My colleague and friend, Andrea Levine, has been the Director of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council’s National Advertising Division (NAD) and Senior Vice President of the Council of Better Business Bureaus for the past 20 years. It’s quite a title, and tenure, and as she prepares to move on to her next challenge, I asked her to share some of her experiences and wisdom.

Twenty years ago, I appeared at NAD’s offices armed with 7 years’ experience in the NYC court system defending poor people from the consequences of “trickle down” economics, a decade on the front lines of multi-state consumer protection advocacy as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of New York, and a stint as Special Counsel for … Continue Reading

There aren’t a lot of rules on the Internet. The World Wide Web is a wild west environment where the standard rules regarding sales tax, privacy, and decorum don’t apply. All of which makes it seem like a strange place for self-regulation. And yet, that’s the mission of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council, the industry body that regulates advertising not only on traditional media such as print, TV, and radio, but also online.

Given how quickly advertising has expanded on Internet sites and social media, that’s not just a tricky job—it’s a very big one. This year, the Commissioner of the Federal Trade Association delivered a keynote at a summit hosted by one of ASRC’s constituent organizations (the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation … Continue Reading

As mentioned in my last post, over the next few weeks, I will be sharing with you a few articles I co-authored that were included in our Lessons Learned/Practical Advice publication. (To read the full publication, click here.)   Each article suggests steps that marketers and agencies may take to decrease risks and help ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

This week I will share my article on the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (the NAD) that I co-authored with Davis & Gilbert Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Partner, Aaron Taylor.

NAD

2015 was another eventful year for the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (the NAD). Fifty-six competitor challenges were … Continue Reading

Recently, I co-authored the below advertising alert with Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Partner, Matt Smith.

On the heels of recent high-profile enforcement actions by both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) against the automobile industry, the New York Attorney General (NYAG) has now zeroed in on the industry as well.

Over this past summer, NY AG Eric Schneiderman settled numerous allegations of deceptive practices with more than 25 automobile dealerships throughout the state, requiring the dealerships to collectively pay over $14 million in restitution and penalties. And Schneiderman has indicated that his office intends to continue monitoring New York auto dealers and will bring more enforcement actions as necessary.

Background

In March 2015, as … Continue Reading

2014 marked a year of significant change in the marketing communications industry.  To help understand these changes, Davis & Gilbert produced our 2014 Lessons Learned/2015 Practical Advice, where our lawyers highlight major developments in the marketing communications industry, and offer tips and best practices for marketers and their agencies in 2015.

Over the next few weeks, I will share with you a few pieces I authored on the topics of: FTC – Regulatory and State, Emerging Hardware – Robots, Drones and Connected Devices, and the NAD. To view the full 2014 Lessons Learned/2015 Practical Advice document, click here.

 FTC – Regulatory and State:

The regulatory landscape in 2014 was marked by a continued focus on the importance of clear, … Continue Reading

Brands and the agencies that help market them have full plates. Just keeping up with the way technology has changed, and how brands communicate with customers is, to say the least, a full time job. But, there are so many things that affect businesses, not the least of which is how government regulation can either help or hinder what we do.

That’s why organizations like the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) are so important. Among its many roles, the 4A’s advocates for advertising and marketing agencies and the other businesses it supports on a wide variety of issues. Some of the biggest items on its current docket:

The deductibility of advertising spending: Tax law has traditionally treated advertising as … Continue Reading

Advertising Week has always been an important week to those in the industry, and last week I sat down with Advertising Week’s Executive Director, Matt Scheckner, to talk about this year’s Advertising Week and how it reflects the changing face of the industry.  When discussing Advertising Week’s mission – Matt named education as one of the most important factors, and that’s certainly “The Way I See It.”

For the third year in a row, Davis & Gilbert was honored to sponsor the 2014 Advertising Week annual privacy/data forum, “Mission Impossible IV: Truth and Privacy.” I hosted this forum in NYC, and had the unique opportunity to talk to those who have their finger on the pulse of … Continue Reading

We live in a world of product innovation. There is sea change going on in media and technology. It seems that there is a new media platform and revolutionary device announced every week. Advertising is the currency that allows the offering of free information and services in media to consumers. Consumers absolutely want free content and do not wish to pay for it. Advertising has evolved to keep pace with changes in viewing habits, device use, technology innovation and taste and content. To keep pace with the advertising evolution, there is a critical need for industry self-regulation. This is the role of the National Advertising Division (the NAD).

The best way to establish trust with consumers is to establish standards … Continue Reading

They had the Beatles, we’ve got the Eagles. They have Big Ben, we have the Washington Monument. There are endless comparisons to make between British institutions and those born in the United States, and things are no different the advertising field. Today, we’re talking specifically about advertising industry self-regulation, which both the United States and United Kingdom got serious about in the latter half of the twentieth century. In 1962, the United Kingdom advertising industry established its Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which adjudicates claims of non-compliance with the British Code of Advertising Practice. Nine years later, the National Advertising Review Council – now known as the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC) – was formed in the United States.

Both are non-governmental, … Continue Reading

Edith Ramirez, the new chairperson of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), said that self-regulation can be “an important tool for consumer protection that can respond more quickly and efficiently than government regulation.”  For the advertising industry, that is certainly the case.  When advertising self-regulation was created in 1971, there were plenty of skeptics.  But today, the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC) – which establishes the policies and procedures for advertising industry self-regulation, including the National Advertising Division (NAD), Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), National Advertising Review Board (NARB), and Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) – remains critical for the industry, providing guidance on new developments and technologies, and implementing real monitoring and enforcement to preserve consumer protection standards.  This fall’s NAD … Continue Reading