warning for Child-Directed Advertising in the Metaverse

McLean, VA – August 23, 2022 – BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) today issued a new compliance warning regarding the application of CARU’s Self-Regulatory Guidelines for Children’s Advertising to advertising practices directed to children in the metaverse. This warning puts advertisers on notice...

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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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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

Let's Talk About... Kids & Contests

Contest and sweepstakes promotions can be exciting for kids and effective for brands; however, designing them in the kids’ space to comply with relevant privacy and advertising laws and best practices ...
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Oct 06, 2022 Virtual

Kirkland & Ellis LLP 2022 Advertising Law Seminar

Laura Brett, Vice President, National Advertising Division, BBB National Programs will speak on current strategic topics relating to advertising law
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Oct 12, 2022 Chicago, IL

Emory University's Building Trust in the Marketplace

Peter Marinello, Vice President, Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council will join a conversation on Self-Regulation: Revolution to Improve the Marketplace
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Oct 13, 2022 Atlanta, GA

Food and Drug Law Institute Advertising & Promotion for Medical Products Conference

Zheng Wang, Attorney, National Advertising Division will speak on Recent Trends in Enforcement and Practical Examples to Ensure Compliance
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Oct 14, 2022 Virtual