National Advertising Division Recommends The Princeton Review Discontinue Point Increase Claims for MCAT Test Preparation Services

New York, NY – April 18, 2024 – In a Fast-Track SWIFT challenge brought by Blueprint Test Preparation LLC, BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division recommended that TPR Education, LLC d/b/a The Princeton Review (TPR), discontinue claims that its students “Score a 515+ on the MCAT or add 15 points depending on your starting score. Guaranteed or your money back.”

Fast-Track SWIFT is an expedited process designed for single-issue advertising cases brought to the National Advertising Division (NAD). Blueprint argued that TPR’s claims of 515+ or +15 points are performance claims that require substantiation.

NAD concluded that the money-back guarantee was clearly and conspicuously disclosed with every iteration of TPR’s claim—either as part of the main claim or immediately afterward. But NAD also concluded that TPR conveyed an affirmative performance claim that a substantial portion of its customers taking these courses will be able to achieve a 15-point increase or a 515+ score. In so finding, NAD noted that TPR is not just claiming that the product will be effective, but that it will be effective in creating particular quantified results.

Since there was no evidence in the record that a substantial proportion of consumers will be able to obtain a 15-point increase or a 515+ score on their MCAT exams by taking TPR’s courses, NAD recommended that TPR discontinue the challenged claims.

In its advertiser’s statement, TPR said that it “agrees to comply with NAD’s recommendations” though it disagrees with “NAD’s finding that the challenged money back guarantee claims convey a performance 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. 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 Recommends Lily of the Desert Nutraceuticals Discontinue “100% Pure Avocado Oil” Claim for Tropical Plantation Avocado Oil

New York, NY – April 15, 2024 – In a challenge brought by Chosen Foods, LLC, BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division recommended that Lily of the Desert Nutraceuticals, Inc., discontinue the claim “100% Pure Avocado Oil” for its Tropical Plantation Avocado Oil and avoid conveying the unsupported message that the product is 100% pure avocado oil.

In its decision, the National Advertising Division (NAD) recognized the impact “100%” claims have on consumers, conveying a message of completeness and certainty that vaguer language may not. NAD noted that the label art on Tropical Plantation brand Avocado Oil showcases pristine avocados and avocado oil, reinforcing the message that the product contains a single ingredient. Likewise, NAD noted the back of the bottle claims that the product is “100% Pure Avocado Oil,” “made from Hass Avocados.” 

NAD determined that Lily’s evidence does not individually, or collectively, provide support for the claim that Tropical Plantation is “100% Pure” avocado oil. While Lily’s testing indicates that the oil used meets internal specifications and standards, the authenticity and purity of the source oil remains undetermined.

NAD also determined that the challenged advertising reasonably conveys the implied messages that:

  • Lily’s avocado oil is made exclusively from avocado oil;
  • Lily’s avocado oil does not contain non-avocado oils, including but not limited to sunflower oil, safflower oil, and soybean oil; and
  • Lily’s avocado oil has the chemical properties of other, unadulterated avocado oils.

Therefore, NAD concluded that Lily did not provide a reasonable basis of support for the challenged “100% Pure Avocado Oil” claim and recommended that it be discontinued and that Lily avoid conveying the unsupported message that the product is 100% pure avocado oil.

In its advertiser statement, Lily stated that it will comply with 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 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

National Advertising Division Finds Certain Fenty Skin Melt AWF Cleanser Performance Claims Supported; Recommends Modifications to Disclosures

New York, NY – April 12, 2024 – BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division determined, as part of its routine monitoring program, that Fenty Skin LLC provided a reasonable basis for the following claims for its Melt AWF Jelly Oil Makeup-Melting Cleanser:

  • “From longwear or waterproof makeup, sunscreen, dirt, oil + impurities melt that… AWF in one go.”
  • “This unique jelly texture gently delivers clean, nourished + conditioned skin without the stripping or drying.”
  • “In a study of 52 people after 1 use ‘100% agreed it gently cleanses skin leaving it clean and fresh, 96% agreed that it cleansed skin without stripping, 92% agreed it removes makeup.’”

The National Advertising Division (NAD) also concluded that product demonstrations featuring influencers were supported by the evidence and that the videos were accurate and not enhanced.

However, NAD recommended that Fenty Skin require its paid influencer, Crème Fatale, to modify a challenged Instagram post to include a clear and conspicuous material connection disclosure in the video demonstration itself, and that Fenty Skin’s re-post of this video to its own Instagram page should likewise have a modified disclosure.

Product Performance Claims

In support of its claims, Fenty Skin relied on the results of independent clinical testing and consumer use surveys, as well as evidence on the mechanism of action for oil and oil-soluble cleansing substances. NAD concluded that these results and evidence provided a reasonable basis for Fenty Skin’s claims.

NAD also inquired about product demonstrations by influencers Sarah Novio and Crème Fatale using Fenty’s AWF Melt Cleanser on TikTok, re-posted by Fenty Skin to its Instagram page. NAD determined that Fenty Skin’s clinical and survey results substantiated the reasonably conveyed message that Melt AWF Cleanser can break down and remove waterproof eyeliner, waterproof mascara, and waterproof foundation in one application.

Endorsement Disclosures

During the proceeding, Crème Fatale’s Instagram page was updated to include both the “paid partnership” disclosure and #ad and #sponsored in the caption and Fenty Skin’s Instagram page was updated to include #AD in the caption.

Although NAD found that Crème Fatale’s “paid partnership” disclosure tells viewers there is a material connection between Fenty Skin and Crème Fatale, NAD recommended that Fenty Skin require Crème Fatale to modify the challenged video demonstration post to include a clear and conspicuous material connection disclosure in the video itself. NAD further recommended that Fenty Skin’s re-post of this video to its own Instagram page should likewise have a modified disclosure.

Fenty Skin advised NAD that it requested that Ms. Novio update the challenged TikTok and Instagram posts to include a clear disclosure that she received the product for free. Additionally, Fenty Skin removed the post from its own Instagram and will re-post only if the disclosure is corrected by Ms. Novio. NAD will treat the claim, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended it be modified.

During the proceeding, Fenty Skin advised NAD that it had permanently discontinued using “clean” on product packaging and online. Therefore, NAD did not review the claim on its merits.

In its advertiser statement, Fenty Skin stated that it “will comply with NAD’s Decision” and that it “supports the self-regulatory process and appreciates NAD’s thoughtful review.”

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

BBB National Programs’ Privacy Watchdog Ensures Shein Adheres to Digital Advertising Privacy Best Practices

McLean, VA – April 11, 2024 – BBB National Programs’ Digital Advertising Accountability Program (DAAP) worked with global fast fashion retailer, Shein (SHEIN US Services, LLC), to bring its website Shein.com and its mobile apps into compliance with the Digital Advertising Alliance’s (DAA) Self-Regulatory Principles for online interest-based advertising (IBA).

DAAP’s investigation, prompted by a consumer complaint, uncovered noncompliance with the DAA Principles’ Transparency Principle for first-party publishers, which requires clear, meaningful, and prominent notice to consumers about third-party collection of users’ browsing behavior for IBA purposes.

Identified issues included:

  • The footer link “Privacy & Cookies Policy” directed users to the top of Shein’s general privacy policy instead of to specific IBA disclosures, highlighting the need for a distinct link in compliance with the DAA Transparency Principle and a third-party IBA opt-out mechanism.
  • Descriptions of third-party IBA data collection were found scattered in the ”Cookies policy” section of the privacy policy, and there was no statement regarding adherence to the DAA Principles.
  • Third-party data collection for IBA in mobile applications lacked enhanced notice and adequate IBA opt-out links.

In response to DAAP’s inquiry letter, Shein conducted a comprehensive review of its compliance with the DAA Principles to identify areas that needed strengthening and consulted with DAAP to address them. 

Enhanced Notice of Data Collection for IBA 

To meet its enhanced notice obligations under the DAA Principles, Shein:

  • Added an “Ad Choices” link in the website footer that redirects users to a privacy policy section revised to be called “Cookies, Interest-Based Advertising, Ad Choices” that includes:
    • A detailed description of third-party IBA practices.
    • A link and explanation of tools available for users to opt out of IBA.
    • A statement of commitment to the DAA Principles.
  • Added an “Ad Choices” link to all mobile web pages.

Compliance with Cross-App Data Collection Requirements 

Shein’s authorization of third-party collection of unique identifiers for IBA in its mobile app triggered compliance responsibilities under the first-party cross-app provisions of the Mobile Guidance. To resolve these issues, Shein:

  • Added a message at the top of its privacy policy with a hyperlink directing users to the “Cookies, Interest-Based Advertising, Ad Choices” section.
  • Added an “Ad Choices” link within the application settings page, linking users straight to the relevant privacy policy section.

In its statement, Shein stated:

At SHEIN, data security, privacy, and transparency are top priorities, and we are committed to providing a great shopping experience for our customers as well as safeguarding their information. We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in DAA’s Accountability Program and appreciate their recognition that we are compliant with the DAA Principles.

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   

HiSmile Appeals National Advertising Division Recommendation to Discontinue Certain Claims for its Teeth Whitening Products

New York, NY – April 11, 2024 – In a challenge brought by The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G), BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division recommended that HiSmile PTY discontinue certain safety and comparative claims for its teeth whitening products, PAP+ Strips and V34 Color Correcting Serum, including:

  • Claims that peroxide containing whitening products are “painful” or cause pain, break down and impact gums and teeth, or “damage” gums and teeth.
  • “Create an at-home whitening treatment that’s just as effective as hydrogen peroxide.”
  • “PAP similarly reacts to tooth stains.”

The parties are competing manufacturers of teeth whitening products. HiSmile makes tooth concealer products and teeth whitening products containing PAP, while P&G manufacturers Crest Whitestrips, which contain hydrogen peroxide. 

Safety Claims

The National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that some of the challenged claims regarding the safety of hydrogen peroxide convey the message that peroxide containing teeth whiteners, such as P&G’s Crest Whitestrips, are “painful” or cause pain, break down and impact gums and teeth, or “damage” gums and teeth. NAD concluded that these claims are not supported by the evidence and therefore recommended that they be discontinued. NAD also recommended that HiSmile discontinue the “nasty side effects” claim on its website.

NAD noted that nothing in its decision prevents HiSmile from advertising its company’s origin story or highlighting its choice to create products that are peroxide free.

Comparative Claims

Since there was no evidence that HiSmile’s whitening products are “as effective as peroxide,” the National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended that HiSmile discontinue the “create an at-home whitening treatment that’s just as effective as hydrogen peroxide” claim.

NAD concluded that HiSmile’s claim that “PAP similarly [to peroxide] reacts to tooth stains” goes beyond merely stating the mechanism of action of the product and that one message reasonably conveyed by the claim is that PAP and peroxide have similar reactions to “stains” and therefore similar efficacy. In the absence of evidence to support this message, NAD recommended the claim be discontinued.

During the proceeding, HiSmile permanently discontinued the claim that “typically, whitening toothpaste contains peroxide which will damage your teeth.” Therefore, NAD did not review the claim on its merits and will treat the claim, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended it be discontinued.

In its advertiser statement, HiSmile stated that it will appeal NAD’s decision because it “highlights a need for international alignment on the adjudication of self-regulatory advertising codes” which it believes is “particularly important given the emergence of digital advertising and the global reach of social media platforms.”

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. 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

National Advertising Division Refers Shizhan Sun to the Federal Trade Commission and Social Platforms for Review

New York, NY – April 9, 2024 – BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division has referred advertising claims made by Shizhan Sun, a mobile app software marketing company, to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and social media platforms after the company failed to provide a substantive response to the National Advertising Division’s inquiry.    

The following represent the claims that served as the basis for this inquiry.

Express Claims

  • “I haven’t worked in 2 years.”
  • “It’s $100-600 per day.”
  • “Look at my proof: You have received $20,681.66 USD to your eWallet from Woody Block. Current Balance: $22,471.16 USD.”
  • “You have received $26,837.66 to your eWallet from Woody Block.”

Implied Claim

  • Woody Block players will typically earn large amounts of money in a short period of time.

Despite repeated outreach attempts, Shizhan Sun did not submit a substantive response to the National Advertising Division’s (NAD) inquiry or participate in the self-regulatory process. Per NAD/NARB Procedures, NAD has referred this 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. Per NAD/NARB Procedures, this release may not be used for 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: BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division 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 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 Modified Disclosures for ForceFlex MaxStrength Trash Bag “25% More Durable” Claims; Glad Products to Appeal

New York, NY – April 4, 2024 – In a Fast-Track SWIFT challenge brought by Reynolds Consumer Products LLC, BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division recommended that The Glad Products Company modify its “25% more durable” claims for Glad ForceFlex MaxStrength bags to include clear and conspicuous disclosures indicating the object of comparison is Glad’s own 13-gallon ForceFlex bags.

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

The challenged “25% more durable” claim appeared in various forms across Glad’s website, packaging, and internet search results. Reynolds argued that Glad’s “25% more durable claims” were misleading because the basis of comparison was not adequately disclosed.

NAD found that the disclosures associated with Glad’s “25% more durable” claims were not clear and conspicuous. Therefore, NAD recommended that Glad modify the claims to include clear and conspicuous disclosures that indicate that the object of comparison is Glad’s own 13-gallon ForceFlex bags.

During the proceeding, Glad agreed to voluntarily discontinue or modify the claim “Glad ForceFlex MaxStrength trash bags are 25% more durable and use less plastic than the competition.” Therefore, NAD did not review the claim on its merits and will treat the claim, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended it be discontinued or modified.

In its advertiser statement, Glad stated that it “agrees to comply with NAD’s recommendations regarding the Glad ForceFlex MaxStrength search ads and website,” however it will appeal the portion of NAD’s decision regarding the product packaging because it “disagrees with NAD’s findings and recommendations.”

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 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

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 Recommends Planting Hope Discontinue Use of Registered Trademark Symbol in RIGHTRICE Advertising

New York, NY – April 2, 2024 – In a Fast-Track SWIFT challenge brought by Riviana Foods, Inc., BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division recommended that Planting Hope Brands, LLC discontinue use of the registered trademark symbol ® in its advertising for RIGHTRICE.

Fast-Track SWIFT is an expedited process designed for single-issue advertising cases brought to the National Advertising Division (NAD). Riviana argued that Planting Hope’s use of the registered trademark ® symbol on the product label and advertising for RIGHTRICE is misleading.

RIGHTRICE was developed in 2017 by Betterer Foods, Inc. as a low-carb, high protein alternative to traditional rice with a low glycemic index. Planting Hope acquired the RIGHTRICE brand in 2022, and an assignment of the trademark registration from Betterer Foods to Planting Hope was recorded with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in January 2022. The RIGHTRICE trademark registration was subsequently cancelled by the USPTO by default judgment, effective January 2024. At the present time, Planting Hope’s motion to set aside this default judgment remains pending with the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (TTAB).

Since it is not currently known whether Planting Hope’s trademark registration for RIGHTRICE will be reinstated, NAD recommended it discontinue use of the registered trademark symbol in its advertising for RIGHTRICE unless there is a final determination reinstating the RIGHTRICE trademark on the federal register by the USPTO, TTAB, or other tribunal with appropriate jurisdiction.

In its advertiser statement, Planting Hope stated that while it disagrees with the decision “given the rather unique facts involved in this case,” it “will comply with NAD’s decision and related 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 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