ViiV Healthcare’s DOVATO HIV Medication Claims to FDA and FTC for Review: NAD

New York, NY – April 27, 2023 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs has referred advertising claims made by ViiV Healthcare Company for its DOVATO® single-tablet HIV treatment medication to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after the company informed NAD that it would not participate in the NAD self-regulatory process with respect to the challenged claims.

ViiV’s claims about its DOVATO medication, which appeared in multichannel advertising, were challenged by Gilead Sciences, Inc., manufacturer of Biktarvy®, a competing HIV medication.

Gilead challenged express and implied health-related claims that DOVATO is superior to Biktarvy because it contains less medicine, does not contain tenofovir alafenamide (TAF), and is less likely to adversely impact patients’ renal, lipid, and weight profiles.

ViiV did not submit a substantive response, but instead informed NAD that it would not participate in NAD’s self-regulatory process because it believes FDA is best positioned to assess the appropriateness of these prescription drug claims.

NAD frequently reviews advertising claims for FDA-regulated products, including pharmaceuticals.

Considering ViiV’s decision to not participate in the NAD self-regulatory process, NAD has referred the matter to the FDA and FTC for review and possible enforcement action.

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, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses, and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. 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: Jennie Rosenberg
Email: jrosenberg@bbbnp.org
Job Title: Media Relations

National Advertising Division Finds Certain Shark Stratos Vacuum Claims Supported; Shark Appeals NAD Recommendations to Discontinue or Modify Other Claims

New York, NY – April 27, 2023The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that certain “no hair wrap” claims made by SharkNinja Operating, LLC for its Shark Stratos Powered Lift-Away upright vacuum were supported. However, NAD recommended that Shark discontinue or modify other claims for the Stratos vacuum related to its superior hair pick-up ability, odor neutralizing technology, and superior suction.

These claims, which appear in Shark’s 30-minute infomercial for the Stratos vacuum, were challenged by Dyson, Inc., maker of competing vacuum cleaners.

“No Hair Wrap” Claims

NAD determined that the infomercial’s “no hair wrap” claims reasonably convey the message that the Stratos vacuum can pick up pet hair and long hair during typical cleaning activity on carpet or hard floors. NAD concluded that Shark’s testing provided a reasonable basis for the “no hair wrap” claims and the claim that “Shark Stratos self-cleaning brushroll technology removes hair from the brush while you clean, preventing hair wrap,” when accompanied by a disclosure of the runtime of the vacuums used in the turnover demonstrations (a modification the advertiser agreed voluntarily to make).

Best Hair Pick-up Claims

NAD concluded that Shark’s testing was not a good fit to support the broad, category-wide superiority message conveyed by its informercial claims to have the “best hair pick-up of any vacuum.” In so finding, NAD noted that Shark did not produce comparative testing against 85% of the relevant marketplace and that the methodology of its laboratory testing was too limited.

Therefore, NAD recommended Shark modify its advertising to avoid conveying the unsupported messages that the Stratos offers:

  • “The best hair pick-up of any vacuum,”
  • “The best hair pick-up of any upright vacuum in America,” and
  • “The most hair pick-up from floor to dust cup of any vacuum in America.”

Odor Neutralizing Claims

NAD determined that Shark’s infomercial reasonably conveys the message the Stratos vacuum is able to neutralize and eliminate malodor because the infomercial combines express claims that the odor technology interacts with odor-causing particles and transforms the bad odors into fresh-smelling air, with images of odor molecules being destroyed.

Further, NAD found that Shark’s “smell test” communicates the message that the Shark Stratos vacuum reduces odors and emits a pleasant smell that consumers prefer to that of the Dyson or Bissell vacuums when vacuuming up smelly objects in the home.

However, because Shark did not provide evidence to support an odor elimination message, NAD recommended that it discontinue advertising that conveys a message of odor elimination including animated depictions of the product eliminating green malodor particles and the claim, “Shark solves [the problem of vacuum odor] with a new and unique breakthrough odor neutralizer technology. This technology interacts with odor-causing particles and transforms the bad odors into fresh-smelling air.”

Regarding Shark’s claims of odor reduction, pleasant smell, and comparative odor reduction, NAD concluded that while Shark’s testing shows a perceptible reduction in malodor for the Shark Stratos vacuum, the evidence did not support the odor reduction messages conveyed in the infomercial.

Therefore, NAD recommended that these claims be discontinued or, in the alternative, that Shark modify the claims to reflect the supported message that the Shark Stratos’s odor neutralization technology reduces malodor.

Superior Suction Claims

NAD found that one message reasonably conveyed by the “ultimate suction challenge” in the infomercial is that Stratos has superior suction for cleaning floor surfaces, a message that was not supported.

Therefore, NAD recommended Shark discontinue the implied claim that the Stratos’s superior suction power translates into superior floor cleaning performance.

In its advertiser statement, Shark stated that it will appeal a portion of NAD’s decision because it “believes that NAD’s analysis of the odor claims was inconsistent with self-regulatory precedent and that NAD overreached by finding that the video communicated a preference claim and an odor elimination message.” Shark added that it is also appealing NAD’s recommendation to discontinue the claim that the Shark Stratos has “the best hair pickup of any upright vacuum in America.”

Appeals of NAD decisions are made to BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate-level truth-in-advertising body of BBB National Programs.

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, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses, and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. 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: Jennie Rosenberg
Email: jrosenberg@bbbnp.org
Job Title: Media Relations

Galexxy Holdings’ Shareholder Update

Wellbeing Farms Expands Delta 88 Kiosk to Pennsylvania and Receives First Purchase Order for Chicago Market.

 

CALIFORNIA, Newport Beach, April 26, 2023, Galexxy Holdings Inc., (“Galexxy”) (OTC: GXXY), a health and wellness company on a mission to bring unique and effective health and wellness products to market, and its subsidiary, Wellbeing Farms LLC, (“WBF”) are pleased to update shareholders on major company milestones over the last several months.

WBF expands Delta 88 Kiosk Distribution to Pennsylvania:

WBF is expanding the distribution of its Smart Vending Kiosks through its Commercial Supply and Leasing agreement with Delta 88 LLC (D88) into Pennsylvania. D88 launched its marketing campaign in Austin Texas in Q1-23 and has signed additional leases to expand its reach into 6 key locations to market its products in Pennsylvania.

WBF customized Smart Kiosks are very distinctive, featuring digital product displays to maximize product appeal are equipped with WBF’s App based ID-Age verification capability to comply with state regulations.

D88’s business plan calls for placement of hundreds of attractively branded Smart Vending Kiosks supplied by WBF under lease agreements. D88’s products are also supplied by WBF under an exclusive white label agreement.

Based on their initial estimates, D88 is planning to install over six hundred Smart Kiosks in the next 2 years which could potentially generate a minimum of $5,000,000 per year in wholesale product purchases from WBF.

WBF Chicago Update:

WBF also received its initial product order from its Chicago distributor, who signed a Definitive Distribution agreement in December 2022 for product supply and the lease of 40 Smart Vending Kiosks, which are currently being placed in selected consumer traffic locations.

Galexxy Audit Update and Plan for OTC QX Up-listing:

Galexxy’s CEO, Michael Biagi stated that “WBF has commenced its end of year Audit and in addition to its intention to up-list onto OTC QX, the Company has several very promising new programs in its business development pipeline and I look forward to keeping shareholders updated as these programs come to fruition.”

About Galexxy Holdings:

Headquartered in Newport Beach, California, Galexxy’s shares are quoted on the OTC Markets (OTC: GXXY). Galexxy entered the rapidly developing markets for premium natural plant-based consumer health supplement products in April 2021 and completed its acquisition of Wellbeing Farms LLC., on August 4, 2022, and purchased 69% of ABC Wholesale Products LLC., on August 12, 2022.

Galexxy Holdings Inc.

Michael Biagi

E: Michael@galexxyholdings.com

M: (949) 335 8269

Forward-Looking Information:

This press release contains “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements” (collectively, “statements”). All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements and are based on expectations, estimates and projections as at the date of this press release.

https://wellbeingfarmsmushrooms.com/

www.galexxyholdings.com

https://twitter.com/GXXYHoldings

www.delta88.vip

www.uvending.vip

Spectrum Speed Boost: NAD Recommends Charter Discontinue or Modify Speed Claim

New York, NY – April 26, 2023In a Fast-Track SWIFT challenge brought by AT&T Services, Inc., the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that Charter Communications, Inc. discontinue the claim that “Only Spectrum gives you Speed Boost, for the fastest wireless speeds in the palm of your hand” or modify the advertising to disclose the material conditions necessary to obtain the benefits of Speed Boost.

Fast-Track SWIFT is an expedited challenge process designed for single-issue advertising cases brought to NAD. NAD determined that the AT&T challenge was appropriate for Fast-Track SWIFT because it presented a single issue relating to Charter’s express unqualified wireless speed claim.

Speed Boost is a new technology developed by Charter that lets Spectrum Mobile customers receive faster wireless speeds (up to 1 Gbps) on their Spectrum Mobile devices when connected to their home WiFi network. After considering the messages reasonably conveyed by the challenged commercial, NAD determined that the express language of the commercial combined with visual images of a man brandishing his mobile device conveys the message that Speed Boost is widely available on mobile devices.

Accordingly, NAD found that the claim “Only Spectrum gives you Speed Boost, for the fastest wireless speeds in the palm of your hand” is an unqualified wireless speed claim. Further, NAD found that the on-screen disclosures do not clearly communicate the circumstances under which a user will experience the benefits of Speed Boost.

For these reasons, NAD found that the challenged unqualified fastest wireless speed claim was not supported and recommended that Charter discontinue the challenged claim or modify the advertising to disclose clearly and conspicuously in close proximity to the wireless speed claim that to enjoy the benefits of Speed Boost requires a Spectrum home internet plan, Spectrum Mobile plan and device, and that the user be connected to Spectrum WiFi.

NAD noted that nothing in its decision precludes Charter from making truthful and non-misleading claims about the availability of Speed Boost.

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, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses, and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. 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: Jennie Rosenberg
Email: jrosenberg@bbbnp.org
Job Title: Media Relations

What’s the future of the world’s most spoken language?

The British Council launches landmark research on the Future of English

The result of a series of roundtables connecting education experts from 49 countries across the globe

 

English will retain its position as the world’s most widely spoken language over the next decade and teachers will continue to be at the heart of English learning, even in the face of increased automation, AI and machine learning.

These are two of the findings in a landmark research publication, the Future of English: Global Perspectives, published by the British Council in April. It is the result of a series of roundtables connecting education experts from 49 countries across the globe.

This is the first publication in a major programme of research and global engagement started by the British Council in 2020. The Future of English research programme will shine a light on the trends driving the use of English as a global language and provide data to inform policy makers, educators, researchers, and others interested in this important topic.

Key findings:

  • English is the most widely spoken language in the world. and English is likely to retain this position for the next decade and beyond.
  • English will play an important role in giving more young people access to higher education opportunities.
  • There is a strong connection between the desire to learn English and the need for teachers, even when new technologies are considered.
  • Private sector has the potential to address the deficiencies in language education provision offered by the public sector and expand the prospects available to young people. Nevertheless, the quality of certain private offerings is inconsistent, and the report proposes increased cooperation between public and private providers.
  • Policy makers should continuously review the approach to assessing English proficiency to make sure assessment practices stay relevant for today’s study, work and social interactions.
  • Technology has the potential to help greater numbers of students access language learning. But the publication found that it also risks widening the divide between people who have access to technology and those who do not.
  • There has been a gradual, industry led, shift away towards valuing language proficiency that is more practical and situational, rather than solely focusing on being fluent in one’s native language

The British Council will be driving data collection globally to inform future research releases globally. As part of our long-term commitment, we have initiated a major new Future of English research grant scheme, awarding the first four grants to UK-led international projects in 2022.

Alongside the new publication, the British Council is set to unveil a new Future of English touring exhibition. The multimedia exhibition will explore several of the report’s core themes – English in education, English in the workplace, and English in the community – and feature interactive elements which will ask visitors for their views on the future of the English language. Initially opening at the British Council’s headquarters in Stratford, London from 26 April, the exhibition will subsequently travel to the New Directions LATAM 2023 conference in São Paulo, Brazil from 25-27 May, the New Directions East Asia 2023 conference in Hanoi, Viet Nam on 27 and 28 October 2023. Other locations and dates will be announced for 2023, before the exhibition returns to London in early 2024.

Mark Walker, Director of English & Exams at the British Council, said:

“At the British Council, English language teaching, learning and assessment are at the heart of what we do. We champion the power of English to break down barriers and help millions of learners grow their skills, build international connections, and access life-changing opportunities.

“Now we’re collaborating with partners, thought leaders, teachers and learners around the world to open up new conversations and share global perspectives about the future of English.”

The British Council supports 100 million English learners worldwide with online resources and connects with more than four million teachers and educators online each year – the world’s largest global network of teachers. The British Council also works directly with education leaders, teacher educators and teachers of English to raise standards of English in education systems.

To read the full report :https://www.britishcouncil.org/future-of-english

Notes to Editor

For more information, or to request interviews, please contact Lamia El Idrissi, Communications Manager: lamia.elidrissi@britishcouncil.org

Methodology

A series of roundtables took place from June to December 2021 with 92 policy-makers and experts from 49 countries around the world from a range of disciplines, including applied linguistics, assessment, and sector experts as well as practitioners across British Council networks with extensive field experience.

The outcomes from these roundtable discussions were consolidated with additional data collected from desk research and surveys.

The Future of English report is authored by Mina Patel, Mike Solly and Steve Copeland and edited by Professor Barry O’Sullivan (all of the British Council) and Professor Yan Jin (School of Foreign Languages, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and member of the British Council’s Assessments Advisory Board).

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2021-22 we reached 650 million people.

Contact Information

Name: Lamia El Idrissi
Email: lamia.elidrissi@britishcouncil.org
Job Title: Communications Manager

BFGoodrich Tires launches ActivAir integrated tire inflation system

  • Inflation system allows enthusiasts to air up and down while driving on rugged terrain
  • Technology enables drivers to conquer road, rock, sand and mud
  • Innovation tested in extreme environments, like Dakar Rally and Ultra4 Racing 

 

GREENVILLE, S.C. April 26, 2023 — BFGoodrich Tires already makes tires with the toughest terrain in mind — from desert racing to rock crawling. Now, drivers can tackle any terrain with BFGoodrich® ActivAir, is a brand-new, fully integrated tire-inflation system that allows off-roaders to air up and air down their tires without ever leaving their seat.

With ActivAir, drivers can adjust tire pressures to exact specifications, allowing them to conquer road, rock, sand, mud and more – without slowing their momentum.

“Our goal at BFGoodrich is to fuel adventure,” said Harold Phillips, global general manager for BFGoodrich Tires. “ActivAir is exciting new technology that helps our off-road community optimize their vehicle performance. This latest innovation reinforces our focus on safe off-roading.”

ActivAir is patented premium technology developed and pressure-tested by top builders in some of the most extreme environments, such as Dakar Rally and the Ultra4 Racing circuit. The driver chooses one of four operating terrains, and the system inflates or deflates the tires. More experienced drivers have the option to manually select their desired pressures. ActivAir allows a transfer of all available power to the ground and maximizes traction.

BFGoodrich ActivAir is a Central Tire Inflation System – designed by TELEFLOW. It includes patented technology with the latest generation of pneumatic valves, and a display and control unit. TELEFLOW is the intelligence center of the ActivAir solution.

Dynatrac is a key partner and has integrated an air passage in their axle assemblies. Specific wheels integrate an air passage, as well. The wheels currently available for the ActivAir system are RFI wheels. All of these components come together to create ActivAir, a fully integrated and innovative solution. Learn more about BFGoodrich ActivAir, the brand-new, fully integrated tire inflation system, at: https://www.bfgoodrichtires.com/auto/activair.

About BFGoodrich

BFGoodrich Tires is dedicated to providing high-performance tires for those who have a passion for driving in virtually any environment. Combining technical expertise with 50 years of motorsports experience, BFGoodrich delivers tires for a full range of driving experiences from ultra-high-performance street to off-road terrain with one common theme – extreme performance. Come upgrade your performance with BFGoodrich and see where our tires can take you at www.BFGoodrichTires.com, www.BFGoodrichRacing.com, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @BFGoodrichTires.

For more information contact:

Jessica Pickens

Jessica.pickens@michelin.com

Contact Information

Name: Jessica Pickens
Email: Jessica.pickens@michelin.com
Job Title: BFGoodrich Press Officer

National Advertising Division Recommends T-Mobile Discontinue “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout Speed” Claim for T-Mobile Home Internet Service

New York, NY – April 25, 2023 – In a Fast-Track SWIFT challenge brought by Comcast Cable Communications Management, LLC, the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that T-Mobile discontinue the “Don’t you worry ‘bout speed” claim in reference to T-Mobile’s Home Internet (T-HINT) service.

Fast-Track SWIFT is an expedited challenge process designed for single-issue advertising cases brought to NAD. NAD determined that the Comcast challenge was appropriate for Fast-Track SWIFT because it presented the single issue as to whether T-Mobile’s claim “Don’t you worry ‘bout speed” is supported.

T-HINT operates on the same wireless network that T-Mobile smartphones run on, and thus does not use a wired infrastructure to deliver internet. Customers are provided a gateway device that acts as a router and modem which converts T-Mobile’s signal to WiFi and provides a WiFi signal to devices in the home.

After considering the messages reasonably conveyed by the challenged commercial, NAD determined that, given the context which offers T-HINT as an alternative to fixed wired internet, the “Don’t you worry ‘bout speed” claim conveys a message that consumers can get the speed they need to do whatever they want on the internet without limitation.

In addition, NAD determined that  T-Mobile’s unqualified “Don’t you worry ’bout speed ” claim    conveys the message that internet speeds are sufficient to provide worry-free internet service that will allow users to perform nearly all typical activities on the internet, including intensive uses like gaming or streaming on multiple devices at any time of day..

NAD found that T-Mobile’s evidence was not a good fit for its broad unqualified performance claim “Don’t you worry ‘bout speed” and recommended that it be discontinued with respect to T-Mobile’s T-HINT service.

In its advertiser statement, T-Mobile stated that it “will comply with NAD’s recommendations, but strongly disagrees with NAD’s determination that the challenged commercial communicates an unsubstantiated message.”

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, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses, and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. 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: Jennie Rosenberg
Email: jrosenberg@bbbnp.org
Job Title: Media Relations

National Advertising Division Recommends T-Mobile Home Internet Commercial be Discontinued or Modified to Avoid Implied Message of Fast 5G Speeds

New York, NY – April 25, 2023 – In a Fast-Track SWIFT challenge brought by Charter Communications, Inc., the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that T-Mobile discontinue or modify the challenged commercial to avoid conveying the implied message that all T-Mobile Home Internet (T-HINT) users will receive fast 5G speeds.

Fast-Track SWIFT is an expedited challenge process designed for single-issue advertising cases brought to NAD. NAD determined that the Charter challenge was appropriate for Fast-Track SWIFT because it presented the single issue as to whether T-Mobile’s claim that T-HINT provides the fastest 5G speeds available is supported.

T-HINT operates on the same wireless network that T-Mobile smartphones run on, and thus does not use a wired infrastructure to deliver internet. Customers are provided a gateway device that acts as a router and modem which converts T-Mobile’s signal to WiFi and provides a WiFi signal to devices in the home.

After considering the messages reasonably conveyed by the challenged commercial, NAD determined that, given the context which offers T-HINT as an alternative to fixed wired internet, includes audio that states “don’t worry ‘bout speed” along with a visual of a speedometer that dings when it reaches the highest 5G level of speed, the commercial conveys a message that all T-HINT customers will receive fast 5G wireless speeds.

NAD concluded that the commercial communicates a broad unqualified performance claim that informs consumers that T-HINT provides fast 5G speeds to all of its customers. NAD found that T-Mobile’s evidence does not support that claim and recommended that T-Mobile discontinue or modify the commercial to avoid conveying this implied message.

In its advertiser statement, T-Mobile stated that it “will comply with NAD’s recommendations, but strongly disagrees with NAD’s determination that the challenged commercial communicates an unsubstantiated message.”

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, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses, and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. 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: Jennie Rosenberg
Email: jrosenberg@bbbnp.org
Job Title: Media Relations

National Advertising Review Board Finds “You Need a Better Network” Claim for Verizon’s Wireless Service To Be Puffery in Specific Television Commercial

New York, NY – April 24, 2023 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate body of BBB National Programs, determined that Verizon Communications, Inc.’s use of the phrase “you need a better network” in the context of the “Tis the Season” television commercial was puffery.

The advertising at issue had been challenged by AT&T Services, Inc. Following NAD’s decision (Case No. 7171), Verizon appealed NAD’s recommendation that it discontinue the claim “you need a better network” on the grounds of puffery, arguing that the challenged claim did not reference AT&T or any other carriers and was nothing more than a playful, spendthrift-themed vignette that builds up to Verizon’s ‘Free 5G Phone’ offer.

The challenged claim appeared in a 30-second holiday-themed commercial promoting Verizon’s wireless network and featured well-known actors Paul Giamatti, as the Dickens character Scrooge, and Cecily Strong. In the commercial, Giamatti as Scrooge holds up his mobile phone, scowls, and complains that he can “barely get reception…” In response, Strong recommends that he “need[s] a better network. Tis the season to switch to Verizon.”

A majority of the NARB panel concluded that in the context of the “Tis the Season” commercial, the phrase “you need a better network” did not convey a superiority message, thus upholding Verizon’s puffery position.

The NARB panel noted that in a different context, the use of “better network” would not necessarily be puffery and could convey a superiority message requiring substantiation.

Verizon stated that it “is pleased with the Panel’s decision.”

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, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses, and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.

About the National Advertising Review Board (NARB): The National Advertising Review Board (NARB) is the appellate body for BBB National Programs’ advertising self-regulatory programs. NARB’s panel members include 85 distinguished volunteer professionals from the national advertising industry, agencies, and public members, such as academics and former members of the public sector. NARB serves as a layer of independent industry peer review that helps engender trust and compliance in NAD, CARU, and DSSRC matters.

Contact Information

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

National Advertising Review Board Recommends Smile Prep Modify or Discontinue Claims and Disclosures on SmilePrep.com

New York, NY – April 20, 2023 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate body of BBB National Programs, recommended that Smile Prep, LLC:

  • Discontinue the claim that rankings on Smile Prep are based on an “extensive five-point analysis of each company’s effectiveness, affordability, convenience, appearance and customer support” or modify its advertising to reflect its analysis and ranking criteria.
  • Discontinue certain performance claims about the products and services of Smile Prep’s affiliate partners.
  • Avoid conveying the message that Smile Prep does not give preferential treatment to its affiliate partners.
  • Avoid conveying that its rankings, reviews, and product information are objective (i.e., impartial) and free from bias in favor of its affiliate partners.
  • Clearly and conspicuously disclose that Smile Prep’s rankings, reviews, and product information of the clear aligners of its affiliate partners are advertising.

 

The advertising at issue had been challenged before the National Advertising Division (NAD) by Smile Direct Club, LLC. Following NAD’s decision (Case No. 7131), Smile Prep appealed.

The challenged claims appeared on the SmilePrep.com website, which presents its reviews and ranking of clear aligner companies and their products and services as editorial content. Smile Prep has affiliate relationships with some, but not all, of the companies whose clear aligner products and services Smile Prep reviews and ranks on their website.

The NARB Panel agreed with NAD on its key finding – that Smile Prep’s editorial process is impacted by the reality that Smile Prep is a for-profit entity and that its only source of revenue are the commissions generated by affiliate links and paid to it by its aligner-supplier affiliates/partners. As NAD found in the underlying decision, the NARB Panel concluded that Smile Prep’s editorial staff is aware of the affiliate relationships, as these relationships are disclosed on the website.

Clear Aligner Rankings and Reviews Claims

The NARB Panel affirmed NAD’s conclusion that Smile Prep failed to demonstrate that it uses its five-point analysis in formulating its aligner rankings.

Product Claims

In agreement with NAD, the NARB Panel concluded that, because of the material financial relationship between Smile Prep and its aligner partners, Smile Prep is obligated to have proper support for aligner performance claims promoting the products and services of its partners.

Because Smile Prep produced no testing or other evidence that would support these product claims, nor did it provide evidence to show that its editorial staff has the training or expertise to assess technical aspects of aligner performance, the NARB Panel recommended that claims such as the following be discontinued:

  • Byte’s home aligners can achieve/deliver “results in as few as four months for some customers.”
  • “Byte is one of the most effective at-home teeth straightening services on the market.”

 

Claims of Independent, Unbiased Assessment

In agreement with NAD, the NARB Panel concluded that Smile Prep’s reviews and assessments are influenced by the commissions earned from the aligner affiliates and that Smile Prep should not be representing, directly or by implication, that its assessments are independent and unbiased.

Further, the NARB Panel determined that the Affiliate Disclosures on the website are not sufficiently prominent to overcome the implied message of independence and, in fact, downplay the significance of the commission arrangements.

Disclosure Recommendation

In the underlying decision, NAD recommended that Smile Prep clearly and conspicuously disclose that Smile Prep’s rankings, reviews, and product information of the clear aligners of its affiliate partners are advertising.

The NARB Panel concluded that NAD’s recommendation is appropriate, noting that under the circumstances presented the rankings and reviews of the affiliates/partners are advertising, and a clear and conspicuous disclosure will alert consumers to the true nature of the website.

Smile Prep stated that it “agrees to carefully consider the NARB’s decision and modify its website in a good faith effort to address each of the concerns identified.” However, Smile Prep expressed concern that the decision “imposes a standard of disclosure that goes well beyond the existing guidance the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued for third-party reviewers, as well as current industry norms.” Smile Prep further stated that it “believes that it is presently in full and robust compliance with the law and all applicable FTC guidance regarding affiliate disclosure practices, and that any changes to that framework should be applied industry-wide.”

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, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses, and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.

About the National Advertising Review Board (NARB): The National Advertising Review Board (NARB) is the appellate body for BBB National Programs’ advertising self-regulatory programs. NARB’s panel members include 85 distinguished volunteer professionals from the national advertising industry, agencies, and public members, such as academics and former members of the public sector. NARB serves as a layer of independent industry peer review that helps engender trust and compliance in NAD, CARU, and DSSRC matters.

Contact Information

Name: Jennie Rosenberg
Email: press@bbbnp.org
Job Title: Media Relations