A recent National Advertising Division (NAD) decision on claims within the debt relief space may provide key compliance lessons and insights for companies in all industries to consider. According to this article from Kelley Drye …
“NAD announced a decision involving various claims made by Accredited Debt Relief and its marketing agency. Although parts of the decision will likely only be of interest to companies who operate in the debt settlement space, the decision also holds some important lessons for companies that operate outside of that space. We’ll focus on those in this post.
Claims About Expected Results
Accredited Debt Relief advertised that its customers could “cut monthly payments in half.” Although the company had evidence that some customers – less than one-third – had achieved those results, NAD took the position that consumers seeing the claim would assume it was “representative of the typical consumer experience.” Accordingly, NAD thought consumers might be misled by the claim, and recommended that the company focus on more typical results.
NAD also noted that there was a “detailed and lengthy” disclosure about the program and its material limitations at the bottom of webpages that included the challenged claims. Quoting FTC guidance, NAD wrote that material terms must be “clearly and conspicuously communicated within the four corners of the advertising in which that claim appears.” Simply putting the information “somewhere” people may find it is not sufficient.”