How to Explain What Just Happened At the BBB To Your DRTV Friends

by Bill McClellan on Feb 12, 2015 2:28:00 PM

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Earlier today the news broke.

The Better Business Bureau's Code of Advertising, created in the 1960’s, has been revised. The changes could have ramifications throughout the advertising world for years to come.

Why Now?

Times have changed and so has advertising. The new Code of Advertising is being updated for the first time since the 1970s to better reflect the Federal Trade Commission’s current approach to advertising claims. This comprehensive change to the Better Business Bureau’s cornerstone product reflects the many new ways advertisers reach consumers via social media, texting and other channels. 

Who Will Enforce It?

Every business that advertises in North America is expected to follow the BBB’s Code, and compliance is monitored by 112 BBB offices in the U.S. and Canada. Industry self-regulation of truth-in-advertising rules has earned the support of federal regulators who take seriously cases referred to their agencies.

What Is ERSP’s Role?

Direct Response marketing practitioners should know that advertising self-regulation programs like ERA’s ERSP program do not “enforce” the BBB code.  Precedent states that self-regulation programs look to the code for guidance although the ultimate question in any case is whether in the context of advertising the claims are misleading or unsubstantiated. 

Want to Know More?

Here is a link to the new BBB Code of Advertising. In addition, Ad Age has written a nice article on the revisions.      

This is a developing situation. In the days and weeks to come expect to hear more about the new BBB Code of Advertising as people analyze the changes.     

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Recent Advocacy News:

Watch Out DRTV: Obama Is Using The FTC to Take Over

"I Don't Speak For The FTC" - DRTV Listener Advisory

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