Truth in Advertising Trends

At the NAD

The National Advertising Division (NAD), the investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation, monitors national advertising and resolves disputes to increase consumer confidence in the truth and accuracy of advertising claims and to support fair competition.

Overall, 2020 saw business as usual at the NAD, with no dip in the number of cases handled. What wasn’t business as usual? The increase in certain types of claims that were the subject of an NAD dispute. Key trends included:

50% increase in case filings in Cosmetics, Drugs & Dietary Supplements


33% increase in telecom cases, largely driven by 5G claims


100% case increase challenging natural, sustainable, or environmental benefit claims


25% increase in cases brought by or against market disruptors


At the FTC

Two important trends emerged at the FTC: the push for monetary redress and the pursuit of individual liability when settling traditional advertising and marketing cases. We expect this enforcement focus to continue under the Biden administration. While our team members remember when injunction-only orders were the norm, in 2020 we saw:

88% of cases coming from the Advertising & Marketing Practices Divisions included a named individual


90% included redress

80% of cases from Consumer Financial Services included a named individual


100% included redress

14% of matters in the Privacy & Information Security area included individual liability


10% included redress

Share this page