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National Advertising Division

The U.S. advertising industry founded the National Advertising Division (NAD) and the National Advertising Review Board in 1971 as a system of independent industry self-regulation to build consumer trust in advertising and support fair competition in the marketplace. NAD holds national advertising across all media types to high standards of truth and accuracy by reviewing truth-in-advertising challenges from businesses, trade associations, consumers, or on its own initiative. NAD’s case decisions represent the single largest body of advertising law in the country.

Program Impact

Over its 50-year history, NAD has published thousands of decisions and has become the leading voice in providing guidance for truthful and transparent advertising. NAD reviews advertising in any industry and advertising format and often addresses cutting-edge advertising issues before regulatory guidance is available. Advertising claims can be challenged in one of three tracks: Fast-Track SWIFT, Standard Track, and Complex Track.  

 

 

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Advertising disputes resolved more efficiently than litigation. Select a Track

Ad Law 101

Access the tools you need to learn truth-in-advertising basics. Learn the Basics

Recent Decisions

Summaries of case decisions are publicly published, including appeals. Case Summaries

Resource Library

From annual reports to infographics to ad law 101, education is key. Access Resources

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

The National Advertising Division (NAD) brings value to business by leveling the playing field and enhancing consumer trust in the marketplace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Upcoming Events

NAD 2022 Annual Conference

Register today for the National Advertising Division (NAD) annual conference, NAD 2022, which will focus on the evolving nature of the intangible contract that exists between brands and consumers. The ...
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Sep 19, 2022 Washington, DC

Personal Care Products Council Science Symposium 2022

Annie M. Ugurlayan, Assistant Director, National Advertising Division will speak on a panel regarding advertising self-regulation in the U.S. and cosmetics cases
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Oct 26, 2022 Arlington, VA

Veeva Industries – Virtual Summit – Consumer Products & Chemicals

Eric Unis, Senior Attorney, National Advertising Division joins a panel on sustainability
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Oct 27, 2022 Virtual

10th Microbiome & Probiotics R&D & Business Collaboration Forum

Laura Brett, Vice President, National Advertising Division will speak on Advertising Microbiome and Probiotics: Legal Standards and Guidance
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Oct 28, 2022 Miami, FL
 

 

 

News & Blog

 

BBB National Programs National Advertising Division Finds Snow Joe Water Pressure and Water Flow Claims Relevant to Consumers, But Recommends More Conspicuous Qualifying Language to Prevent Claims from Being Misleading

For Immediate Release

Contact: Laura Brett, Director, NAD, 212.705.0109 / lbrett@bbbnp.org

New York, NY – Jan. 28, 2020 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended that Snow Joe, LLC modify challenged claims regarding the water pressure and water flow of its Sun Joe Pressure Washers, following a challenge by the Pressure Washer Manufacturers’ Association (“PWMA”), a trade association comprised of pressure washer manufacturers.  The challenged claims appeared in Sun Joe product packaging, Snow Joe’s website, and other retail sites that advertise Sun Joe pressure washers.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is a division of the BBB National Programs’ self-regulatory and dispute resolution programs.

PWMA took issue with Snow Joe’s advertising of two figures used to describe the water pressure generated by its products.  This advertising consisted of a higher “Max” or “Max Pressure” figure, often accompanied by a lower “Rated Pressure” or “working pressure.”  For example, one version of packaging for the Sun Joe SPX3000 pressure washer states “2030 PSI MAX” on the front panel and lists the same “Max Pressure” of 2030 PSI on the side panel. The side panel lists a “Rated Pressure” of 1450 PSI underneath the “Max Pressure.”  A small disclosure at the very bottom of the side panel explains that the “Max Pressure” is “Peak pressure at initial discharge; working pressure under typical load is 1450 PSI.”

NAD noted that both kinds of PSI figures used in Snow Joe’s advertising are relevant to consumers.  Sun Joe’s “max” figures provide beneficial information to consumers about the relative power of the pressure washer and the power of the unit as it relates to safety and the potential for harm to property. Even if the consumer experiences the “max” pressure for an instant, that pressure level is nonetheless relevant to their assessment of the product.

However, NAD determined that Snow Joe expresses its “max” power figures in a manner which reasonably conveys the unsupported message that the “max” PSI figure is what the consumer will typically experience when washing for any appreciable period of time.  NAD noted that Snow Joe’s “max power” figure is not provided in a context that allows consumers to understand when they will experience the pressure, or for how long they can expect the “max pressure” when cleaning. Consumers may likely understand “max” PSI as an indicator of actual cleaning performance consistent with the product’s primary intended use and not the pressure experienced for one brief moment. Therefore, NAD recommended that Snow Joe modify its “max” PSI claims to include clear and conspicuous qualifying or cautionary language as part of the main claim, such that consumers understand that the claim is limited to the pressure level at the initial discharge and not during regular pressure washing.

Snow Joe’s maximum GPM (gallons per minute) claims for water flow performance were also challenged by PWMA, which contended that such measurements were taken by Snow Joe when the nozzle was removed, not during pressure washing with the nozzle attached. Snow Joe advertises the SPX3000 as having a 2030 PSI and 1.76 GPM and the SPX4600 as having a 3000 PSI and 1.3 GPM. NAD noted that while flow is consumer relevant, both with and without the nozzle and at various pressure levels, a pressure washer’s primary purpose use is for washing with pressure – a task which requires the nozzle attached.  NAD determined that Sun Joe’s advertising, however, expresses flow in a manner such that consumers will reasonably take away the message that the GPM stated is the level experienced under typical pressure washing.  NAD noted that Sun Joe’s advertising provides no explanation to inform consumers that the GPM referenced is that measured without the nozzle attached. Moreover, Sun Joe juxtaposes the flow GPM with a very high PSI figure. Consumers will therefore reasonably conclude that Sun Joe is referring to water flow while pressure washing and not that experienced during other functions like rinsing. Therefore, NAD recommended that Snow Joe modify its “maximum” flow claims to include clear and conspicuous qualifying language as part of the main claim, such that consumers understand that the claim is limited to the flow measured without the nozzle attached and when the unit is at its least pressurized and not during regular pressure washing.

Further, NAD determined that Snow Joe’s power claim for the Sun Joe SPX4600 - that the SPX4600 motor produces 2,000 watts of power - is substantiated. NAD did not identify any false or misleading message conveyed about the pressure washer’s output and was satisfied that Snow Joe’s product specifications supported its power claim that the wattage cited was that generated during typical use.

Finally, during the course of the challenge, Snow Joe represented to NAD that it had permanently discontinued its claim that the SPX3000 is better than other pressure washers in a “side-by-side performance comparison.” NAD, relying on the advertiser’s representations that the claim has been permanently discontinued, did not review the claim on its merits.  However, the voluntarily discontinued claim will be treated, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended its discontinuance and the advertiser agreed to comply.

In its advertiser’s statement, Snow Joe stated that it “supports the self-regulatory process and will comply with NAD’s recommendations.”

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About the National Advertising Division (NAD): 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. The programs were formerly administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. 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

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NAD cases provide critical insight to advertisers. Understanding what went wrong with the advertising that NAD reviews and evaluates can help prevent future mistakes. Follow these tips to prevent misleading advertising that could interfere with the successful launch of a new health or wellness product.
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Decisions

BBB National Programs National Advertising Division Finds Snow Joe Water Pressure and Water Flow Claims Relevant to Consumers, But Recommends More Conspicuous Qualifying Language to Prevent Claims from Being Misleading

For Immediate Release

Contact: Laura Brett, Director, NAD, 212.705.0109 / lbrett@bbbnp.org

New York, NY – Jan. 28, 2020 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended that Snow Joe, LLC modify challenged claims regarding the water pressure and water flow of its Sun Joe Pressure Washers, following a challenge by the Pressure Washer Manufacturers’ Association (“PWMA”), a trade association comprised of pressure washer manufacturers.  The challenged claims appeared in Sun Joe product packaging, Snow Joe’s website, and other retail sites that advertise Sun Joe pressure washers.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is a division of the BBB National Programs’ self-regulatory and dispute resolution programs.

PWMA took issue with Snow Joe’s advertising of two figures used to describe the water pressure generated by its products.  This advertising consisted of a higher “Max” or “Max Pressure” figure, often accompanied by a lower “Rated Pressure” or “working pressure.”  For example, one version of packaging for the Sun Joe SPX3000 pressure washer states “2030 PSI MAX” on the front panel and lists the same “Max Pressure” of 2030 PSI on the side panel. The side panel lists a “Rated Pressure” of 1450 PSI underneath the “Max Pressure.”  A small disclosure at the very bottom of the side panel explains that the “Max Pressure” is “Peak pressure at initial discharge; working pressure under typical load is 1450 PSI.”

NAD noted that both kinds of PSI figures used in Snow Joe’s advertising are relevant to consumers.  Sun Joe’s “max” figures provide beneficial information to consumers about the relative power of the pressure washer and the power of the unit as it relates to safety and the potential for harm to property. Even if the consumer experiences the “max” pressure for an instant, that pressure level is nonetheless relevant to their assessment of the product.

However, NAD determined that Snow Joe expresses its “max” power figures in a manner which reasonably conveys the unsupported message that the “max” PSI figure is what the consumer will typically experience when washing for any appreciable period of time.  NAD noted that Snow Joe’s “max power” figure is not provided in a context that allows consumers to understand when they will experience the pressure, or for how long they can expect the “max pressure” when cleaning. Consumers may likely understand “max” PSI as an indicator of actual cleaning performance consistent with the product’s primary intended use and not the pressure experienced for one brief moment. Therefore, NAD recommended that Snow Joe modify its “max” PSI claims to include clear and conspicuous qualifying or cautionary language as part of the main claim, such that consumers understand that the claim is limited to the pressure level at the initial discharge and not during regular pressure washing.

Snow Joe’s maximum GPM (gallons per minute) claims for water flow performance were also challenged by PWMA, which contended that such measurements were taken by Snow Joe when the nozzle was removed, not during pressure washing with the nozzle attached. Snow Joe advertises the SPX3000 as having a 2030 PSI and 1.76 GPM and the SPX4600 as having a 3000 PSI and 1.3 GPM. NAD noted that while flow is consumer relevant, both with and without the nozzle and at various pressure levels, a pressure washer’s primary purpose use is for washing with pressure – a task which requires the nozzle attached.  NAD determined that Sun Joe’s advertising, however, expresses flow in a manner such that consumers will reasonably take away the message that the GPM stated is the level experienced under typical pressure washing.  NAD noted that Sun Joe’s advertising provides no explanation to inform consumers that the GPM referenced is that measured without the nozzle attached. Moreover, Sun Joe juxtaposes the flow GPM with a very high PSI figure. Consumers will therefore reasonably conclude that Sun Joe is referring to water flow while pressure washing and not that experienced during other functions like rinsing. Therefore, NAD recommended that Snow Joe modify its “maximum” flow claims to include clear and conspicuous qualifying language as part of the main claim, such that consumers understand that the claim is limited to the flow measured without the nozzle attached and when the unit is at its least pressurized and not during regular pressure washing.

Further, NAD determined that Snow Joe’s power claim for the Sun Joe SPX4600 - that the SPX4600 motor produces 2,000 watts of power - is substantiated. NAD did not identify any false or misleading message conveyed about the pressure washer’s output and was satisfied that Snow Joe’s product specifications supported its power claim that the wattage cited was that generated during typical use.

Finally, during the course of the challenge, Snow Joe represented to NAD that it had permanently discontinued its claim that the SPX3000 is better than other pressure washers in a “side-by-side performance comparison.” NAD, relying on the advertiser’s representations that the claim has been permanently discontinued, did not review the claim on its merits.  However, the voluntarily discontinued claim will be treated, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended its discontinuance and the advertiser agreed to comply.

In its advertiser’s statement, Snow Joe stated that it “supports the self-regulatory process and will comply with NAD’s recommendations.”

###

About the National Advertising Division (NAD): 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. The programs were formerly administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. 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

 

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. For members of the press, the full text of any BBB National Programs decision is available by emailing the request to press@bbbnp.org

 

 

 

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