National Advertising Division (NAD)

BBB National Programs National Advertising Division (NAD) Finds Campaign for Accountability Violated NAD Procedures Through Breach of Confidentiality and Use of a Decision for Promotional Purposes

For Immediate Release

Contact: Laura Brett, Director, National Advertising Division, 212.705.0109 / lbrett@bbbnp.org


New York, NY – Feb. 11, 2020 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) has determined that the Campaign for Accountability (CfA) violated the procedures that govern the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation by breaching confidentiality provisions and by issuing a press release that uses NAD’s findings for promotional purposes.

In the underlying decision, CfA had challenged certain advertising claims made by Sunrun Installation Services Inc., an installer of residential solar energy systems.

NAD learned that CfA issued its own press release and promoted that release on Twitter, violating their agreement not to issue a press release regarding an NAD decision.  Further, it appears that CfA provided a media outlet with NAD’s press release and decision and posted NAD’s decision to its website thereby using NAD’s decision for a promotional purpose, also a violation of NAD’s procedures.

The self-regulatory process benefits both consumers and fair competition by promoting advertising that is truthful, transparent and not misleading. When an advertiser agrees to voluntarily modify its advertising as a result of NAD’s recommendations, the advertiser has participated in good faith and self-regulation has provided the benefits it was designed to provide. As a voluntary process, fair dealing on the part of both parties is essential and requires adherence to both the letter and the spirit of the process. NAD procedures and participation agreements signed by all parties at the outset of a case make clear that participants in NAD proceedings may not use NAD’s decisions for promotional purposes.

NAD is disappointed that CfA violated the procedures requiring NAD to issue this corrective press release. In response to NAD’s request CfA withdrew its press release in order to comply with NAD procedures.

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About the National Advertising Division: National Advertising Division (NAD), a division of BBB National Programs, provides independent self-regulation overseeing the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for truth and accuracy.

About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs fosters trust, innovation, and competition in the marketplace through the development and delivery of cost-effective, third-party self-regulation, dispute resolution and other programs. BBB National Programs is the home of industry self-regulatory and dispute resolution programs that include the National Advertising Division (NAD), National Advertising Review Board (NARB), BBB EU Privacy Shield, BBB AUTO LINE, Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), Children’s Confection Advertising Initiative (CCAI), Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC), Digital Advertising Accountability Program (Accountability Program), and the Coalition for Better Advertising Dispute Resolution Program (CBA DRM). The programs are designed to resolve business issues and advance shared objectives by responding to marketplace concerns to create a better customer experience. To learn more about industry self-regulation, please visit: BBBNP.org.