National Advertising Division

Key Updates:

  • On May 1, 2024, BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) issued a compliance warning stating that its Self-Regulatory Guidelines for Children’s Advertising (Advertising Guidelines) and Self-Regulatory Guidelines for Children’s Online Privacy Protection (Privacy Guidelines) apply to artificial intelligence (AI) in advertising and data collection targeted at children under 13.
  • CARU warns brands that it will strictly enforce its Advertising Guidelines and Privacy Guidelines in connection with the use of AI to protect children, who are more vulnerable to advertising and whose data collection poses special concerns.

Continue Reading CARU Issues Warning About Using AI in Child-Directed Advertising and Data Collection

Key Takeaways:

  • Disclosure of a payment or other material connection (e.g., via #Ad) must be prominent and “before the fold” for social media posts.
  • Influencers must include applicable disclosures in video content (not merely in the caption that accompanies the video).
  • A brand cannot repost influencer content without disclosing that the content has been paid for.
  • Investors must disclose their material connections to brands in social media posts (and cannot directly contradict such disclosure with a statement that the post is “not an ad”).

Continue Reading National Advertising Division Flags Social Media Disclosure Obligations for Wonderbelly, Its Influencers, and Investor Demi Moore

Key Update:

  • The National Advertising Division (NAD) updated its Fast-Track SWIFT process (Single Well-defined Issue Fast Track) to accommodate “implied” claims as long as they are clear cut and involve a single issue.
  • In 2020, the NAD launched its Fast-Track SWIFT resolution process, promising to resolve single-issue cases within 20 business days (as opposed to approximately three months in a standard NAD case). For an overview of the process, see our blog.

Previously, the SWIFT track was only used for express claims, and NAD frequently rejected SWIFT treatment for challenges to implied claims. The process, however, is now expanded to include “misleading express and implied claims.” NAD hopes that by making the change it will reduce the number of disputes over SWIFT jurisdiction that revolve around whether the contested claim is express or implied.Continue Reading National Advertising Division Expands Fast-Track SWIFT Process for 2023

The new Self-Regulatory Guidelines for Children’s Advertising (the Guidelines) issued by the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) went into effect on January 1, 2022. The Guidelines apply to advertising that is primarily directed at children under the age of 13 in any medium. CARU will monitor child-directed advertising and media for compliance with the Guidelines

Key Takeaways:

  • The Children’s Advertising Review Unit has released new guidelines for children’s advertising, moving beyond traditional TV advertising, to address a broader range of digital advertising issues.
  • The updated Guidelines go into effect on January 1, 2022 and apply to advertising that is primarily directed to children under age 13 in any medium or content.

Continue Reading CARU Updates Children’s Advertising Guidelines

Key Takeaways:

  • Marketers should strive to advertise the specific environmental product benefits that are well-supported in order to avoid communicating an overbroad “general environmental benefit” claim that cannot be supported, consistent with the FTC’s Green Guides.
  • Environmental claims and comparative advertising claims are subject to scrutiny by regulators, competitors, and consumers, so consult with legal counsel when developing such claims.

Continue Reading NAD Recommends Modifications to Blueland’s Environmental and Comparative Claims

While regulator actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic have understandably received the bulk of consumer protection headlines in recent months, influencer marketing remains a hot topic for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and National Advertising Division (NAD). As we continue into the latter half of 2020, we recap key enforcement actions, press releases, guidance, and letters related to endorsements and influencer marketing that brands may have missed during the pandemic.
Continue Reading Check in on Influencer Marketing

The ESRB, and it’s European equivalent PEGI, have issued new labeling requirements for video games containing loot boxes or other types of in-game purchases with randomized elements. The new labeling designation of “In-Game Purchases (Includes Random Items)” includes, but is broader than, loot boxes. Failure to adhere to this requirement may result in fines. Read

On April 2, 2020 the National Advertising Division (NAD) launched its Fast-Track SWIFT (Single Well-defined Issue Fast Track) resolution process, promising to resolve single-issue cases in 20 business days. An overview follows.

What is NAD? NAD is an organization within the Better Business Bureau (part of the BBB National Programs) which evaluates the truth and accuracy of national advertising. Matters heard by NAD may be initiated by a competitor or by NAD itself. After briefing and oral argument, NAD issues reasoned opinions with recommendations about whether the advertiser should modify or discontinue the challenged advertising. While compliance is voluntary, brands that do not comply are referred to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for a second look. NAD reports a compliance rate of 95%, and the FTC reports that it examines every case referred to it by NAD.
Continue Reading National Advertising Division Launches Fast-Track Swift Process

The National Advertising Division recently revealed its plans to launch a fast-track resolution process to resolve certain false advertising claims in a mere 2-4 weeks. This fast-track process will provide a useful tool for companies that want to quickly and efficiently challenge certain competitor advertising practices.
Continue Reading NAD Reveals Initial Plans for 2020 Fast-Track Process