In Two Fast-Track SWIFT Cases, National Advertising Division Recommends Claim be Modified or Discontinued and Disclosures Voluntarily Modified

New York, NY – December 8, 2022 The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs closed two new Fast-Track SWIFT cases in December. In those cases:

 

  •  Verizon Communications, Inc. challenged the claim that Comcast Cable Communications, LLC’s Xfinity internet service is “up to 7x faster than Verizon 5G Home Internet”; and
  • Truth in Advertising, Inc. (TINA.org) challenged disclosures in promotional ads for SAT preparation courses offered by TPR Education, LLC (The Princeton Review).

 

NAD Fast-Track SWIFT is an expedited NAD challenge process designed for single-issue advertising cases.

Verizon v. Comcast

Verizon challenged advertising comparing Comcast’s Gigabit tier (offering download speeds of up to 1200 Mbps) to Verizon’s 5G Home Internet service by stating that Xfinity internet service is “up to 7x faster than Verizon 5G Home Internet.”

NAD determined that, based on the 5G Home Internet speed range presented by Verizon on its website (typical download speeds vary between 85 Mbps and 300 Mbps), Comcast has a reasonable basis for the claim that Xfinity’s Gigabit tier is seven times faster than Verizon’s 5G Home Internet given that an approximate mid-point of the 85-300 Mbps range translates into a seven times greater download speed advantage.

However, NAD recommended that Comcast modify the claim that its Xfinity internet service is “up to 7x faster than Verizon 5G Home Internet” to clearly and conspicuously disclose the material difference that the “7x faster” claim is a comparison between Xfinity’s Gigabit tier to Verizon’s 5G Home Internet that offers a range of speeds, or, alternatively, discontinue the claim.

NAD determined that the challenge was appropriate for Fast Track SWIFT because it presented the single issue as to whether the advertiser’s comparative internet speed claim is supported.

In its advertiser statement, Comcast stated that it “agrees to comply with NAD’s recommendation” and “agrees to modify its disclosures, as recommended, to clarify the basis of comparison.”

 

TINA.ORG v. The Princeton Review

TINA.org challenged disclosures contained in promotional emails and online advertising for The Princeton Review’s SAT preparation courses. TINA.org argued that The Princeton Review does not adequately disclose the conditions that must be met for the company to honor its money back guarantee.

TINA.org noted that an asterisk in a promotional email following “Score a 1400+ or your money back.*” corresponds to fine print at the bottom of the email that notes that “restrictions apply” and directs consumers to the terms and conditions for details. Specifically, for the SAT 1400+ program, students with a starting score below 1250 are “guaranteed” at least a 150 point increase and students with a starting score of 1250 or higher are “guaranteed” a score of at least 1400.

During the challenge, The Princeton Review agreed to permanently modify the challenged advertising to clearly and conspicuously disclose the conditions for its money back guarantee.

NAD determined that the challenge was appropriate for Fast Track SWIFT because it presented the single issue as to whether the advertiser’s disclosures in connection with its money back guarantee are adequate.

In its advertiser statement, The Princeton Review stated that it is “modifying the presentation of information about its money back guarantee to further enhance consumer understanding” and noted that it “supports the self-regulatory process and appreciates the NAD’s attention to this matter.”

Learn more about the NAD Fast-Track SWIFT challenge process. All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive.

 

About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.

 

About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD), a division of BBB National Programs, provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.

Contact Information

Name: Abby Hills
Email: press@bbbnp.org
Job Title: Director of Communications

2022 MICHELIN Guide California Features New 3-Star Restaurant

  • Addison awarded three MICHELIN Stars, taking the spotlight
    among 18 California eateries receiving new MICHELIN Star awards
  • 89 total restaurants achieve MICHELIN-Star status – seven with three Stars
  • Inspectors award two new Green Stars, bringing state total to 11

 

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 5, 2022 — Eighty-nine restaurants reached for the Stars in the 2022 edition of the MICHELIN® Guide California — including 18 earning new MICHELIN Star distinctions.

Addison received three Stars, bringing the state’s tally of three-MICHELIN-Star restaurants to seven. Caruso’s and The Restaurant at JUSTIN each were awarded one MICHELIN Star, plus a MICHELIN Green Star. California is now home to 11 of the 13 Green-Starred restaurants in North America.

“California is a foodie’s dream come true,” said Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the MICHELIN Guides. “There are now 142 three-MICHELIN-Star restaurants in the world, with the addition of the spectacular Addison. It is truly a landmark accomplishment for the Addison team, and they have much to be proud of.

“Our inspectors also named two new MICHELIN Green-Star establishments, which prove themselves to be industry leaders in sustainable practices. The fact that the state has such a high concentration of Green Stars is a testament to the culinary scene’s strong commitment to the environment. There’s just so much to be excited about in this year’s selection.”

Here are the new MICHELIN-Starred restaurants, with inspector notes from each (inspector comments in full on the MICHELIN Guide website and mobile app):

Three MICHELIN Stars

Addison (San Diego; Contemporary/Californian cuisine)

Chef William Bradley has helmed the stoves at Addison since 2006, transforming this Southern Californian oasis into a world-class dining destination. Global inspiration and Californian sentimentality are at the heart of his approach, and no dish captures this better than sesame-seasoned Koshihikari rice finished with applewood-smoked sabayon and crowned with Regiis Ova reserve caviar. From chicken liver churros to a riff on chips and dip, dishes are playful yet polished. Opening bites such as Kumamoto oysters with pickled green strawberry or Iberian ham folded over a gloriously golden potato display finely tuned flavors. Shellfish-studded chawanmushi exemplifies masterful control over technique, flavors and textures. Meals conclude with a selection of stunning small bites. 

One MICHELIN Star

715 (Los Angeles; Japanese/Sushi cuisine)

Originally from Osaka prefecture, Chef Seigo Tamura came to the U.S. with dreams of becoming a pro basketball player. Thankfully for Los Angeles, the only points he’s scoring are with diners savoring his sushi. Together with his younger brother, the two have followed in their sushi chef grandfather’s footsteps. They source all seafood from Japan and age larger fish, such as tuna, in-house. Their blend of Hitomebore and Koshihikari rice is distinctive, and while Edomae-style sushi dictates using red vinegar for the rice, they add a little bit of sugar in a nod to their Osaka roots.

Camphor (Los Angeles; Contemporary/French cuisine)

Headed by uber-talented Chefs Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George, Camphor plates seriously good French fare with a sprinkle of spicing from Southeast Asia. Creative cocktails, including the refreshing Saint-Germain, complete the experience. Bubbling hot rigatoni stuffed with artichokes, Swiss chard and Comte delivers one satisfying bite after the next, and steak au poivre arrives resting in a pool of perfect sauce.

Caruso’s (Montecito; Californian cuisine)  

The Rosewood Miramar Beach is its home, and contemporary Californian food with Italian leanings is the kitchen’s dictum. Housed in a separate structure and set back on the water, make the small walk to arrive at this elegant retreat. The dining room is beautifully attired with leather booths, linen-robed tables and white chairs, all of which afford views of the crashing waves. But make no mistake, the seasonal prix-fixe takes center stage along with a focus on regional products (California wheat milled in-house; sea urchin procured from a local diver).

Citrin (Santa Monica; Californian cuisine)

Although located in the same building as Chef Josiah Citrin’s sister restaurant Mélisse, in lieu of its sibling’s tasting menu-only format, the offerings here afford more choice, with a modest prix-fixe alongside à la carte options. Chef Ken Takayama’s cuisine sends forth signature combinations of French technique with an abundance of California’s seasonal produce, focusing on updated takes on classically rooted flavors with modern, global touches.

Cyrus (Geyserville; Californian cuisine)

Celebrated wine country chef Douglas Keane has returned to the fore with his re-launch of Cyrus in Geyserville. Dinner is an ebullient experience that progresses from canapes and Champagne in the lounge, to small bites in the kitchen, and concludes with substantial compositions in the dining room. Farm-fresh crudité to be dipped in umeboshi emulsion; Sonoma duck with turnips and hoisin; and black sesame financier with shaved plums are just a few examples of the impressive, globally accented cuisine.

Gwen (Los Angeles; Steakhouse)

During the day, this enticingly arranged butcher shop sells humanely raised meats from local partner farms. By night, Gwen opens into a glowing dining room showcasing the same upscale cuts à la carte and on its multicourse tasting menu. Named for their beloved grandmother, this collaboration between Chef Curtis Stone and his brother Luke conjures Art Deco glamour with crystal chandeliers and a roaring fireplace. The menu is concise and stars house-made charcuterie and wood-fire grilled steaks.

Hatchet Hall (Los Angeles; American cuisine)

This cool Culver West spot is a delight, thanks to the talented team behind it and Chef Wes Whitsell’s work in the kitchen. This is open-flame cooking, rendered with a Southern twang and seasonal focus thanks to an abundance of local product. Rolls and biscuits should not be missed, while vegetable-based items, like collard greens with smoked turkey, speak of quality ingredients and delicious balance. Nuanced flavors and creativity unite in the likes of kampachi collar and pork belly. In short, there’s no going wrong here.

Kato (Los Angeles; Asian/Contemporary cuisine)

Chef Jonathan Yao steers the ship at Kato, deftly drawing from his Taiwanese background to create contemporary food that is at once simple and complex. He is unafraid of change and often tweaks the menu based on availability or just his own whim. No matter, since you’re in for a consistently creative and often quirky experience. The dishes (some of which are made by a local artisan) are as elegant as they are inventive.

Localis (Sacramento; Californian cuisine)

Together with his tight-knit team, Chef/owner Christopher Barnum-Dann brings unusual warmth to this intimate setting. His enthusiasm is instantly palpable as he happily explains his inspiration behind particular dishes and even solicits feedback. This is especially true for diners who sit at the spacious counter. The cooking has a clean, modern simplicity, and its commitment to carefully sourced ingredients is thoroughly Californian. It also offers no shortage of personality, combining flavors while also drawing from various global cuisines.

Manzke (Los Angeles; Contemporary cuisine)

This eponymous fine dining concept from Walter and Margarita Manzke is in the same building as their more casual Bicyclette Bistro. Here, you’ll settle in for a 10-course tasting menu boasting a contemporary style that blends French techniques with Californian influences and Asian notes. Ingenuity is everywhere. The vintage cocktail program is a unique delight and a highly recommended start to any meal here.

Nisei (San Francisco; Japanese/Contemporary cuisine)

“Nisei” refers to the American-born children of Japanese immigrants, which Chef David Yoshimura is; and the synthesis of that heritage forms the basis of this cuisine. The kitchen employs both boldness and subtlety in their cooking, which abounds with personality and technical finesse. The tasting menu is equal parts tradition and invention, where a classic matsutake broth sits in harmony with a wholly original dessert of Okinawan purple sweet potato.

 Osito (San Francisco; Contemporary cuisine)                   

Chef Seth Stowaway puts his heart, soul and even his nickname (osito means “little bear”) into this rustic, lodge-like spot where live-fire cooking takes center stage. The multicourse tasting menu is served at an expansive communal table and changes with the seasons. The food is both elemental and elevated, with a subtle perfume of smoke wending through the various courses, seen in dishes like a lightly cooked king salmon with fennel and porcini, or a slow-cooked brisket brushed tableside with an intensely savory mussel BBQ sauce.

Press (St. Helena; American cuisine)

This modern American dining room exudes all the wine country vibes, and just so happens to boast the largest collection of Napa wines in the world. Chef Philip Tessier is equally inspired by the location, delivering contemporary, Californian dishes such as Kusshi oysters with whipped horseradish, citrus-cured snapper with yuzu curd, and white truffle risotto that is simply sophisticated.

The Restaurant at JUSTIN (Paso Robles; Californian cuisine)

Make your way through winding roads to land upon the lush retreat, nestled within the JUSTIN Winery. This restaurant champions local product, sourced nearby and from the property’s own 150-tree orchard, edible flower fields, vegetable and herb gardens and apiary. Chef Rachel Haggstrom and her team flex their creative skills on a single tasting menu. Imagine asparagus with a soft quail egg, blood orange and duck prosciutto or artichoke tortellini with truffle and peas. As expected, theirs is an impressive wine list, replete with their own labels among other unique selections.

San Ho Won (San Francisco; Korean cuisine)

Combining the prodigious talents of heavy-hitter Chefs Corey Lee and Jeong-In Hwang, here it’s safe to expect the exceptional. The kitchen’s assiduously refined technique deftly combines traditional Korean tastes with a sense of novelty, using impeccable ingredients to make for dishes of surpassing depth and purity of flavor, whether it be the humble kimchi or a rarefied cut of beef.

Ssal (San Francisco; Korean cuisine)          

Hyunyoung and Junsoo Bae have ample fine dining experience but were inspired to strike out on their own to fill what they saw as a void in San Francisco’s Korean restaurant scene. The result is this tasting menu that draws upon familiar flavors, but sets itself apart with a sense of refined simplicity. Meticulously prepared seafood shows a dedication to craft, as in black cod partially dried before being grilled to achieve a skin so crunchy it can be heard from across the room. Beef short ribs are something of a signature, gently cooked sous vide, then seared to form a sweet-savory crust.

Sushi Kaneyoshi (Los Angeles; Japanese/Sushi cuisine)          

This clandestine (read: frustratingly difficult to find) sushi counter is in the most unexpected of places, but step inside this serene, minimalist showpiece and be transported to Japan. Great care is taken with every detail, whether it’s the quality of ingredients or the artful plating — some of the pottery is even handmade by Chef Yoshiyuki Inoue. Highlights include stunning seared ocean perch tucked between a sheet of crisp nori, West Coast oyster braised in soy and served warm, and slightly smoked prawns coated in a lush egg yolk and soy sauce.

Bib Gourmands

The MICHELIN Guide inspectors added 15 restaurants to the Bib Gourmand list, which recognizes eateries for great food at a great value: All Day Baby, Caboco, Chulita, Flavors from Afar, Good Good Culture Club, Hilda and Jesse, Ipoh Kopitiam, Jo’s Modern Thai, Lalibela, Moo’s Craft Barbecue, peasants FEAST, Pijja Palace, Pizzeria Bianco, Ramen & Tsukemen TAO and Saffy’s.

 

Special Awards

In addition to the Bib Gourmands and Stars, the Guide announced three special awards:

The 2022 MICHELIN Guide California Selection:

The full California selection — including all the Recommended spots — is available on guide.michelin.com and mobile app. The restaurants join the MICHELIN Guide selection of hotels, which features the most unique and exciting places to stay in California and throughout the world.

Every hotel in the Guide is chosen for its extraordinary style, service, and personality — with options for all budgets — and each hotel can be booked directly through the MICHELIN Guide website and app. The selection for California currently features the state’s most spectacular hotels, including resurrected golden age mansions like the Paramour Estate, unique boutiques like the Madrona and the Carneros Resort, moody member’s clubs like the Battery in San Francisco and the Aster in Los Angeles, standouts from our “Plus” collection like the Surfrider Malibu and the Ranch at Laguna Beach, coastal clifftop wonders like the Post Ranch Inn, and mid-century desert classics like Hope Springs Resort.

The MICHELIN Guide is a benchmark in gastronomy. Now it’s setting a new standard for hotels. Visit the MICHELIN Guide website, or download the app for iOS and Android, to discover every restaurant in the selection and book an unforgettable hotel.

The MICHELIN Guide Star Revelation event is presented with the support of Capital One. WATCH as chefs and restaurant teams receive their awards.

 

California’s 2022 Starred Establishments

California’s 2022 Green-Starred Establishments

California’s 2022 Bib Gourmands

 

About Michelin North America, Inc.

Michelin, the leading mobility company, is working with tires, around tires and beyond tires to enable Motion for Life. Dedicated to enhancing its clients’ mobility and sustainability, Michelin designs and distributes the most suitable tires, services and solutions for its customers’ needs. Michelin provides digital services, maps and guides to help enrich trips and travels and make them unique experiences. Bringing its expertise to new markets, the company is investing in high-technology materials, 3D printing and hydrogen, to serve a wide a variety of industries — from aerospace to biotech. Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, Michelin North America has approximately 22,500 employees and operates 34 production facilities in the United States and Canada. (michelinman.com)

 

About Capital One
At Capital One we’re on a mission for our customers – bringing them best-in-class products, rewards, service, and experiences. Capital One is a diversified bank that offers products and services to individuals, small businesses and commercial clients. We use technology, innovation, and interaction to provide consumers with products and services to meet their needs. Through Capital One Dining and Capital One Entertainment, we provide our rewards cardholders with access to unforgettable experiences in the areas they’re passionate about, including dining, music and sports. Learn more at capitalone.com/dining and capitalone.com/entertainment.

 

For more information, contact:

Andrew Festa
Michelin North America
andrew.festa@michelin.com

Devon Gunn
Capital One
devon.gunn@capitalone.com
Phone: 571-308-4762

Contact Information

Name: Andrew Festa
Email: andrew.festa@michelin.com
Job Title: Press Officer

National Advertising Division Finds Blue Apron’s “Canceling Meals is Easy” Claim Supported

New York, NY – December 1, 2022 In a BBB National Programs National Advertising Division (NAD) challenge, brought as part of NAD’s routine monitoring of national advertising for truth and transparency, NAD has determined that Blue Apron LLC provided a reasonable basis for the claim that “Canceling Meals is Easy.”

Blue Apron is a subscription-based meal kit company that offers changing weekly meal kits consisting of boxes of pre-portioned ingredients and corresponding recipes to be cooked at home.

These subscription services constitute negative option marketing, broadly defined as a category of commercial transactions in which sellers interpret a customer’s failure to take an affirmative action, either to reject an offer or cancel an agreement, as assent to be charged for goods or services. NAD noted that there are different types of plans in negative option marketing and Blue Apron’s service constitutes a continuity plan – namely, consumers agree to continue to receive their food kits for a monthly sum until they affirmatively cancel their subscription.

NAD inquired about the advertiser’s sponsored Instagram post with the express claim “Canceling meals is easy,” made in connection with a pricing claim (“Starting at $7.49 per serving”). NAD determined that the claim in context reasonably conveys the message that consumers can cancel their subscription seamlessly.

In reviewing whether Blue Apron offers consumers easy ways to cancel meals, NAD considered that the Federal Trade Commission’s recent “Bringing Dark Patterns To Light” report suggests that consumers should be able to cancel a subscription-based service through the same medium (such as a website or mobile application) as signup. NAD determined that the claim “[C]anceling meals is easy” is supported since consumers sign up for and cancel Blue Apron online.

In its advertiser statement, Blue Apron stated that it “supports NAD’s mission of voluntary self-regulation of advertising and is pleased by NAD’s determination.” The advertiser further stated that it “continuously seeks improvements in its customer experience and takes great pride in its support of the goal of clear, transparent, and truthful information in advertising.”

All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive.

 

About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.

About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.

Contact Information

Name: Abby Hills
Email: press@bbbnp.org
Job Title: Director of Communications