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).

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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

NAD Finds Certain Madame Ovary Dietary Supplement Claims Supported

For Immediate Release
Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs
703.247.9330 / press@bbbnp.org 

New York, NY – September 24, 2020 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that Goop, Inc. supported qualified claims relating to the ability of certain ingredients in its Madame Ovary dietary supplement to provide nutritional support for physical and emotional symptoms of women who are approaching, in, or just past menopause. NAD, however, recommended modifications to a challenged claim that focused on the combination of ingredients chosen for menopausal women, based on NAD’s finding that only some of the ingredients have been shown to improve menopausal symptoms and support thyroid health. 

Goop claims that other ingredients support general women’s health. NAD did not challenge or request substantiation for other Madame Ovary advertising claims, including those pertaining to overall wellness. 

Through its routine monitoring program, NAD requested substantiation for the express claim, appearing in social media advertising that:

  • “The combination of supplements featuring herbs, adaptogens, phytonutrients, and vitamins is tailored for women approaching, in the throes of, or just past menopause. It’s a daily regimen formulated to support thyroid health and smoothing the menopausal transition by providing nutritional support for women who may experience mild hot flashes, mood shifts, and stress-related fatigue.” 


The Madame Ovary dietary supplement consists of four tablets, each of which contain numerous ingredients (one of which contains more than 20 ingredients) and are intended to be taken together. Those tablets include:

  • Firefighter
  • Thyroid BFF
  • Phytoblend Multi
  • Omega-3 EPA-DHA 1000


NAD thoroughly reviewed the advertiser’s evidence, which included numerous clinical studies, on key ingredients in these components that Goop credits with reducing physical and emotional menopausal symptoms. 

In the Firefighter Tablet, NAD determined that the evidence provides a reasonable basis for a qualified claim that the ingredient black cohosh provides nutritional support for physical and emotional symptoms for women who are approaching, in, or just past menopause. However, NAD concluded that there was no sufficiently reliable evidence to support such qualified claims for the ingredients motherwort or lemon balm.

In the Thyroid BFF Tablet, NAD determined that the evidence supported a qualified claim that the ingredient rhodiola rosea provides nutritional support for physical and emotional symptoms for women who are approaching menopause; and that rhodiola rosea and selenium, as constituted in Thyroid BFF, support thyroid function in women who are approaching, in, or just past menopause.

In the Phytoblend Multi Tablet, the advertiser focused on the following ingredients’ efficacy in improving mood: (1) thiamin; (2) folic acid; (3) Vitamin B6; (4) selenium; (5) iodine; and (6) magnesium. NAD reviewed the studies on each of these ingredients and determined that the evidence in the record does not support any qualified claims as to the ability of the ingredients to provide nutritional support in the form of mood improvement in women approaching, in, or post menopause.

Finally, in the Omega-3 EPA-DHA 1000 Tablet, although the advertiser maintained that DHA and EPA have been found to have a beneficial impact on mood balance and parameters, NAD found that the evidence was not sufficiently reliable to demonstrate that DHA and EPA improve mood in the target population of women approaching, in, or just past menopause.

In sum, NAD determined that some of the ingredients (black cohosh, rhodiola rosea, and selenium) in two of Madame Ovary’s tablets (Firefighter and Thyroid BFF) support qualified claims about the ingredients’ abilities to improve mood and support thyroid function in women approaching, in, or just past menopause. Therefore, NAD concluded that the claim stating “a daily regimen formulated to support thyroid health and smoothing the menopausal transition by providing nutritional support for women who may experience mild hot flashes, mood shifts, and stress-related fatigue” was supported.

Because only some of the ingredients in two of the four tablets have been shown to improve menopausal symptoms and support thyroid health, NAD recommended that Goop modify the claim referring to the combination of ingredients: “the combination of supplements featuring herbs, adaptogens, phytonutrients, and vitamins is tailored for women approaching, in the throes of, or just past menopause.”

In its advertiser’s statement, Goop agreed to comply with NAD’s recommendation. Goop further stated that it disagrees with “NAD’s conclusion that the brand conveyed the message that every ingredient in Madame Ovary was chosen to relieve menopause-related symptoms, as some ingredients provide general nutritional support for all women. . . . Nonetheless, in the spirit of cooperation, we will take NAD’s comments under advisement in future advertising.” 

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About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.

About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD), a division of BBB National Programs, provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.    

Blog

All About SWIFT: Resolving Straightforward Ad Disputes in a Matter of Weeks

On May 13, Laura Brett, VP of our National Advertising Division (NAD) joined Loeb & Loeb’s David Mallen to discuss the new Fast-Track SWIFT process. The SWIFT process has been officially launched and the NAD team has begun processing claims.
Read more
 

 

 

Upcoming Events

CARU Conference: Virtual Series

Why Diversity and Inclusion is Good for Business: This presentation will cover why a workplace culture that supports diversity is the key to garnering unique ideas that just may be the next big thing. ...
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Nov 17, 2020 Virtual

Kidvertising 101

Kidvertising 101 is a two-day seminar that provides advertisers, marketers, and legal counsel with an interactive masterclass on ‘kidvertising’ that includes actionable guidance to help you or your cl ...
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Nov 18, 2020 Virtual
 

 

 

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