Fostering public confidence in truthful advertising was the primary concern that led to the formation of the organizations that today are called Better Business Bureaus. Although BBBs are now engaged in a broad spectrum of activities designed to protect and inform the consumer and resolve marketplace disputes, the monitoring of advertising remains a key part of the BBB’s overall mission.
Local Advertising Review Programs
BBB's Code of Advertising is based on broad principles of truth and accuracy and provide a guide for companies to use when questions arise. We regularly monitor advertising for adherence to these principles, as well as compliance with local, state and federal regulations relating to advertising. When possibly questionable advertising is noted, the advertiser is contacted and requested to substantiate or modify the claims that are being made, and to voluntarily comply with the guidelines.
Untruthful or misleading advertising is harmful to consumers and to other advertisers as well. While BBB is not an enforcement arm, it does seek to level the playing field for all advertisers through voluntary cooperation and self-regulation. Most advertisers recognize the value of truthful and non-deceptive advertising, resulting in a high level of cooperation with BBB efforts.
Our Consumer Complaint Form can be used to alert us to an untruthful or misleading advertisement in a local market.
National Advertising Division®
The Council of Better Business Bureaus administers what is widely recognized as one of the world’s finest examples of business self-regulation. Working in concert with the National Advertising Review Board, the Council’s National Advertising Division investigates questions of truth and accuracy in national commercial advertising, following its published procedures.
Children’s Advertising Review Unit® (CARU)®
The Children’s Advertising Review Unit reviews advertising directed at children under the age of 12. When advertising is found to be misleading, inaccurate, or inconsistent with CARU’s Self-Regulatory Guidelines for Children’s Advertising, CARU seeks change through the voluntary cooperation of advertisers.