CFBAI_ProgramBackgrounds_4-28-2020

National Advertising Division

The National Advertising Division (NAD) monitors national advertising in all media, enforces high standards of truth and accuracy, and efficiently resolves disputes to build consumer trust and support fair competition. NAD reviews advertising based on challenges from businesses, complaints from consumers, or on its own initiative covering a wide variety of both industries and issues. NAD’s decisions represent the single largest body of advertising decisions in the United States.

Program Impact

NAD was established in 1971 to monitor and evaluate the truth and transparency of national advertising through a combination of independent monitoring and competitor disputes and has become a leading voice in providing guidance on truthful and transparent advertising and standards for substantiating advertising claims. Around 150 cases are handled each year through one of three tracks: Fast-Track SWIFT, Standard Track, and Complex Track. Reports of all case findings can be found in the BBB National Programs Online Archive

 

 

Truth & Transparency

Voluntary self-regulation helps create an honest and fair marketplace. Companies benefit from a level playing field and consumers benefit from a more trustworthy marketplace. A 90% participation rate demonstrates the depth of industry’s commitment to self-regulation and truth and transparency.

Issues We Examine

NAD’s legal team specializes in examining advertising claims for a diverse set of goods and services like telecommunications, infant nutrition, over-the-counter medication, and dietary supplements for a wide variety of issues from product efficacy to influencer marketing and the use of consumer reviews.

Time & Cost

The NAD process resolves advertising disputes efficiently and almost always faster than a court proceeding. There is no document discovery or depositions, no counterclaims, and the process requires less investment in time and cost than litigating a case.

Navigating Uncertainty

NAD has a published body of case precedent and is staffed by decision makers dedicated to resolving advertising disputes, using a process that provides advertisers the right to appeal adverse decisions to the National Advertising Review Board (NARB).
 

For the last 50 years in the advertising industry, companies have held each other to a higher standard. In response to the pressures and criticisms of consumerism that had mounted during the previous decade, in 1971 the advertising industry established the National Advertising Division (NAD) and National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the U.S. mechanism of independent self-regulation that has stood the test of time and technological innovation.

 

Visit NAD50th.org

NAD Challenges

 

NAD offers three options for submitting challenges for review: Standard Track, Complex Track, and Fast-Track SWIFT. Click on the options below for more information on each track's process, challenge eligibility requirements, timeline, and fees to determine which track is best suited to handle your needs. BBB National Programs National Partners receive a discount on filing fees. 

 

 

Fast-Track SWIFT

Single-issue digital advertising cases with decisions in 20 business days. Learn More

Standard Track

Open to a variety of case types with decisions in four to six months. Learn More

Complex Track

Cases requiring complex substantiation. Time to decision is determined by the parties. Learn More

 

 

 

Why Use NAD for Advertising Challenges

When a competitor’s advertising harms consumer trust or threatens a company’s reputation and market share, decision makers need to answer three key questions:

  • Which forum will resolve my challenge most efficiently—federal court, Federal Trade Commission complaint, or NAD challenge?

The NAD process promotes truthful advertising resolving advertising disputes efficiently. Unless advertising is so misleading and causing sufficient harm that a temporary restraining order application will likely succeed, the NAD process is typically faster than a court proceeding.

 

 

  • How much will it cost?

 

Filing a challenge with NAD is almost always more cost effective than other options. There is no document discovery. There is no deposition. The matter cannot be delayed by filing counterclaims. Our streamlined process saves time and money.

 

 

  • What are the risks?

Because NAD has a published body of case precedent and is staffed by decision makers dedicated to resolving advertising disputes, the outcome is more predictable than a court proceeding where individual judges have crowded dockets of a wide array of cases and different decision-making styles. Our procedures provide advertisers with an automatic right to appeal adverse decisions to the self-regulatory system’s peer review body, the National Advertising Review Board.

 

 

 

 

 

NAD’s Monitoring Program

As part of its public interest mission to ensure consumers receive truthful and accurate advertising messages, NAD initiates approximately 20-25% of its cases each year based on its own monitoring of advertising in a wide variety of product categories. The goal of NAD’s monitoring cases is to expand the universe of advertising claims that are reviewed for truth and transparency and provide guidance for future advertising. In determining whether to open a monitoring case, NAD considers whether the advertising meets one or more of the following criteria:

 

  • Targets a vulnerable population (elderly, children, special needs, etc.);
  • Capitalizes on consumer fears or misunderstanding;
  • Fills a gap in regulatory efforts of the FTC and state AGs;
  • Addresses novel or emerging issue of interest for the advertising industry;
  • Concerns claims that consumers cannot evaluate for themselves;
  • Achieves diversity among industries that historically participate in self-regulation.

 

 

 

 

Policies & Procedures


Any company, consumer, or non-governmental organization can file a challenge with NAD. We handle about 150 cases each year and our decisions represent the single largest body of advertising decisions in the United States. The NAD | NARB Policies and Procedures describe the details and parameters of NAD's challenge review process.

News & Blog

Press Release

BBB National Programs Partners with Facebook to Strengthen Truth-in-Advertising Enforcement on the Social Network's U.S. Platform

New York, NY – December 2, 2020 – Taking an important step to advance the effectiveness of its quick and efficient self-regulatory programs, BBB National Programs today announced a new National Advertising Division (NAD) partnership with Facebook. 

Read the Press Release
Decision Press Release

Arcadia Consumer Healthcare Violates National Advertising Division Procedures

New York, NY – November 30, 2020 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that Arcadia Consumer Healthcare violated Section I2(b) of the Procedures for the U.S. advertising industry’s process of self-regulation by using the outcome of an NAD case for promotional purposes. The advertising claims at issue in the case were challenged by Arcadia. 
Read Press Release
Blog

Avoid Misleading Messages When Advertising Medical Devices

Advertisers of medical devices face complex tasks when marketing their products. In addition to complying with FDA regulations, medical device advertising is subject to the same truth-in-advertising principles set by the FTC. In addition to express claims, marketers are responsible for all the messages reasonably conveyed to consumers in their advertising and should ask some important questions to ensure consumers are not misled. Ask yourself these questions when advertising medical devices to avoid conveying misleading messages.
Read more
Blog

When Web Designs Turn Into Dark Patterns And What To Do About It

Recently I wrote about the proliferation of dark patterns and tried to give readers a sense of just how widespread these practices are. But it is not just the pervasiveness of dark patterns that has lawmakers and regulators concerned, it is the intent behind them and their impact on consumers. Nonprofit leaders, in particular, should be aware of this and how to guard against it given that they are well-positioned to garner and enhance consumer trust.
Read more
 

 

 

Decisions

Decision

NAD Finds “Scientifically Formulated” Claim for Morning Recovery Dietary Supplement Supported; Recommends Modification of “80% Improvement” Claim

New York, NY – July 27, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that More Labs, Inc.’s claim that its Morning Recovery dietary supplement is “scientifically formulated to help you bounce back after drinking” was supported. NAD recommended, however,...

Read the Decision
Decision

National Advertising Division Finds Claim that Kerasal Fungal Nail Renewal “Starts Improving Nail Appearance in Just 2 Days” Supported

New York, NY – July 21, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that Advantice provided a reasonable basis for the claim that its Kerasal Fungal Nail Renewal product “starts improving nail appearance in just 2 days.” 

Read the Decision
Decision

National Advertising Division Finds Safe Catch Tuna Mercury Testing Claims Supported; Recommends Modification or Discontinuance of Certain Other Claims

New York, NY – July 20, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that Safe Catch, Inc., a manufacturer of pouched and canned tuna products sold under the brands Safe Catch Elite, Safe Catch Ahi Yellowfin Tuna, and Safe Catch Wild Albacore, provided a reasonable basis for...

Read the Decision
Decision

In Two Fast-Track SWIFT Cases, One Voluntary Discontinuance of Claims, and One National Advertising Division Recommendation to Discontinue Claims

New York, NY – July 13, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs closed two new Fast-Track SWIFT cases in June. Function challenged PerSe Beauty’s “over 192,000 5-star product reviews” claim nd Nestle Nutrition challenged Reckitt Benckiser’s exclusivity claims...

Read the Decision
 

 

 

Upcoming Events

NAD 2021 Annual Conference

Save the date 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 profe ...
Learn more
Sep 29, 2021 Hybrid

Veeva Global Summit

Eric Unis, Attorney, National Advertising Division, BBB National Programs joins the Managing Advertising Claims in a Digital and Social World panel
Learn more
Oct 21, 2021 Virtual

Institute for Perception's Current Topics in Sensory and Consumer Science

BBB National Programs Speaker Annie M. Urgurlayan, Assistant Director, National Advertising Division
Learn more
Oct 26, 2021 White Sulpher Springs
 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us

*Required fields