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

 

Advertiser Agrees to Refrain from Claims that Provezza Elderberry Syrup Protects Against COVID-19

For Immediate Release 

Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs 

301.412.7769 / ahills@bbbnp.org 

 

New York, NY – June 22, 2020 – Provezza Health, LLC informed the National Advertising Division (NAD) that, prior to the opening of NAD’s inquiry, it had permanently discontinued the Instagram post of Provezza Elderberry Syrup with the text, “Potent Immune Support During A Severe Season” and associated text stating “Provezza is highly concentrated to deliver antioxidant action for immune defense” because the advertisement’s publication cycle had ended. While the advertiser disagreed that the post challenged by NAD conveyed the implied claim that Provezza Elderberry Syrup protects users against COVID-19, it committed to refrain from making express or implied claims with such a message in the future.

Through a routine monitoring program, NAD questioned a social media post by Provezza Health, noting that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued dozens of warning letters to dietary supplement manufacturers in response to advertisements touting their products’ abilities to cure or increase consumers’ immunity to protect them from COVID-19. NAD shares the FTC and FDA’s concerns and is using its monitoring resources to find claims for products touting misleading health-conferring benefits related to COVID-19 as part of its public interest mission to protect consumers particularly during this unprecedented time.

NAD appreciated the advertiser’s cooperation and its commitment to avoid making any express or implied claims that promote its products’ ability to protect consumers against COVID-19 in future advertising.

In its advertiser’s statement, Provezza Health thanked NAD for “its ongoing monitoring efforts of the dietary supplement industry” and stated that it has “never expressly or impliedly claimed to treat COVID-19 or any other disease, and we will continue this policy in the future.”

This release was updated on June 26, 2020. Contact Abby Hills with questions. 

 

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About the National Advertising Division: 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. BBB National Programs is the home of industry self-regulatory and dispute resolution programs 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

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
Blog

Misleading Endorsements and Testimonials May Lead to Civil Penalties

The FTC recently sent a Notice of Penalty Offenses Concerning Deceptive or Unfair Conduct around Endorsements and Testimonials, informing 700 companies that the misleading use of endorsements could lead to civil penalties. This action demonstrated the FTC’s continued interest in challenging the deceptive or misleading use of endorsements or testimonials, making it the perfect time to review how to avoid some common pitfalls when using them in advertising.
Read more
 

 

 

Decisions

Advertiser Agrees to Refrain from Claims that Provezza Elderberry Syrup Protects Against COVID-19

For Immediate Release 

Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs 

301.412.7769 / ahills@bbbnp.org 

 

New York, NY – June 22, 2020 – Provezza Health, LLC informed the National Advertising Division (NAD) that, prior to the opening of NAD’s inquiry, it had permanently discontinued the Instagram post of Provezza Elderberry Syrup with the text, “Potent Immune Support During A Severe Season” and associated text stating “Provezza is highly concentrated to deliver antioxidant action for immune defense” because the advertisement’s publication cycle had ended. While the advertiser disagreed that the post challenged by NAD conveyed the implied claim that Provezza Elderberry Syrup protects users against COVID-19, it committed to refrain from making express or implied claims with such a message in the future.

Through a routine monitoring program, NAD questioned a social media post by Provezza Health, noting that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued dozens of warning letters to dietary supplement manufacturers in response to advertisements touting their products’ abilities to cure or increase consumers’ immunity to protect them from COVID-19. NAD shares the FTC and FDA’s concerns and is using its monitoring resources to find claims for products touting misleading health-conferring benefits related to COVID-19 as part of its public interest mission to protect consumers particularly during this unprecedented time.

NAD appreciated the advertiser’s cooperation and its commitment to avoid making any express or implied claims that promote its products’ ability to protect consumers against COVID-19 in future advertising.

In its advertiser’s statement, Provezza Health thanked NAD for “its ongoing monitoring efforts of the dietary supplement industry” and stated that it has “never expressly or impliedly claimed to treat COVID-19 or any other disease, and we will continue this policy in the future.”

This release was updated on June 26, 2020. Contact Abby Hills with questions. 

 

### 

About the National Advertising Division: 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. BBB National Programs is the home of industry self-regulatory and dispute resolution programs 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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