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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.  

 

 

File a Challenge

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

ACI's 6th Advanced Summit on Food Law - Regulation, Compliance, and Litigation

Katherine Armstrong, Deputy Director, National Advertising Division, BBB National Programs on Formulating an In-Depth and Sound Approach to Substantiating Green Claims
Learn more
Jul 13, 2022 Chicago, IL

Practising Law Institute (PLI) Hot Topics in Advertising Law 2022

Eric Unis, Senior Attorney, National Advertising Division will lead FTC and NAD Updates: Year in Review and Enforcement Priorities
Learn more
Jul 13, 2022 New York, NY

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 ...
Learn more
Sep 19, 2022 Washington, DC

Veeva Industries – Virtual Summit – Consumer Products & Chemicals

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

 

 

News & Blog

 

NAD Recommends GlaxoSmithKline Discontinue Benefiber Claims of “100% Natural,” Satiety, and Curbing Cravings; Advertiser to Appeal

For Immediate Release 

New York, NY – May 26, 2020 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) discontinue the express claims that its Benefiber Original and Benefiber Healthy Shape fiber supplements are “100% natural,” and that Benefiber Healthy Shape is “clinically proven to curb cravings,” and “helps you feel full longer.” These claims, which appeared on Benefiber product packaging and website advertising, were challenged by The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G), maker of the competing dietary supplement and laxative product, Metamucil. GSK said that it will appeal the adverse findings to the National Advertising Review Board. 

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. 

With regard to the “100% natural” claim, NAD noted that the production of Benefiber involves a multi-step process that utilizes hydrochloric acid, added enzymes and a tailored, highly controlled method, which selects for biological properties that resist digestion, increases fiber content, enhances solubility, lowers viscosity and adds sweetness to the product marketed to consumers. This process transforms the digestible, 0% fiber wheat starch ingredient into the non-digestible, 85% fiber wheat dextrin ingredient touted to consumers. NAD carefully reviewed the evidence and arguments set forth by both parties and determined that the processing of wheat starch to yield the wheat dextrin found in Benefiber represents a significant alteration of the source ingredient that is inconsistent with a consumer’s reasonable understanding of a product that claims to be “100% natural,” and recommended that the claim be discontinued. 

NAD also determined that the evidence in the record did not provide a reasonable basis for the advertiser’s establishment claim that Benefiber Healthy Shape is “clinically proven to curb cravings” or the health-related satiety claim that Benefiber Healthy Shape “helps you feel full longer,” and recommended that these claims be discontinued. NAD noted that these claims would need to be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence, which must also demonstrate that the results will be meaningful to consumers (i.e., a study must show effectiveness in the relevant population). After reviewing the totality of the advertiser’s evidence regarding satiety, NAD determined that the studies submitted were either not consumer relevant in terms of population and the conditions under which the data was collected, measured outcomes or fiber-types that were not relevant to the challenged claims, or did not provide critical information that would permit NAD to assess the reliability of the study.  

In its advertiser’s statement, GSK stated that it “respectfully disagrees with the NAD’s findings and will appeal the decision in its entirety.  GSK firmly believes that the challenged claims are supported and that the NAD’s decision is inconsistent with the evidence in the record and NAD precedent. GSK appreciates the opportunity to participate in the self-regulatory process and looks forward to resolving this matter with the National Advertising Review Board.” 

 

Blog

Defining The 'S' In ESG And Navigating Disclosures

For businesses interested in making robust ESG disclosures, not only can the sheer number of frameworks and standards make ESG performance reporting seem overwhelming, the frameworks themselves can be a bit fuzzy on how they define and measure the "S" of ESG.
Read more
Blog

Avoiding False Advertising When Making Health-Related Claims

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.
Read more
 

 

 

Decisions

NAD Recommends GlaxoSmithKline Discontinue Benefiber Claims of “100% Natural,” Satiety, and Curbing Cravings; Advertiser to Appeal

For Immediate Release 

New York, NY – May 26, 2020 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) discontinue the express claims that its Benefiber Original and Benefiber Healthy Shape fiber supplements are “100% natural,” and that Benefiber Healthy Shape is “clinically proven to curb cravings,” and “helps you feel full longer.” These claims, which appeared on Benefiber product packaging and website advertising, were challenged by The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G), maker of the competing dietary supplement and laxative product, Metamucil. GSK said that it will appeal the adverse findings to the National Advertising Review Board. 

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. 

With regard to the “100% natural” claim, NAD noted that the production of Benefiber involves a multi-step process that utilizes hydrochloric acid, added enzymes and a tailored, highly controlled method, which selects for biological properties that resist digestion, increases fiber content, enhances solubility, lowers viscosity and adds sweetness to the product marketed to consumers. This process transforms the digestible, 0% fiber wheat starch ingredient into the non-digestible, 85% fiber wheat dextrin ingredient touted to consumers. NAD carefully reviewed the evidence and arguments set forth by both parties and determined that the processing of wheat starch to yield the wheat dextrin found in Benefiber represents a significant alteration of the source ingredient that is inconsistent with a consumer’s reasonable understanding of a product that claims to be “100% natural,” and recommended that the claim be discontinued. 

NAD also determined that the evidence in the record did not provide a reasonable basis for the advertiser’s establishment claim that Benefiber Healthy Shape is “clinically proven to curb cravings” or the health-related satiety claim that Benefiber Healthy Shape “helps you feel full longer,” and recommended that these claims be discontinued. NAD noted that these claims would need to be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence, which must also demonstrate that the results will be meaningful to consumers (i.e., a study must show effectiveness in the relevant population). After reviewing the totality of the advertiser’s evidence regarding satiety, NAD determined that the studies submitted were either not consumer relevant in terms of population and the conditions under which the data was collected, measured outcomes or fiber-types that were not relevant to the challenged claims, or did not provide critical information that would permit NAD to assess the reliability of the study.  

In its advertiser’s statement, GSK stated that it “respectfully disagrees with the NAD’s findings and will appeal the decision in its entirety.  GSK firmly believes that the challenged claims are supported and that the NAD’s decision is inconsistent with the evidence in the record and NAD precedent. GSK appreciates the opportunity to participate in the self-regulatory process and looks forward to resolving this matter with the National Advertising Review Board.” 

 

 

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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