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

 

BBB National Programs Board of Directors Welcomes IAB CEO David Cohen and Re-Elects Three Members, Including P&G’s Ken Patel as Chair

For Immediate Release
Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs

703.247.9330 / press@bbbnp.org

McLean, VA – December 20, 2021 – The Board of Directors of BBB National Programs, an independent non-profit organization that operates more than a dozen independent industry self-regulation, accountability, and dispute resolution programs, today announced that it has welcomed a new member and re-elected three others for the 2021-2024 term. David Cohen, CEO, Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) joins the Board in an ex-officio voting capacity.

The three re-elected Board members are:

  • David Hubbard, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Verizon
  • Ken Patel, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer and Chief Patent Counsel, The Procter & Gamble Company
  • Mary Sophos, Former EVP for Policy & Strategic Planning, Grocery Manufacturers Association

 

In 2022, Ken Patel and Mary Sophos will continue in their roles as Board Chair and Board Vice Chair, respectively.  

“We are pleased to have a mix of continuity and fresh perspective on our Board of Directors in 2022,” said Eric D. Reicin, President and CEO, BBB National Programs. “Our organization will continue to benefit from the leadership of Ken Patel and Mary Sophos, along with the contributions of reelected and continuing board member David Hubbard. We also look forward to David Cohen’s service on our board, during a time when interactive advertising continues to grow in prominence.”

The BBB National Programs Board of Directors members support and inform the development of new systems of independent industry self-regulation, helping industries moderate conduct to improve marketplace behavior for the ultimate benefit of consumers. 

Following is a full list of members of the BBB National Programs Board of Directors:

  • Ken Patel (Board Chair), Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer and Chief Patent Counsel, The Procter & Gamble Company
  • Mary Sophos (Board Vice Chair), Former EVP for Policy & Strategic Planning, Grocery Manufacturers Association
  • David Cohen, CEO, Interactive Advertising Bureau
  • Luis Xavier Hernandez, Global VP & General Counsel-Data, Privacy & Digital, Unilever
  • David Hubbard, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Verizon
  • Jocelyn Hunter, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Home Depot
  • Marla Kaplowitz, President and CEO, 4A's
  • Joel Katz, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Elaine Kolish, Former VP & Director, Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, and Principal, Elaine Kolish Consulting LLC
  • Bob Liodice, CEO, Association of National Advertisers
  • Carla Michelotti, Former EVP and Chief Legal, Government and Corporate Affairs Officer, Leo Burnett Worldwide, and President, Carla Michelotti LLC
  • Maureen Ohlhausen, Partner, Baker Botts; Former Acting FTC Chair and FTC Commissioner
  • Brent Sanders, Associate General Counsel, Microsoft
  • Michele Totonis, Director Legal Affairs, LEGO
  • Barbara Wall, Former Chief Legal Officer, Interim Chief Operating Officer and current Board Member, Gannett Co., Inc.
  • Eric D. Reicin (ex officio), President and CEO, BBB National Programs

 

For more information, visit our website

Blog

Enhancing Brand Safety: Understanding Self-Regulation vs. Independent Industry Self-Regulation

With copious amounts of content proliferating across a growing number of platforms and websites, it is an ongoing challenge for advertisers and platforms to ensure that digital ads are not placed next to harmful content. In this conversation, there is a key distinction few are making — the difference between ‘self-regulation’ and ‘independent, industry-wide self-regulation.’
Read more
Blog

The Potential Cost of Misleading Income Claims

The FTC recently put direct sellers, and other companies offering money-making opportunities, on notice: false promises about earnings potential and other aspects of a company’s business opportunity could subject the company to civil penalties. DSSRC published the Guidance on Earnings Claim for the Direct Selling Industry to reinforce fundamental tenets regarding the dissemination of earnings claims by direct selling companies and their independent salesforce members.
Read more
 

 

 

Decisions

BBB National Programs Board of Directors Welcomes IAB CEO David Cohen and Re-Elects Three Members, Including P&G’s Ken Patel as Chair

For Immediate Release
Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs

703.247.9330 / press@bbbnp.org

McLean, VA – December 20, 2021 – The Board of Directors of BBB National Programs, an independent non-profit organization that operates more than a dozen independent industry self-regulation, accountability, and dispute resolution programs, today announced that it has welcomed a new member and re-elected three others for the 2021-2024 term. David Cohen, CEO, Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) joins the Board in an ex-officio voting capacity.

The three re-elected Board members are:

  • David Hubbard, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Verizon
  • Ken Patel, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer and Chief Patent Counsel, The Procter & Gamble Company
  • Mary Sophos, Former EVP for Policy & Strategic Planning, Grocery Manufacturers Association

 

In 2022, Ken Patel and Mary Sophos will continue in their roles as Board Chair and Board Vice Chair, respectively.  

“We are pleased to have a mix of continuity and fresh perspective on our Board of Directors in 2022,” said Eric D. Reicin, President and CEO, BBB National Programs. “Our organization will continue to benefit from the leadership of Ken Patel and Mary Sophos, along with the contributions of reelected and continuing board member David Hubbard. We also look forward to David Cohen’s service on our board, during a time when interactive advertising continues to grow in prominence.”

The BBB National Programs Board of Directors members support and inform the development of new systems of independent industry self-regulation, helping industries moderate conduct to improve marketplace behavior for the ultimate benefit of consumers. 

Following is a full list of members of the BBB National Programs Board of Directors:

  • Ken Patel (Board Chair), Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer and Chief Patent Counsel, The Procter & Gamble Company
  • Mary Sophos (Board Vice Chair), Former EVP for Policy & Strategic Planning, Grocery Manufacturers Association
  • David Cohen, CEO, Interactive Advertising Bureau
  • Luis Xavier Hernandez, Global VP & General Counsel-Data, Privacy & Digital, Unilever
  • David Hubbard, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Verizon
  • Jocelyn Hunter, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Home Depot
  • Marla Kaplowitz, President and CEO, 4A's
  • Joel Katz, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Elaine Kolish, Former VP & Director, Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, and Principal, Elaine Kolish Consulting LLC
  • Bob Liodice, CEO, Association of National Advertisers
  • Carla Michelotti, Former EVP and Chief Legal, Government and Corporate Affairs Officer, Leo Burnett Worldwide, and President, Carla Michelotti LLC
  • Maureen Ohlhausen, Partner, Baker Botts; Former Acting FTC Chair and FTC Commissioner
  • Brent Sanders, Associate General Counsel, Microsoft
  • Michele Totonis, Director Legal Affairs, LEGO
  • Barbara Wall, Former Chief Legal Officer, Interim Chief Operating Officer and current Board Member, Gannett Co., Inc.
  • Eric D. Reicin (ex officio), President and CEO, BBB National Programs

 

For more information, visit our website

 

 

 

Upcoming Events

IAA Evolving Self-Regulation

Mary Engle, Executive Vice President, Policy, BBB National Programs joins an international panel to discuss the evolving landscape of industry self-regulation
Learn more
Jan 20, 2022 Virtual

International Advertising Association (IAA) Evolving Self-Regulation

Mary Engle, Executive Vice President, Policy, BBB National Programs joins an international panel to discuss the evolving landscape of industry self-regulation.
Learn more
Jan 20, 2022 Virtual

ANA Legal Affairs Committee Meeting

Laura Brett, Vice President, National Advertising Division will discuss diversity and inclusion in advertising
Learn more
Feb 02, 2022 Virtual

ACI 5th Advertising Claims Substantiation Conference

Zheng Wang, Attorney, National Advertising Division will participate in a Morning Coffee and Q+A with the NAD
Learn more
Feb 03, 2022 Virtual
 

 

 

Resources

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.

 

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

 

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