Privacy Watchdog Brings Temu into Compliance with Digital Advertising Privacy Best Practices

McLean, VA – August 29, 2023 – BBB National Programs’ data privacy watchdog, the Digital Advertising Accountability Program (DAAP), successfully brought WhaleCo, Inc. into compliance with the Digital Advertising Alliance’s (DAA) Self-Regulatory Principles for online interest-based advertising (DAA Principles). Since beginning U.S. operations in September 2022, Shanghai-based WhaleCo’s mobile application, Temu, has quickly risen to become one of the top downloaded free apps.

DAAP investigated consumer complaints regarding noncompliance with the DAA Principles on Temu’s website and mobile app. Several issues were found, including 1) difficulty locating information on third-party interest-based advertising (IBA) practices; 2) a broken hyperlink to the third-party IBA opt-out tool, 3) no statement of compliance with DAA Principles, 4) failure to comply with the DAA’s transparency principle for third-party IBA data collection; and 5) the mobile application’s failure to provide enhanced notice for third-party IBA.

In response to DAAP’s inquiry, Temu conducted a comprehensive review of its compliance with the DAA Principles and worked with DAAP to strengthen its compliance protocols, including taking the following actions:

  • Adding an “Ad Choices” link at the bottom of each page of the Temu website that takes users directly to the top of a newly edited privacy policy section titled “Interest-based Advertising” that provides elements of enhanced notice, including 1) a description of Temu’s third-party IBA practices, 2) a link to industry-developed IBA opt-out tools, and 3) a statement of adherence to the DAA Principles.
  • Relocating the “Sign In” popup to enable users on any browser, whether signed in or not, to access footer links, including the Ad Choices
  • Resolving enhanced notice issues under the DAA’s Mobile Guidance by making substantial changes to ensure its IBA disclosures are fully accessible.

 

In its advertiser statement, Temu stated that it is “proud to adhere to the DAA Principles” and will “work actively with the Digital Advertising Accountability Program to continuously enhance our disclosures about online behavioral advertising.”

All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of DAAP decisions, visit the DAAP Decisions and Guidance webpage

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 Digital Advertising Accountability Program: The Digital Advertising Accountability Program (DAAP), a division of BBB National Programs, was developed by the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) to enforce industry self-regulation principles for data privacy in online and mobile advertising, holding companies accountable to the DAA’s Privacy Principles. DAAP provides guidance to companies looking to comply with industry principles and responds to complaints filed by consumers about online privacy. 

Contact Information

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

National Advertising Division Recommends Discontinuation or Modification of Certain Health Benefit Claims for Memory Health Dietary Supplement  

New York, NY – August 28, 2023 – In a challenge brought by Vision Elements, Inc., the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that in connection with its Memory Health dietary supplement, Memory Health, LP discontinue:

  • Certain claims which reasonably convey that the product is effective in treating symptoms associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  • An unsupported claim that consumption of the product is a form of Alzheimer’s disease prevention.
  • Two implied safety claims.

 

NAD also recommended Memory Health modify certain claims about its product patents, removing reference to the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative disease, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Study Claims

Vision Elements challenged a number of health benefit claims, including clinically proven improvements in memory, mood, focus, clarity, cognitive function, and mental health in both diseased and healthy human brains. NAD noted that such claims require substantiation in the form of competent and reliable scientific evidence on the product as it is marketed to consumers.

NAD determined that Memory Health’s studies and reviews do not provide a reasonable basis for the health benefits message conveyed by the challenged claims. NAD further concluded that the studies’ results are not a good fit for the claims and that they overstate the scientific evidence on which they are based.

NAD also determined that the challenged claims convey a message to consumers that the Memory Health product is effective in treating symptoms associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, a message that is not supported.

For these reasons, NAD recommended that the challenged claims be discontinued.

Patent Claims

NAD examined whether certain claims referencing patents, such as Memory Health is “the first supplement to receive a patent for the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative disease, specifically Alzheimer’s and dementia,” convey a misleading message.

NAD found that many consumers may reasonably interpret these patent claims to mean that Memory Health received a patent based on a federal agency’s determination of its effectiveness in treating and preventing neurodegenerative diseases—a message that is not supported.

Therefore, NAD recommended that Memory Health modify the claims to remove reference to the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, to avoid conveying a message that the Memory Health supplement has been approved by regulatory authorities (such as the FDA) as effective in treating and preventing neurodegenerative disease. 

Strong Believers Claim

NAD found that, in context, consumers may reasonably understand the statement “At Memory Health we are strong believers in nutritional supplementation as a form of prevention, especially if Alzheimer’s Disease runs in your family” as a claim that Memory Health consumption is a form of Alzheimer’s disease prevention. In the absence of competent and reliable scientific evidence to support the claim, NAD recommended that it be discontinued.

Safety Claims

NAD recommended that Memory Health discontinue the claims “A safe, natural supplement” and “No side effects” because Memory Health did not provide adequate support.

During the proceeding Memory Health agreed to permanently discontinue many other challenged claims. Therefore, NAD did not review these claims on the merits.

In its advertiser statement, Memory Health stated that it “believes that the challenged claims are thoroughly supported” by scientific studies and although it “strongly disagrees with the factual conclusions reached in the Final Decision, Memory Health respects the NAD’s decision and will comply with the NAD’s recommendations.”

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.

This press release shall not be used for advertising or promotional purposes.

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 Agape Diamonds Provide Clear Disclosure of the Origins of its Simulated and Laboratory-Grown Diamonds

New York, NY – August 25, 2023 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that Agape Diamonds, LLC modify its advertising by clearly and consciously disclosing the origin of its simulated diamonds and laboratory-grown diamonds (LGDs).

The claims at issue were challenged by the Natural Diamond Council, an association of   diamond companies that primarily deal in mined natural diamonds. Agape is an online retailer and manufacturer of LGDs and simulants, as well as a seller of some loose natural diamonds.

LGDs are artificially produced and have similar physical and chemical characteristics to natural diamonds. Simulants such as zircons, cubic zirconia, and moissanite are stones that resemble or are manufactured to look like diamonds but have different physical, chemical, and optical properties than mined diamonds. Simulants, whether mined or manufactured, are visually distinctive from mined diamonds and LGDs and are more susceptible to scratches and abrasions.

The Natural Diamond Council argued that Agape’s marketing, including its presentation of its products for sale on its website, violates the Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) Jewelry Guides because it does not clearly and conspicuously disclose the origin of the stones.

In response to the challenge, Agape modified its advertising across its website and social media. NAD reviewed Agape’s modified advertising and concluded that its disclosures of the origin of its stones in much of the modified advertising are effective and consistent with the FTC Jewelry Guides. NAD determined, however, that other online advertising from Agape does not include clear and conspicuous disclosure of the stone’s origin.

Therefore, to the extent not already reflected in its advertising, NAD recommended that all Agape advertising include the appropriate description (e.g., “Simulated” or “Lab Grown”) immediately preceding the word “diamond” or “stone” with equal conspicuousness so as to clearly disclose the nature and origin of the product and the fact that it is not a mined gemstone, consistent with the FTC Jewelry Guides, including in advertising where images of items are used with or without any descriptive text.

In its advertiser statement, Agape stated that it will comply with NAD’s recommendations and that it is “committed to accurate and truthful advertising, as recommended by NAD and as codified in the federal regulations and enforced by the FTC.”  

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. Per NAD procedures, this release shall not be used for advertising or promotional purposes.

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 Jukebox Soap “Natural” Claims Supported; Dr. Squatch Appeals Recommendation to Discontinue or Modify Other Claims

New York, NY – August 24, 2023 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that Dr. Squatch, LLC had a reasonable basis for its “natural” claims for Jukebox Soap and that the claim “no harsh chemicals” was supported. However, NAD recommended that Dr. Squatch:

  • Discontinue a series of claims characterizing competing products as “detergents” or modify them to avoid conveying the message that competing bars and body washes are harsh.
  • Discontinue the claim “made with no harsh chemicals” or modify it to better fit the evidence.
  • Modify certain challenged claims to avoid conveying the message that Jukebox is a women-run brand.

Dr. Squatch’s Jukebox brand distinguishes itself from competing bars and cleansers as being “real” soap formulated by cold process saponification and made with natural ingredients.

The claims at issue, which appeared in Jukebox email marketing, product packaging, and on Jukebox’s website and social media pages were challenged by Unilever U.S., Inc., manufacturer of Dove brand cleansers and body washes.

Natural Claims

NAD concluded that Dr. Squatch provided a reasonable basis for its “natural” claims because its evidence indicates that all but a fractional amount of the ingredients in Jukebox soaps are natural or naturally derived and that the saponification process involves minimal processing.

Detergent Claims

NAD found that Dr. Squatch’s designation of competing bars and body washes as “synthetic detergents” is technically accurate under the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) classification of skin cleansers. However, because consumers might not be familiar with the FDA’s technical classification and would rely instead on the common understanding of the term “detergent,” NAD concluded that the challenged claims may reasonably convey the misleading message that competing products, including Dove, are harsh and damaging – a message not supported by the evidence in the record.

Further, NAD determined that the addition of the phrase “they are classified by the FDA as synthetic detergents” in the claim is not likely to limit the reasonable associations with the words “detergent” and “synthetic detergent.”

Therefore, NAD recommended that Dr. Squatch discontinue its “detergent” claims or modify them to avoid conveying the message that competing bars and body washes are harsh.

“Made with No Harsh Chemicals”

NAD concluded that although no traces of lye remain in the finished Jukebox product, the use of lye in the saponification process renders the claim “made with no harsh chemicals” inaccurate. NAD therefore recommended that the claim be discontinued or modified to better fit the evidence.

At the same time, NAD determined that a similar claim, “no harsh chemicals,” which appears on Jukebox packaging in a monadic context, does not convey the implied message that competing bars and washes contain harsh chemicals or are otherwise damaging or unsafe. NAD found that the “no harsh chemicals” claim was supported and truthfully highlights the absence of harsh chemicals in the finished product.

Claims about Jukebox’s Leadership

NAD determined that the statement “Who runs the world? Girls” in conjunction with the statement “From our world-class natural perfumers and in-house artisan soap makers to our bubbly leadership, we’re a band of music & soap-lovin’ ladies” did not convey the message that Jukebox was a women-owned company. However, NAD recommended that those statements be modified to avoid conveying the message that Jukebox is a women-run brand.

During the proceeding Dr. Squatch agreed to permanently discontinue a number of other challenged claims. Therefore, NAD did not review these claims on the merits.

In its advertiser statement, Dr. Squatch stated that it will appeal NAD’s decision regarding Jukebox’s detergent claims because it disagrees with NAD’s interpretation of the term detergent and “maintains that each of its claims respecting synthetic detergents is truthful and non-misleading.” Dr. Squatch will also appeal NAD’s recommendation to modify the Jukebox advertising to avoid conveying the message that Jukebox is a women-run brand.

Unilever will cross-appeal NAD’s decision with respect to the “natural” claim.  

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.

This press release shall not be used for advertising or promotional purposes.

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:
Jennie Rosenberg
Media Relations
BBB National Programs
press@bbbnp.org

Google Appeals National Advertising Division Recommendation to Discontinue Claim that YouTube TV Service is “$600 Less Than Cable” 

New York, NY – August 22, 2023 In a Fast-Track SWIFT challenge brought by Charter Communications, Inc., the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that Google, LLC discontinue the claim that its YouTube TV service is “$600 less than cable.”

Fast-Track SWIFT is an expedited process designed for single-issue advertising cases brought to NAD. At issue for NAD was whether the comparative pricing claim in two of Google’s commercials for YouTube TV service was supported.

The challenged “$600 less than cable” claim” is followed by a disclosure identifying “comparable standalone cable” as the basis of comparison.

The price calculation underlying the challenged claim includes the cost of two set-top boxes per household for “standalone cable” services. NAD found, however, that this comparison is not a good fit for the challenged claim comparing YouTube TV’s pricing to “cable” generally since cable providers like Charter offer streaming options that may not require a set-top box.

In the context of the “cable” comparison, NAD found the claim reasonably conveys the cost of YouTube TV is compared to all cable services.

Further, NAD noted that in this dynamic and competitive market it may be difficult to identify “comparable” offerings. However, in several markets cable providers offer regional sports networks but YouTube TV does not. NAD determined that it is reasonable for consumers to believe that YouTube TV offers at least the same channels as cable for viewing basketball.

For these reasons, NAD recommended that Google discontinue the claim that its YouTube TV services are “$600 less than cable.” NAD noted, however, that nothing in its decision precludes Google from making other truthful and non-misleading claims comparing the price of YouTube TV with the pricing of services offered by any cable provider.

In its advertiser statement, Google stated that it “unequivocally disagrees” with NAD’s decision and its “interpretation of ‘comparable’ offerings” and that it will appeal because it “believes that consumers broadly understand the difference between traditional cable and streaming and that they do not interpret ‘cable’ or ‘standalone cable’ offered via a ‘cable box’ as encompassing streaming services, regardless of who provides them.”

Appeals of NAD decisions are made to the 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. Per NAD Procedures, this release shall not be used for advertising or promotional purposes.

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:
Jennie Rosenberg
Media Relations
BBB National Programs
press@bbbnp.org

LexisNexis International Legal Generative AI Survey Shows Nearly Half of the Legal Profession Believe Generative AI Will Transform the Practice of Law

Generative AI tech adoption in legal markets is being driven by corporate counsel with expectations of AI use for drafting documents and research

NEW YORK – LexisNexis Legal & Professional®, a leading global provider of information and analytics, today released the results of its International Legal Generative AI Survey. The survey asked 7,950 lawyers, law students, and consumers across the U.S., U.K., Canada, and France about their overall awareness, its anticipated impact on the practice of law, use of generative AI, and expectations of adoption.

Across countries, there is an expectation that AI will substantially impact the practice of law. Among the key findings, 47% of respondents believe generative AI will have a significant or transformative impact on the practice of law. Another 45% of respondents believe generative AI will have some impact, while only about 7% believe generative AI will have no impact.

According to the survey, there is an overall expectation among corporate counsel that law firms will adopt AI technology, with 60% agreeing that they expect law firms to use cutting-edge technology like generative AI tools and with only 10% who disagree. Law firms agree, with 52% affirming that their corporate counsel clients will expect them to use generative AI tools, while only 17% disagree.

Among countries surveyed, 67% of U.S. corporate counsel, followed by 61% of French counsel, 59% of U.K. counsel, and 53% of Canadian counsel, expect their law firms to adopt generative AI tools.

Additionally, there is an expectation of transparency when generative AI tools are used, with 78% of corporate counsel agreeing that law firms will make them aware when using generative AI tools.

Potential Use of Generative AI

Lawyers see the highest potential for generative AI tools to assist them in researching matters (65%). Drafting documents (56%), document analysis (44%), and email writing (35%) are also important potential use cases.

“Our survey confirms what we hear from customers all over the world every day, that they are excited about the potential of generative AI to help improve their productivity, efficiency, and overall business and practice of law,” said Mike Walsh, CEO of LexisNexis Legal & Professional. “Customer-driven innovation is core to the approach we take with product development, and LexisNexis is excited that our Lexis+ AI platform safely and securely provides critical generative AI tools to help legal professionals excel in their jobs.”

Awareness of Generative AI

Overall, the survey results show high awareness of generative AI, with 89% of legal professionals having heard of generative AI tools. For consumers, awareness is much lower (61%).

Ethics Regarding Generative AI

Most lawyers have at least some concerns about the ethical implications of generative AI on the practice of law (88%), with a third citing significant or fundamental concerns regarding ethical implications. This finding points to a need for legal professionals to work with trusted and ethical companies as they begin to use generative AI solutions in their work.

Consumer Use of Generative AI for Legal Work

Consumers largely use generative AI for researching legal topics (60%). Many would consider using AI for legal assistance to create a will (40%), set up a business (37%), and develop a rental agreement (39%).

Methodology

The survey was conducted across 7,950 people, including 3,752 lawyers, 1,239 law students, and 2,959 consumers in the US, UK, France, and Canada between March and July 2023. Surveys were conducted in English and French, and respondents were prompted for feedback via Pollfish/Forsta.

Lexis+ AI

Earlier this year, LexisNexis announced Lexis+ AI, a generative AI platform designed to transform legal work. Lexis+ AI is built and trained on the largest global repository of accurate and exclusive legal content, leveraging an extensive collection of documents and records to provide customers with trusted, comprehensive legal results with unmatched speed and precision and backed by verifiable, citable authority.

Commercially available this summer, Lexis+ AI features conversational search, insightful summarization, and intelligent legal drafting capabilities, all supported by state-of-the-art encryption and privacy technology to keep sensitive data secure. Conversational search simplifies the complex and time-consuming legal research journey, providing a search experience for diverse legal questions with citations, facilitating lawyers’ ability to complete research effectively and efficiently. Enhanced summarization provides a custom summary of legal documents to speed up and guide insightful analysis. Generative document drafting guides customers throughout the legal drafting process, generating a first draft of a legal document, and allowing users to change the language and tone from a simple prompt.

At the same time, LexisNexis has announced its AI Insider program, which is open to all legal professionals. The program is designed to support the legal industry with generative AI education and LexisNexis breaking news on the latest AI developments. Insiders can sign up to be among the first to experience Lexis+ AI. To sign up for the Lexis+®AI Insider program, visit www.lexisnexis.com/ai-insider.

LexisNexis is responsibly developing legal AI solutions with human oversight. LexisNexis, part of RELX, follows the RELX Responsible AI Principles, considering the real-world impact of its solutions on people and taking action to prevent the creation or reinforcement of unfair bias. The company’s commitment to data security and privacy in the legal industry spans more than 50 years. LexisNexis employs over 2,000 technologists, data scientists, and subject matter experts to develop, test, and validate its solutions and deliver comprehensive, accurate information.

For more information on Lexis+ AI, visit www.lexisnexis.com/ai.

To download a copy of the LexisNexis International Legal Generative AI Survey report, visit www.lexisnexis.com/international-gai-survey.

About LexisNexis Legal & Professional
LexisNexis Legal & Professional® provides legal, regulatory, and business information and analytics that help customers increase their productivity, improve decision-making, achieve better outcomes, and advance the rule of law around the world. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 150 countries with 11,300 employees worldwide, is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.

 
Media Contact

Dana Greenstein
Director of Communications, North America & UK
LexisNexis Legal & Professional
212-448-2163
dana.greenstein@lexisnexis.com

National Advertising Division Recommends T-Mobile Modify or Discontinue Claim About the Ability to Watch Live Major League Baseball Games on MLB.tv

New York, NY – August 22, 2023 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that T-Mobile US, Inc. discontinue the claim that T-Mobile customers who download the T-Mobile Tuesdays App will be able to watch “every regular season [Major League Baseball] game live or on demand,” or modify the claim to make clear which categories of live games are available with the MLB.tv benefit.

In this Fast-Track SWIFT challenge, the claim at issue, which appeared in an instructional YouTube video, was challenged by AT&T Services, Inc. Fast-Track SWIFT is an expedited process designed for single-issue advertising cases brought to NAD.

Although T-Mobile voluntarily modified the challenged claim during the proceeding to say that with the MLB.tv app, T-Mobile customers will be able to “enjoy every 2023 out-of-market, regular season game live or on demand,” a modification that made the claim accurate and not misleading, T-Mobile did not represent that it would permanently modify the claim to include “out-of-market” in any other future executions of the advertising. Therefore, NAD addressed the claim as it was originally challenged.

NAD determined that the challenged claim reasonably conveys a message that T-Mobile customers will be able to watch all regular season games live, whether they are nationally televised games, in-market games, or out-of-market games.

NAD concluded that such a message is not supported because, while all games that have been played already are available for viewing on demand, all games are not available live. NAD also noted that the “blackouts and other restrictions apply” disclosure does not cure the challenged claim as it contradicts the main message that all games are available live.

In its advertiser statement, T-Mobile stated that it “will comply with NAD’s decision” and that it “appreciates NAD’s recognition that the voluntary change it already made to [its] instructional video was sufficient to address AT&T’s alleged concerns.”

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. Per NAD Procedures, this release shall not be used for advertising or promotional purposes.

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:
Jennie Rosenberg
Media Relations
BBB National Programs
press@bbbnp.org

Edvisors’ Announces $2,500 in Student Loan Repayment Relief

Edvisors, a leading provider of college planning resources, is proud to announce their newest initiative: student loan repayment relief. With more than 40 million federal student loan borrowers preparing for repayment this September, Edvisors is offering the opportunity for one borrower each quarter to win $2,500 in student loan repayment relief.

“It’s no secret that borrowers are dreading the return of federal student loan payments. For a borrower, the average student loan debt is over $35,000, and we understand how difficult it can be for borrowers to manage those monthly payments,” explains Edvisors’ Director of Corporate Communications Elaine Rubin. “Even with a variety of repayment plans to choose from, those monthly payments can have a significant impact on a borrower’s monthly budget. We want to help alleviate some of that stress and we are excited to offer this new opportunity for students and families.”

Edvisors has been helping students through college and beyond for over 20 years. To date they have awarded over $1 million in scholarships to their customers.

For entry and official rules please go to: https://www.edvisors.com/repayment-relief/

The repayment relief opportunity is available to legal residents of the fifty states who are at least 18 years or older and have at least $2,500 in student loan debt. One winner will be chosen every quarter.

About Edvisors: For 20 years we have been known as one of the largest and most trusted resources to help students find their path to success. Everyone needs to find their own path, and we know that first-hand. We work to provide information from both our professional and personal experiences, to help individuals through college and beyond. Every year, millions of students and their families turn to the company’s flagship site, Edvisors.com, for timely, accurate information, advice and tools that help them confidently make the best decisions about paying for college. Additionally, Edvisors owns ScholarshipPoints.com, where students earn points to enter scholarship drawings (the site has awarded over $1 million to date). Founded in 1998, Edvisors is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. More information can be found at www.edvisors.com.

Contact Information

Name: Elaine Rubin
Email: erubin@edvisors.com
Job Title: Director of Corporate Communications

Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Refers Tori Belle to the Federal Trade Commission for Possible Enforcement Action

McLean, VA – August 16, 2023 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) of BBB National Programs recommended that Tori Belle Cosmetics discontinue certain earnings claims made by salesforce members on Facebook and YouTube. After a sustained lack of response from Tori Belle, DSSRC has referred direct selling company Tori Belle to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for possible enforcement action.

The inquiry into Tori Belle, which markets beauty and cosmetics products, was commenced by DSSRC through its ongoing independent monitoring of advertising and marketing claims in the direct selling industry.

 

The earnings claims that formed the basis of this inquiry include, but are not limited to:

  • “Honestly, weather you just want to feed your lash addiction on a discount, want to get a bill paid each month, or are looking for a full-on supplemental or replacement income- it is all do-able!”
  • “Who wants a free vacation?! I can’t believe this, guys. These magnetic lashes have been flying off the shelves so much that I earned a free trip to an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico! And in just under 4 months.
  • “You can supplement your income with just minutes a day work!…I’ve been with the company just under 2 months and I am making money and enjoying my new business”
  • “financial freedom”
  • “Are you looking for something to do from home to supplement your income or even to replace lost income”
  • “Now is a great time to have a second income or to create a full time business.”
  • Compensation Plan; [05:28] If you were to sell $3,000 worth of product…you would earn $1,200 in commission…the sky’s the limit
  • “how about we transform you bank account with a second income stream. Join me and let me show you how to have fun while building an empire…Earn Bonus incentives such as bonus pay & travel credits… Let me help you with that car note, mortgage or tuition! It’s your choice. #multiplestreamsofincome”

 

As stated in DSSRC’s Guidance on Earnings Claims for the Direct Selling Industry, some words and phrases commonly used in earnings claims can carry a particularly high risk of being misleading to consumers. Such words and phrases include claims such as “financial freedom,” “full-time income,” “replacement income,” “residual income,” and “career-level income.” Furthermore, earnings claims must be substantiated and representative of a level of earnings that can be generally expected by salesforce members.

When DSSRC opened its inquiry and informed Tori Belle of its concern that these types of earnings claims can lead a reasonable consumer to conclude that salesforce members can earn significant, career-level, or replacement income from the Tori Belle business opportunity, Tori Belle indicated that the posts in question were more than three years old and that the dates on the social media posts had been altered.

When a direct selling salesforce member has disseminated an unsupported, inaccurate, or deceptive claim, the direct selling company cannot evade responsibility. DSSRC reached out to Tori Belle to discuss the alleged alteration of the social media post dates and let them know that even if the posts are old and the salesforce members responsible for the posts are no longer active with the company, Tori Belle is nonetheless responsible for making a bona fide, good faith effort to have the posts discontinued.

DSSRC received no substantive response from Tori Belle to this and other communications and all 12 of the posts at issue in this case remain available to the public.

DSSRC remains extremely concerned about the unsupported earnings claims and Tori Belle’s failure to demonstrate that it has made any effort to contact the individuals responsible for the posts to have the claims removed or alert the social media platform of the unauthorized representation. As such, and pursuant to DSSRC Policies and Procedures, DSSRC has referred Tori Belle to the FTC for possible enforcement action.

All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of DSSRC decisions, visit the DSSRC Cases and Closures webpage.

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 Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council: The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC), a division of BBB National Programs, provides independent, impartial monitoring, dispute resolution, and enforcement of false product claims and income representations made by direct selling companies and their salesforce members across digital platforms. The DSSRC seeks to establish high standards of integrity and business ethics for all direct selling companies in the marketplace.

Contact Information

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

Vesync Voluntarily Discontinues Certain Claims for HEPA Air Purifiers Following National Advertising Division Challenge by Dyson

New York, NY – August 15, 2023 – Following a BBB National Programs National Advertising Division (NAD) challenge, brought by competitor Dyson, Inc., Vesync Co., Ltd. voluntarily discontinued certain claims for its HEPA air purifiers.

Dyson challenged claims that Vesync’s Levoit EverestAir Smart True HEPA, Core 300, and Core 300S True HEPA air purifiers and their respective replacement filters have passed HEPA standards and argued that such claims conveyed other misleading messages.

In response to the challenge, Vesync asserted its belief in the efficacy of its products and stated that the challenged claims were made based on pre-existing independent third-party data. Vesync informed NAD that it was in the process of updating its testing data, however, and that for reasons unrelated to Dyson’s challenge, it had elected to permanently discontinue the challenged claims. Therefore, NAD did not review the claims on their merits.

In its advertiser statement, Vesync thanked NAD for its attention to the matter and stated that it “does not concede that there was anything misleading about the claims but has decided to voluntarily discontinue the claims.”

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