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50 Years of Advertising Industry Self-Regulation

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.

Advertising Self-Regulation Through the Decades

The 1960s and 1970s were perilous for the advertising industry due to the threat of government actions to be taken in response to what was viewed as widespread deception and dishonesty in advertising. To clean up its own house, the advertising industry in 1971 created a two-pronged mechanism for advertising industry self-regulation, consisting of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) and its investigative arm, the National Advertising Division (NAD). Over the past 50 years, each decade has brought heightened scrutiny of truth-in-advertising amid a continuous shifting of advertising trends and ongoing evolution of advertising technologies. Along the way, new precedents have been set in advertising law and from that the consumer has been the primary beneficiary. View Timeline

 

 

 

 

Honest Ads Kickoff Webinar

On May 18 the founders of the National Advertising Division and National Advertising Review Board got together to talk about why the U.S. system of advertising industry self-regulation works, the challenges faced by advertisers and regulators over the last 50 years, and what they believe will take center stage in the future of ad law. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thought Leadership

Blog

Call to Action: Improve Green Marketing and Avoid Greenwashing

Green marketing can be a strong marketing tool for companies to differentiate their sustainable approach to business and help consumers choose more sustainable products. But with the variety and volume of green marketing today, does it? Are environmental claims supported so that consumers can make choices that help the planet? While some observers call for more rigorous standards, governmental guidelines regulating environmental marketing already exist. Industry self-regulation also plays an important role in leveling the playing field on green marketing so that consumer purchases align with their environmental goals.
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Blog

Q&A: What is an SRO? A Beginner’s Guide to International Advertising Self-Regulation

Advertising is a cutting-edge industry, so it is no surprise that the ad business has been at the forefront of a global trend building for almost 60 years – independent industry self-regulation. In the U.S., the National Advertising Division is the industry’s widely recognized “truth-in-advertising” body, an independent third party that enables competitors to resolve disputes outside the courtroom. It is the self-regulatory organization (SRO) of the U.S. In this Q&A with Mary Engle, Executive Vice President, Policy, here at BBB National Programs, we dig into what industry self-regulation looks like in other parts of the world.
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Blog

Six Tips to Properly Advertise Your Health and Wellness Claims

Although businesses can advertise the benefits of their products, all messages conveyed by the advertising must be supported by a reasonable basis. Failure to adequately support a health or wellness claim can quickly get a business into trouble. Recently, NAD and Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP presented a webinar event providing guidance on how to stay out of trouble when making health and wellness claims. We share six of the key takeaways discussed.
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Podcast

Ad Watchers: What Does it Mean to Have a “Reasonable Basis” Standard?

Advertisers are required to have a “reasonable basis” for their advertising claims, but what is “reasonable” in terms of support and the level and type of evidence needed? In this episode of the Ad Watchers, hosts Hal Hodes and La Toya Sutton break down the standard that helps us determine what is reasonable: the Pfizer Factors. Tune in to learn more about each of...
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Podcast

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

In the inaugural episode of The Accountability Studio, moderator Mary Engle, Executive Vice President, Policy poses a fundamental question to the leadership of BBB National Programs: Does independent, industry self-regulation really work? Program leaders responded with an empathic ‘yes,’ but also laid out the numerous factors that can contribute to the success or failure of a self-regulatory...

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Podcast

Time for Revolution in the Direct Selling Industry

In this podcast episode, Direct Selling Association (DSA) President Joe Mariano discusses how the nature of the fast-changing direct-selling marketplace has informed the industry’s approach to self-regulation, how the Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) has helped, and the work that lies ahead.
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Upcoming Events

CARU 2021 Annual Conference

The CARU 2021 Virtual Conference, hosted by BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), convenes child-directed advertising and children’s privacy experts to help you learn how t ...
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Jun 08, 2021 Virtual

Direct Selling Summit: Increasing Consumer Trust

In the midst of a dynamic year in the direct selling industry, business leaders, advertising experts, and salesforce members will convene at the Direct Selling Summit to discuss the biggest advertisin ...
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Jul 27, 2021 Virtual

NAD 2021 Annual Conference

Save the date for NAD 2021 to celebrate 50 years of advertising industry self-regulation and high standards of truth and accuracy in national advertising. Industry, government, agency, and legal profe ...
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Sep 29, 2021 Hybrid