New York, NY – June 12, 2023 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs has referred advertising claims made by Smarter Reviews to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Through its advertising monitoring program, NAD inquired about the rankings of eye creams on the review website Smarter-Reviews.com, and the implied claims that such reviews and rankings do not have a material connection to Smarter Reviews. The advertiser did not respond to NAD’s request to provide support for its claims.
The claim “2023’s Top Eye Treatment for Refreshed, Youthful-Looking Eyes – We reveal the top 5 products for reducing & preventing the look of aging skin around the eyes,” appeared in a Google search result as part of an article on Smarter-Reviews.com, a review website.
NAD’s inquiry focused on whether the challenged advertising reasonably conveyed that the eye cream rankings on Smarter-Reviews.com were independent and objective when, in fact, they are advertisements. In particular, NAD questioned:
NAD noted that it is important to provide consumers with enough information about any economic relationships between online media and publishing and the brand or product so that consumers can decide what weight to give the information. Advertisers must also clearly and conspicuously disclose material connections and relationships with the reviewer or the review site.
Considering the advertiser’s failure to provide a substantive response to NAD’s request for substantiation for its claims or participate in the self-regulatory process, NAD has referred the matter to the 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. This 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.
Name: Jennie Rosenberg
Job Title: Media Relations