National Advertising Division Refers HEPA and H13 Standards Claims for Afloia Air Purifiers to Regulatory Authorities for Further Review

New York, NY – April 4, 2024 – BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division will refer advertising claims made by Homintell Inc. (d/b/a Afloia Direct) for various models of its Air Purifiers to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other regulatory authorities for review after Afloia declined to participate in the industry self-regulation process.

The claims at issue were challenged by Vesync Corporation. Vesync argued that independent third-party tests showed that claims about Afloia’s products’ compliance with HEPA and/or H13 standards are unsubstantiated and misdescribed in Afloia’s marketing materials.

As Afloia decided not to participate in the NAD self-regulatory process concerning these claims, NAD will refer the matter to the FTC and other regulatory authorities for review and possible enforcement action. Additionally, NAD will request social media platforms review the challenged advertising to determine if it is consistent with platform advertising standards or policies.

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

National Advertising Division Recommends Charter Modify Certain Claims for Spectrum Business Wireless Internet Backup

New York, NY – April 3, 2024 – In a challenge brought by AT&T Services, Inc., BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division recommended that Charter Communications, Inc. modify certain claims for its Spectrum Business Wireless Internet Backup service.

At issue for the National Advertising Division (NAD) was whether the challenged claims, which appeared in a one-minute commercial for Charter’s Spectrum Business, convey a misleading message about the performance and availability of Spectrum’s Business Wireless Internet Backup service.

Backup internet service provides a level of connectivity (approximately 8 hours for up to four devices) and is “reliable” in that it can provide connectivity in an emergency. The service, however, functions as a backup service that does not run indefinitely on all connected devices with the same speeds as regular service.

NAD determined that one reasonable takeaway from Charter’s commercial is that Spectrum Business Wireless Internet Backup service does not simply provide some continuation of service in the event of a power outage but provides the same level of service in a power outage so the business will “never miss a beat.” Further, although NAD concluded that the onscreen disclosure is not sufficiently prominent, it also noted that even a more prominent disclosure of the specific limitations of the backup service may be ineffective in a context that claims, “complete connectivity and reliability” and emphasizes “you never miss a beat.”

Accordingly, to avoid conveying the implied message that Spectrum Business Wireless Internet Backup subscribers’ internet connection will not degrade or slow down during power outages, NAD recommended that Charter modify the claims:

  • Provides “Complete Connectivity & Reliability,”
  • Maintains the same level of connectivity and reliability during a power outage as during normal operating wired conditions, and
  • Is “Made to keep you online even when the power’s off, with the complete connectivity and reliability you get from wireless internet backup.”

In its advertiser statement, Charter stated that it “will comply with NAD’s recommendations with respect to the challenged commercial” although it “disagrees with NAD’s conclusions.”

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 of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. The National Advertising Division 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 Claims for Biossance Skincare Products Supported; Recommends Amyris Clean Beauty Modify or Discontinue Others

New York, NY – March 7, 2024 – BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division determined, as part of its routine monitoring program, that Amyris Clean Beauty, Inc. provided a reasonable basis for the claims:

  • “Our 100% sugarcane derived squalane is ethically and sustainably sourced”; and
  • Squalane is “a hero ingredient in *every* Biossance formula? This miracle multitasker locks in weightless moisture, calms and protects, and improves elasticity.”

However, the National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended that Amyris:

  • Modify the claim “Clean ingredients and clean formulas – we ban over 2000 ingredients that are known to be toxic to you and the environment” to reflect the banned ingredients that are typically used in cosmetics products;
  • Discontinue the claim “keeping 2 million sharks every year safe from liver harvesting” or modify it to avoid referring to a numerical figure; and
  • Discontinue the claim “All of our ingredients are also ethically and sustainably sourced.”

Under the Biossance brand, the synthetic biotechnology company Amyris creates and markets cosmetic products that feature sugarcane-derived squalane. Squalane has historically been derived from shark livers.

Clean Ingredients Claim

The claim “Clean ingredients and clean formulas – we ban over 2000 ingredients that are known to be toxic to you and the environment” appeared on the Biossance Sustainability webpage. While Amyris provided many sources for its banned ingredients as support for the challenged claim, the National Advertising Division (NAD) found that it is not clear whether the over 2,000 ingredients Amyris does not use in its products are associated with cosmetic products. Therefore, NAD recommended modifying the claim specifying banned ingredients typically used in cosmetic products.

Sustainability Claims

In support of its claim “keeping 2 million sharks every year safe from liver harvesting,” Amyris calculated the number of sharks saved based on 2012 data regarding an estimated number of sharks killed and an estimate as to the global demand for shark liver oil. However, the National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that absent more certainty as to the number of sharks killed and the amount of shark liver oil used by the cosmetics industry, there is no reliable figure as to the amount of sharks saved. Therefore, NAD recommended that the claim be discontinued or modified to avoid referring to a numerical figure. NAD noted that nothing in its decision prevents Amyris from making a more general claim that sharks are not harvested for squalane found in Biossance products.

NAD determined that Amyris provided a reasonable basis for the claim “Our 100% sugarcane derived squalane is ethically and sustainably sourced” based on a 2022 certification, which required adherence to various criteria and indicators relating to sustainable farming and milling.

Regarding the claim “All of our ingredients are also ethically and sustainably sourced,” NAD determined that while Amyris’ Supplier Code of Conduct might demonstrate its commitment to ensuring that ingredients are ethically and sustainably sourced, it does not demonstrate that all ingredients are, in fact, ethically and sustainably sourced. Therefore, NAD recommended that the claim be discontinued or modified to better fit the evidence in the record.

Efficacy Claim

As support for its claim “Did you know our squalane is sugar-cane derived and it’s a hero ingredient in *every* Biossance formula? This miracle multitasker locks in weightless moisture, calms and protects, and improves elasticity” Amyris relied on three studies that assessed the impact of squalane, in the form and range of the amount found in the Biossance products, on these objectively measurable attributes.

After reviewing the evidence, the National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that the claim “[i]t’s a hero ingredient in *every* Biossance formula? This miracle multitasker locks in weightless moisture, calms and protects, and improves elasticity” is supported by a reasonable basis.

In its advertiser statement, Biossance stated that it “will comply with NAD’s recommendations” although it disagrees with certain aspects of the 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. 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 of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. The National Advertising Division 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

Following National Advertising Division Recommendation, Charter Agrees to Modify Spectrum Mobile Cost Savings Claim

New York, NY – February 21, 2024 – In a Fast-Track SWIFT challenge brought by Verizon Communications Inc., BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division recommended that Charter Communications, Inc. discontinue the claim that Verizon customers will “save over $1,500 in their first year” if they switch to Spectrum Mobile or modify the claim by adding or improving certain disclosures.

Fast-Track SWIFT is an expedited process designed for single-issue advertising cases brought to the National Advertising Division (NAD).

The challenged claim appeared in commercials for Spectrum Mobile comparing costs between two couples with different mobile carriers. “George and Heidi” with Verizon stand under a “Verizon” heading and “Dan and Tina” with Spectrum Mobile and stand under a “Spectrum Mobile” heading. Under the headings, both couples are shown to have two lines, unlimited data, and nationwide 5G. Large print text states that Spectrum Mobile customers “SAVE OVER $1,500 FIRST YEAR.” George and Heidi are told that they pay “way too much” and decide that they are “switching to Spectrum.”

NAD considered whether a consumer interested in maximizing savings would reasonably assume that the comparison involves the two least expensive or entry-level plans. NAD concluded that while Charter may compare the pricing of two plans at different “tiers” within the carriers’ offerings, in this context, it must be clear that the lowest tier Spectrum Mobile plan is being compared with a plan that is not Verizon’s lowest tier plan.

In addition, NAD considered whether the advertising omits material information, specifically, the requirement that one must have Spectrum Internet to take advantage of the offer for Spectrum Mobile. NAD determined that the disclosure that Spectrum Internet is required is not clear and conspicuous.

For these reasons, NAD recommended that Charter discontinue the claim that “With Verizon, George and Heidi pay way more for their two unlimited lines,” along with several other claims including “ONLY $29.99 / MO FOR 12 MOS;” “SAVE OVER $1,500 FIRST YEAR;” “$1,516.68 Savings First Year;” “No Hidden Fees;” “No Added Taxes,” or modify the claim to clearly and conspicuously disclose the Spectrum Internet requirement as well as the plans forming the basis of the price comparison and otherwise avoid conveying the message that Verizon does not offer a lower price tier.

In its advertiser statement, Charter stated that while it “disagrees that its existing disclosures were insufficient” it “will comply with NAD’s recommendations to improve the disclosures it includes with its savings claim for Spectrum Mobile.”

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 of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. The National Advertising Division 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

“Innovation Momentum 2024: The Global Top 100″ report reveals world’s most dynamic innovators using patent data

In “Innovation Momentum 2024: The Global Top 100” LexisNexis uncovers which companies, industries and regions are driving innovation forward

NEW YORK, February 21, 2024 – Select companies in the pharmaceutical, semiconductor and information technology industries are pushing innovation at a remarkable pace, while new advances in the automotive industry are also driving innovation, according to new data measuring patent quality and quantity.

LexisNexis® Legal & Professional, a leading global provider of information and analytics, today released the third edition of its “Innovation Momentum: The Global Top 100” report. The annual study analyzes patent data to reveal how the pace and focus of innovation have evolved over the past two years. It identifies the top 100 companies that continue pushing boundaries in their respective fields by evaluating both the quality and volume of a company’s patents, differentiating between small, high-quality portfolios and large, well-maintained ones – an approach that allows recognition of genuine innovators that outperform their peers and push boundaries in their technology field.

Key Insights:

  1. Industry Distribution: The pharmaceuticals industry retains the top spot, with consistent innovation. Semiconductors hold second place with strong growth, building on pandemic-fueled needs for digital adoption. Meanwhile, the automotive industry contributes more strongly to the top 100 list than last year.

Table 1 The breakdown of the number of innovators by industry and region.

  1. AI Innovation Landscape: The report touches on the AI innovation landscape, showcasing companies like Nvidia and Juniper at the forefront of AI development. Juniper shows a steady portfolio increase with high quality patents being cited by Cisco, Huawei and Broadcom, making them an interesting acquisition target for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.
  2. Advancements in Autonomous Driving: Companies like Aptiv and Tesla are highlighted for their focused efforts in autonomous driving and autonomous vehicle technologies. Tesla has increased its patent portfolio size by almost 14% within the last two years, developing high-quality patents that are referenced extensively by major players like Ford, Hyundai Motor, VW Group, Toyota, and others looking to build on Tesla’s innovations.
  3. Global Distribution of Innovators: S.-based companies excel in Pharmaceuticals and Information Technology, while Asia dominates in Electronics and Semiconductors, according to the new report. Notably, whereas China and Korea remain the Asian powerhouses, the inclusion of China’s Mainland companies dropped from 13 (last year) to only 7.

       

  1. New Entrants: The report introduces 24 new entrants to the list, including notable newcomers like German company ZEISS, provider of the glass for Apple’s new VR Vision Pro, and Japan- headquartered Daikin, which has put an emphasis on sustainability in their heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigerating (HVAC&R) innovations.
  2. Strategic Significance of Intellectual Property: The report acknowledges the strategic significance of intellectual property, exemplified by companies like IBM, which has transitioned to a value-driven approach in managing its patent portfolio.
  3. Qualitative Patent Strategies: Key companies such as CATL, Tempus Labs, and STMicroelectronics are identified for their innovative patent strategies, showcasing their unique
  4. Role of Smaller Companies: Smaller companies like Mirati Therapeutics and Splunk are recognized for their agility and niche expertise, which made them attractive M&A targets for Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Cisco, respectively.
  5. Academic Focus Areas: Academia’s focus on healthcare and chemistry is highlighted, with significant patent holdings in these areas by organizations like Broad Institute and Mass General Brigham, along with the rising importance of data analytics and AI in academic IT

“With technology rapidly redefining markets, success depends on tracking innovation trajectories and signals. For C-suite executives and investors alike, these data-driven innovation insights are indispensable for strategic planning and decision-making. The report highlights emerging innovation powerhouses across sectors that deserve a place on every corporate radar. Its insights also suggest potential partnerships and M&A opportunities that could shape competitive positioning.” said Marco Richter, Head of Global Customer Success for LexisNexis® Intellectual Property Solutions.

The full report is available for download at https://www.lexisnexisip.com/innovation-momentum-report.

It provides data-driven insights into the world’s leading innovators and the dynamics driving technology development.

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.

About LexisNexis® Intellectual Property Solutions

LexisNexis® Intellectual Property Solutions bring clarity to innovation for businesses worldwide. We enable innovators to accomplish more by helping them make informed decisions, be more productive, comply with regulations, and ultimately achieve competitive advantage for their business. Our broad suite of workflow and analytics solutions (LexisNexis® PatentSight+, LexisNexis Cipher, LexisNexis® IPlytics, LexisNexis PatentOptimizer®, LexisNexis PatentAdvisor®, and LexisNexis TotalPatent One®, LexisNexis® IP DataDirect), enables companies to be more efficient and effective at bringing meaningful innovations to our world. We are proud to directly support and serve these innovators in their endeavors to better humankind.

Media Contact:
Holger Zimmer
Global Director Strategic Communications and Partnerships
Holger.Zimmer@LexisNexis.com
+49 151 176 636 75

Following National Advertising Division Challenge, MOSH Voluntarily Discontinues Certain Claims for Mosh Protein Bars

New York, NY – February 15, 2024 – Following a challenge brought by the BBB National Programs National Advertising Division as part of its routine monitoring program, MOSH PBC discontinued certain advertising claims used to promote its Mosh Protein Bars.

The National Advertising Division (NAD) challenged the claim that Mosh Protein Bars are:

  • “Expertly formulated to crush cravings *and* give you a mental boost, wherever and whenever you need it most. Plus, set you up for long-term brain health. All in one little bar;” and
  • The implied claim that consuming Mosh protein bars will eliminate brain fog and provide meaningful and long-term cognitive benefits.

Further, during the inquiry, MOSH stated that it would make a modified claim: “Formulated with adaptogens, superfoods and vital brain nutrients.”

MOSH informed NAD that it permanently discontinued the challenged and modified claims. Therefore, NAD did not review the claims on their merits and will treat the claims, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended they be discontinued.

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

Privacy Watchdog Ensures Indeed and Glassdoor Adhere to Digital Advertising Privacy Best Practices

McLean, VA – February 6, 2024 – BBB National Programs’ Digital Advertising Accountability Program (DAAP) has brought job search platform Indeed Inc. and employer-review platform Glassdoor LLC, which both operate under Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd., into compliance with the Digital Advertising Alliance’s (DAA) Self-Regulatory Principles for online interest-based advertising (IBA).DAAP’s investigation into Indeed’s website, which was the result of a consumer complaint, revealed noncompliance with the DAA Principles’ Transparency Principle for first-party publishers like Indeed and Glassdoor who allow third parties to collect user browsing behavior for IBA purposes. Though the consumer complaint was related to Indeed, given that Indeed shares infrastructure with Glassdoor, DAAP conducted its investigation on both platforms.

Identified issues included links in the footer related to privacy and user control of data not linking users directly to information relevant to the company’s DAA or IBA-related obligations, descriptions of third-party IBA practices scattered throughout the policies instead of one cohesive place, and no statement of adherence to the DAA Principles. In the company’s mobile apps, DAAP discovered that enhanced notice (that is, a direct link to a clear disclosure of IBA practices) was also not present in the times or places prescribed in the Transparency Principle.

Inquiry Response

In response to DAAP’s inquiry, Indeed and Glassdoor conducted comprehensive reviews for compliance with the DAA Principles, identifying areas for strengthening.

The companies collaborated with DAAP on the following:

Enhanced Notice for Website Data Collection

  • Updated website footer links: Indeed’s “Privacy Center” now reads “Privacy Center and Ad Choices,” and Glassdoor’s “Privacy & Cookies” is now “Privacy & Ad Choices”
  • Added an “Ad Choices” tab to the HR Tech Privacy Center landing page, directing users to a consolidated IBA-specific disclosure

Cross-App Data Collection Compliance

  • Authorized third-party collection in their mobile apps
  • Added an “Ad Choices” website header tab on the HR Tech Privacy Center landing page to their privacy policies, ensuring easy access to the IBA disclosure from app store pages within two clicks
  • Enabled users to view the Ad Choices page within the application through privacy settings

In their respective statements, the companies provided:

  • Indeed: We are committed to the success of job seekers and employers and strive to be transparent about our privacy policies and practices. We appreciate the opportunity to participate in DAA’s Accountability Programs and their commitment in helping us comply with their Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising.
  • Glassdoor: Glassdoor is committed to the success of our users and strives to be transparent about our privacy practices with both job seekers and employers. We appreciate the opportunity to participate in DAA’s Accountability Programs and their commitment in helping us comply with their Self-Regulatory Principles for 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:
Jennie Rosenberg
Media Relations
BBB National Programs
press@bbbnp.org