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 Refers Advertising for Optimmuner Plus Dietary Supplement to FTC and the FDA for Further Review

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

703.247.9330 / press@bbbnp.org 

New York, NY – October 1, 2020 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs has referred advertising claims made by Hypernaturals, LLC for its Optimmuner Plus dietary supplement to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for further review after the company failed to submit a substantive response and acknowledge NAD’s recommendations. NAD recommended that the company discontinue express health-related claims that Optimmuner Plus will, for example, “provide invaluable help to people suffering from terminal or autoimmune disease” and “boost the immune system, improving health in people suffering from allergies, common infections or terminal disease like cancer.” 

The claims were challenged by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). 

The advertiser did not submit a substantive response, but instead disputed that it was making the challenged express claims while simultaneously arguing that such statements are “accepted facts by the scientific community.” 

In the absence of any supporting evidence in the record, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue the challenged claims: 

  • “Optimmuner Plus provides invaluable help to people suffering from terminal or autoimmune disease. It is a great advance in immunotherapy supplements that boost the immune system, improving health in people suffering from allergies, common infections or terminal disease like cancer.” 
  • “It also balances the immune system response in autoimmune cases. The formula has been adjusted to produce a faster response for those cases in which time is crucial, and it is also recommended for those who want to prevent disease or infections. Fast and amazing results proven over the last 15 years, using 100% natural combination of vitamins, anti-oxidants and enzymes, with no contraindications with any treatment or prescribed medications.” 
  • “REVOLUTIONARY IMMUNOTHERAPY SUPPLEMENT: OPTIMMUNER PLUS is a revolutionary advance in immunotherapy supplements that boosts the immune system, improving the health of people suffering from allergies, common infections or terminal diseases like cancer, maintaining optimal T-cell and natural killer cell activity. It also balances the immune system response in autoimmune cases. It is used in several cases worldwide, and now available online to everyone.”
  • “CLINICALLY & SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN: Research had shown that immunotherapy represents a Hope. ‘Nobel Prize for Medicine Goes to Cancer Immune Therapy Pioneers. Cancer immunotherapy is extremely effective for a substantial minority of patients, potentially adding years to their lives and even curing some people. The Nobel Committee said they are hopeful that combinations of these drugs and other therapies will allow more cancer patients to benefit with fewer side effects’ (Scientific American).”
  • “REAL HOPE: Based on a long list of successful experiences with fast and amazing results proven over the last 15 years, our supplements achieve effective ways to use the body’s own immune system against antigen attack. No interaction with prescribed treatments and any medication. High rate of customer repurchase verified!!”
  • “Radical improvements during the first weeks.” 


Hypernaturals failed to submit an advertiser’s statement to indicate that it would comply with NAD’s recommendations or appeal the matter to the National Advertising Review Board. Pursuant to its procedures, NAD has referred the matter to the FTC and FDA for further review. 

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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. ...
Learn more
Nov 17, 2020 Virtual

Kidvertising 101

Kidvertising 101 is a two-day seminar that provides advertisers, marketers, and legal counsel with the tools and best practices needed to stay out of the crosshairs of the FTC. Whether you are new to ...
Learn more
Nov 18, 2020 Virtual
 

 

 

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