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

Press Release

BBB National Programs Board of Directors Welcomes IAB CEO David Cohen and Re-Elects Three Members, Including P&G’s Ken Patel as Chair

McLean, VA – December 20, 2021 – The Board of Directors of BBB National Programs, an independent non-profit organization that operates more than a dozen independent industry self-regulation, accountability, and dispute resolution programs, today announced that it has welcomed a new member and re-elected...

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Press Release

BBB National Programs National Advertising Division Launches Expedited Fast-Track SWIFT Lane Designed to Address Misleading Advertising Disclosures

New York, NY – November 9, 2021 – Mindful of recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) actions, BBB National Programs today announced a new, streamlined lane of the expedited Fast-Track SWIFT challenge submission process, one designed specifically to address the prominence and sufficiency of...

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Blog

Pursuing Best Practices For Representation In Advertising

As advertising volume increases, so too do people’s expectations of representation in advertising. Unfortunately, advertising collectively is still falling short, and consumer perceptions reflect that. Why answer this call from consumers? And what is being done about it?
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Blog

Ad Watchers: Putting Ads to the Truthfulness Test

The monthly Ad Watchers podcast provides listeners with behind-the-scenes access to the nitty-gritty of advertising law. Why? Because advertising law is simple, it’s the execution that’s hard.  Learn more about Season One and what topics are coming up for Season Two, such as effectively using consumer perception surveys, diversity and inclusion in advertising, and demystifying dark patterns.
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Decisions

Decision

National Advertising Division Recommends Goli Nutrition Modify or Discontinue Various Claims for Ashwagandha Gummies

New York, NY – May 25, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended that Goli Nutrition modify its advertising to avoid conveying challenged implied product efficacy claims for its Ashwagandha Gummies dietary supplement and modify or discontinue a qualified claim about the ability of the ingredient KSM-66...

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Decision

National Advertising Division Finds Certain Apartments.com Website Claims Supported; Advertiser CoStar Group Appeals Other Findings

New York, NY – May 4, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that CoStar Group, Inc. has a reasonable basis for certain Apartments.com claims, however, NAD recommended that CoStar modify or discontinue certain popularity claims, discontinue several of the challenged conversion and web...

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Decision

Brilliant Earth Voluntarily Discontinues “Free Diamond Earrings” and “One Day Only!” Claims Following National Advertising Division Challenge

New York, NY – April 27, 2022 – In a BBB National Programs National Advertising Division (NAD) challenge, Brilliant Earth Group, Inc. voluntarily discontinued claims made in connection with the sale of its diamonds and jewelry. These claims were challenged by competitor Blue Nile.

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Decision

National Advertising Division Finds Innovix Pharma Qualified Claims Supported; Recommends Certain OmegaVia Performance Claims be Discontinued

New York, NY – April 26, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that Innovix Pharma, manufacturer of OmegaVia Fish Oil and OmegaVia EPA dietary supplements, can make qualified claims about EPA and DHA supplementation to support heart health in addition to a healthy diet and...

Read the Decision Summary

 

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

 

 

 

Upcoming Events

Council for Responsible Nutrition's ABCs of Children’s Supplements

Maureen Enright, Vice President, CFBAI, Debra Policarpo, Senior Attorney, CARU, and Annie M. Ugurlayan, Assistant Director, NAD discuss Playing Smart with Advertising, Scientific Substantiation, and M ...
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Jun 01, 2022 Virtual

ACI’s Legal, Regulatory & Compliance Forum on Dietary Supplements

Jennifer Santos, Attorney, National Advertising Division (NAD), BBB National Programs joins the Developing a Playbook for Compliant and Effective Social Media Usage working group panel
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Jun 28, 2022 Virtual

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
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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 ...
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Sep 19, 2022 Washington, DC
 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

 

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