Better Business Bureau Updates its BBB Code of Advertising

On Thursday, the Better Business Bureau announced that it has made large-scale revisions to its self-described “cornerstone product,” the BBB Code of Advertising.  The Code imposes self-regulatory obligations on all entities who advertise in North America.  It is enforced at the local level by the BBB's 112 local offices throughout US and Canada and, for national advertising, by the National Advertising Division, the Children’s Advertising Review Unit, and the other arms of the BBB’s Advertising Self-Regulatory Council. The Code of Advertising was last amended in 1985 and the BBB describes the new revisions as intended to “reflect the many new ways advertisers reach consumers via websites, social media, texting and other channels.”  According to the BBB, the revisions include updates on the use of endorsements and testimonials to address current FTC guidelines, as well as changes to the requirements for “up to” claims, close-out sales, rebate promotions, and the duration of sale periods. The revised Code also includes new sections on green (i.e. environmental-benefit) claims, negative-option plans, and “Made in the USA” claims.

We are reviewing the revised guides and will have a more detailed post on the changes soon.  In the meantime, you can view the BBB’s announcement here and the revised Code here.