Handling Disputes in Advertising Through National Advertising Division Proceedings

Disputes in advertising can be voluntarily resolved through a dispute resolution mechanism championed by the National Advertising Division (NAD). NAD is a division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus that handles voluntary dispute resolution for claims about false and misleading advertising. NAD proceedings are often used by either consumers who otherwise would band together and initiate a class action lawsuit, and competitors that have concerns about how a company is advertising a product or service.

NAD proceedings are a voluntary undertaking, and no damages are awarded at the resolution of the matter. Furthermore, NAD decisions are not binding on the courts. Rather the NAD issues decisions on the disputes that are heard, and the parties are provided detailed guidance based on the law on how to resolve the matter. Failure to abide by a decision of the NAD can result in a referral being made for the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the disputed advertising claim.  

The NAD reviews a wide variety of advertising disputes, challenges and claims. A few examples of advertising claims that are appropriate for the NAD include:

  • Disputes concerning product performance claims.
  • False or misleading advertising in the form of superiority claims against competing products.
  • Disputed advertising based on scientific or technical claims.
  • Disputed comparative advertising claims.

The NAD does not handle matters concerning specific language used in an advertisement or on the packaging or label of a product. The NAD is also not the appropriate venue for advertising disputes based on what is in good taste, whether an advertisement for the sale of a product is moral, or disputes based on political or issue-based advertising. The NAD further has the discretion to refuse to hear disputes involving highly-technical details of a product, or advertising claims that appear to lack merit.

Why Choose NAD Proceedings Over Litigation in Court?

NAD proceedings are often preferred over litigation in court because the NAD process is faster and easier for everyone involved. NAD proceedings are also more affordable, which is something that fiscally responsible companies like very much about using NAD as a vehicle for resolving advertising disputes. The NAD may recommend that advertising be discontinued, or modified to more accurately reflect the truth. Even though the NAD decisions are not legally binding decisions, it is estimated that the NAD has a 95% compliance rate when it comes to the recommendations that are made by the NAD.  

A Lawyer Can Be Helpful for NAD Litigation

Having an experienced advertising law attorney on your side as you go through the NAD process can be hugely beneficial. The individuals who will ultimately be rendering the NAD decision in your case are employees of the NAD, many of whom are seasoned advertising attorneys. It is immensely beneficial to have an experienced advertising lawyer prepare your NAD case. Give yourself every opportunity for success and work with an advertising lawyer on your advertising dispute before the NAD. Contact one of the lawyers at Revision Legal today and see how we can help you resolve your advertising dispute. Contact us using the form on this page or call us at 855-473-8474.

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