NARB ProgramBackgrounds

National Advertising Review Board

The National Advertising Review Board (NARB) is the advertising self-regulation industry’s appellate body. Five-member NARB panels hear cases appealing an NAD or CARU decision and provide independent industry peer review, ensuring truthfulness and accuracy in national advertising and helping promote voluntary compliance of its decisions—a key pillar of industry self-regulation.  

Program Impact

NARB, established in 1971 as a fair and impartial appellate body, reviews appealed NAD or CARU decisions. Nominated by various leading organizations in the advertising industry, NARB members are selected for their stature and experience in their fields. 

Truth & Transparency

When a competitor’s advertising harms consumer trust or threatens a company’s reputation and market share, the advertising self-regulatory system creates a level-playing field for business and helps ensure consumers receive truthful and accurate advertising.

Compliance

After a decision, NARB or the challenger can check in on whether the advertiser has made appropriate modifications to its advertising and has 10 days to respond. The case is closed if there is a good faith effort to bring their advertising into compliance.

Non-Compliance

In cases of lack of good faith efforts to modify or discontinue advertising as a result of a NARB decision, NARB will refer the case to an appropriate government agency, usually the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Guidelines & Procedures


Any advertiser or challenger has the right to appeal NAD’s decision to NARB.  An advertiser has an automatic right of appeal. A challenger must request permission to appeal from the NARB chair and explain why it believes there is a substantial likelihood NARB would come to a different conclusion on a case than NAD. 

 

News & Blog

Press Release

BBB National Programs Announces 85 Distinguished Members of 2021 National Advertising Review Board Panel

McLean, VA – January 5, 2021 – BBB National Programs today announced the 2021 Panel Pool Members for its National Advertising Review Board, the appellate body for the U.S. advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. The National Advertising Review Board panel pool members, selected for their stature and experience in...
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Press Release

BBB National Programs Partners with Facebook to Strengthen Truth-in-Advertising Enforcement on the Social Network's U.S. Platform

New York, NY – December 2, 2020 – Taking an important step to advance the effectiveness of its quick and efficient self-regulatory programs, BBB National Programs today announced a new National Advertising Division (NAD) partnership with Facebook. 

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Big Game, Ad Claims: Reflecting on Super Bowl Advertising Tactics

Feb 10, 2021, 16:55 PM by Laura Brett, Vice President and La Toya Sutton, Attorney of the National Advertising Division
Super Bowl LV was watched by a total of 96.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings provided by CBS Sports, and you may have noticed on social media that we decided to have some fun this year. With a little creative help, we developed a game called #BigGameAdClaim BINGO. Being competitive types, we were looking closely for our industry’s fun phrases such as sustainability claims, anthropomorphic animals, and superior performance claims.

Super Bowl LV was watched by a total of 96.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings provided by CBS Sports. We were just two of the viewers, but like most of us in the advertising law community we were watching very closely, not just the “Big Game,” but of course the ads.

You may have noticed on social media leading up to the game that we decided to have some fun this year. With a little creative help, we developed a just-for-fun game called #BigGameAdClaim BINGO. Thanks to those who played along.

Being competitive types, we were looking closely for our industry’s fun phrases such as sustainability claims, anthropomorphic animals, and superior performance claims. It was not an ad, but the predictions about the Kansas City Chiefs offense might fit in that latter category. 

Here are some thoughts on the issues and trends we spotted in the ads:  

  • Advertisers have an innate ability to meet consumers where they are, and this year many ads met us where we have spent the past year, in our homes and on our devices. In addition to the ads for snacks and drinks, many others focused on traditional home chores, cleaning, doing laundry, planting gardens, and even getting rid of junk.
  • While we did not see a lot of performance claims, many of these ads or products tied to social media or digital campaigns in ways that reflect our increasing use of social media for socializing this year and the associated reliance on our devices.

 

Other ads specifically targeted that dependence on devices, whether for school, work, entertainment, or for dinner, and demonstrated what can be done on phones or devices now, including an emphasis on gaming and new entertainment platforms. This reflects a trend we have seen at NAD with an increase in challenges to the technology products that are essential to our daily lives.    

Several other advertisers were aspirational -- electric cars dominating in the near future, driverless cars, and space travel. A forward-looking trend, possibly a focus to remind us that there is a future in which we will be working and socializing out of our homes, is one we have noted in recent NAD cases.  

Though Sunday's matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the reigning champion Chiefs was a blowout on the field, the game “outside the lines” seemed respectful of the times we are in with many devoted to public service messages.

Year after year, no matter the mood of the moment, the “Big Game” continues to be a commercial success. Rates for 30-second ad spots during this year's event averaged roughly $5.5 billion, a historic high. And these ads were not just airing on TV; broadcast broke records as the most live-streamed NFL game ever, averaging 5.7 million viewers per minute — up 65% from last year's big game.

Football fans may have been disappointed by the game itself, but we “ad fans” were struck by the positive and hopeful messages that resonated throughout many of the 2021 Super Bowl ads. We eagerly await next year and hope you will join us on February 6, 2022, for our next edition of Big Game Ad Claim BINGO.

 

 

 

Decisions

Decision

NARB Recommends AT&T Disclose Material Connections When Citing Testing Company Data, Modify “Building 5G on America’s Best Network” Claim

A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) has recommended that AT&T Services, Inc. clearly and conspicuously disclose its material connection to Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) when making a “Best Network” claim that is based on GWS testing. The NARB panel also...

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Decision

NARB Recommends Comcast Discontinue or Modify “Best In-Home WiFi Experience” Claim and Discontinue its “Roommate” Commercial

A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate advertising law body of BBB National Programs, has recommended that Comcast Cable Communications, LLC d

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Decision

NAD Finds One American Association of Orthodontists Video Puffery; Recommends Discontinuation of Unsupported Implied Claims About Competitor’s Platform

New York, NY – March 2, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) supported its implied claim that SmileDirectClub, LLC’s retail stores lack on-site medical professionals. However, NAD has recommended...

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Decision

NAD Recommends T-Mobile Modify Post-Merger 5G Claims to Avoid Implication that Aspirational Benefits are Imminently Available

New York, NY – February 23, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended that T-Mobile, U.S., Inc. modify certain advertising claims that imply imminent availability of certain promoted benefits to T-Mobile customers as...

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