"ASRC Programs Now Part of BBB National Programs, Inc."

On June 1, 2019, the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC) merged into BBB National Programs, Inc., a nonprofit organization that replaces the Council of Better Business Bureaus as administrator of national self-regulatory programs that include NAD, NARB, CARU, ERSP, DSSRC, and the Accountability Program. BBB National Programs will assume all ASRC responsibilities, including setting policies and procedures for the programs. Program staff and operation will remain the same. You can find more information about these programs at bbbprograms.org. As always, we thank you for your support for industry self-regulation.

National Advertising Division Fast-Track SWIFT

The compelling need for quick resolution of truth and transparency issues that arise in digital advertising prompted National Advertising Division (NAD) to develop a new time-sensitive resource for industry. Fast-Track SWIFT (Single Well-defined Issue Fast Track) will review the prominence and/or sufficiency of disclosures in influencer marketing, and native advertising as well as other advertising truth and transparency issues that do not require complex claim substantiation. Fast-Track SWIFT will resolve these matters within 20 business days.

Decisions in 20 business days

Use of the Fast-Track SWIFT process will allow parties to receive an NAD decision within 20 business days from the initiation of the case (i.e., the time that the advertiser receives the challenge).

Initiating a Fast-Track SWIFT challenge

Challenges are submitted via the Fast-Track SWIFT online portal and must include:

  • The advertiser’s contact information, including identifying the correct person to whom the challenge should be directed
  • A copy of the challenged advertising and the date(s) and platforms(s) the challenged claim appeared
  • A brief description of the facts showing how the advertising is likely controlled by the advertiser
  • Exhibits to support the argument that the challenged claim is not substantiated (if applicable)
  • A brief statement as to why the challenged claim is appropriate for the SWIFT process (e.g., it fits within the categories defined as appropriate for SWIFT review, etc.)

Eligible Claims

Fast-Track SWIFT challenges are limited to a single issue. Claims that may be worded slightly differently but still convey the same message can be brought in a single challenge. Initially, NAD will only accept three types of claims for consideration in a Fast-Track SWIFT challenge:   

  1. The prominence or sufficiency of disclosures including disclosure issues in influencer marketing, native advertising, and incentivized reviews
  2. Misleading pricing and sales claims
  3. Misleading express claims that do not require review of complex evidence or substantiation such clinical or technical testing or consumer perception evidence

About BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division

Since 1971, BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division (NAD) (previously administrated by the Council for Better Business Bureaus) has led the advertising industry’s efforts to promote truthful and transparent advertising, protecting consumers, and promoting fair competition. Fifty years ago, consumer advocates and government leaders clamored for increased oversight of advertising in response to mounting criticism that deceptive advertising was undermining consumer trust. Rather than face increased government oversight, industry came together and formed NAD, a system of advertising self-regulation. To this day, NAD remains an independent and impartial forum for reviewing advertising, devoid of any economic self-interest in the outcome of an advertising review proceeding. NAD reviews approximately 100 cases per year, and we have a 90-95% voluntary compliance rate with our decisions. 

NAD reviews advertising on a broad range of issues, from complex health-related claims for vulnerable populations, to claims about which cereal stays crunchy in milk longer. Digital advertising, including influencer marketing, product reviews, native advertising and the issues surrounding the use of endorsements and testimonials, have increasingly been a focus of cases before NAD. The Federal Trade Commission’s recent call for comments on its guidelines for endorsements and testimonials is one recent indication that the issues arising in digital advertising remain subject to government scrutiny. Advertising self-regulation can continue to offer solutions: increase truth and transparency in advertising, reduce criticism of the industry, and ultimately minimize government oversight.  

Online Archive

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Case Digests

Case Digests feature short summaries of key cases in several industries or topic areas. These digests were created by the former Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC). To access the full text of decisions of the National Advertising Division (NAD), National Advertising Review Board (NARB), Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) and Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program, please contact Saveeta Dhanai, sdhanai@bbbnp.org. The full text of decisions issued by the Online Interest-Based Accountability Program are available above, at the Accountability Program tab.