Category Archives: Ad Watchers

Welcome to The Ad Watchers! Join National Advertising Division attorneys on this podcast as they explore advertising claims and what it means to put them to the truthfulness test.

It’s Not Puffery. Do You Have the Evidence To Be #1?

Number one claims communicate powerful messages of comparative superiority over competitors and can be very effective in advertising a product or service, but powerful claims require careful use and strong support. So what does it take to be able to support a #1 claim?

In this episode of Ad Watchers, hosts Dan and Annie discuss the complexity behind supporting #1 claims in advertising, review relevant National Advertising Division cases, and provide valuable insight to advertisers regarding the type and degree of information required to support such claims.

For more information about this episode, read the show notes here.

It’s Not Easy Being Green. What’s Next in ESG?

Consumers want to make responsible purchases when they can and, when it comes to helping the environment, that means selecting products that claim to do just that. But can advertisers back up what they claim? And what do advertisers need to think about to do so? Once again the Ad Watchers team tackles green marketing and environmental benefit claims, this time on the heels of the comment window for an update to the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides. 

 In this episode of Ad Watchers, hosts Dan and Annie are joined by an Ad Watchers veteran, La Toya Sutton, now with The Clorox Company, ahead of Earth Day to discuss what’s new in green claims and the in-house perspective on addressing brand claims before they hit the shelves.

For more information about this episode, read the show notes here.

Are You Taking Care of Your Health (Claims)?

Now more than ever consumers are paying attention to their health and wellness. Research indicates that consumers see health and wellness as ‘essential-spend categories.’ Not surprisingly, many brands see this as an opportunity to advertise a new product or service that will help a consumer achieve better health. But consumers aren’t the only ones paying attention. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is paying attention to the health-related claims brands are making, including the substantiation the advertiser has to back up those health claims.

In this episode of Ad Watchers, hosts Dan and Annie break down the FTC’s new Health Products Compliance Guidance, which outlines how to ensure that claims about benefits and safety of health-related products are truthful, not misleading, and supported by science.

For more information about this episode, read the show notes here.  


How Can You Ensure Your DEI Efforts Are Authentic?

As the expectation for representation has continued to rise, advertisers are turning to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) efforts to ensure everyone feels seen. NAD recognizes the significance of authenticity in these diverse depictions and will be enforcing new standards to hold companies accountable when they endorse harmful stereotypes in their advertisements.  

Hosts Eric and Annie are joined by Ingrid Otero Smart to discuss the secret to avoiding typecasts and tokenism when depicting diverse cultures. Listen now to understand the key components of a truly inclusive DEI campaign. 

For more information about this episode, read the show notes here.  


Where is the Line Between Ethical Design and Dark Patterns?

Think about the times you felt tricked or frustrated by a membership or subscription that had a seamless signup process but was later difficult to cancel. Something that should be simple and transparent can be complicated, intentionally or unintentionally, in ways that impair consumer choice. These are examples of dark patterns. Unfortunately, dark patterns are becoming increasingly common as companies look for ways to boost profits. While some may seem harmless, others can have serious consequences for users. 

Where is the line between ethical, persuasive design and dark patterns? In this episode of Ad Watchers, hosts Eric and Annie are joined by guest Deputy Director of the National Advertising Division, Katherine Armstrong to answer that question. Together, these three explore dark patterns and the FTC’s recent report on the topic, provide some real examples from NAD cases, and deliver commentary on the FTC’s response to the proliferation of these dark patterns. Listen now to understand the most common dark pattern tactics and how you can avoid them while still producing compelling, persuasive advertising.   

For more information about this episode, read the show notes here.