By Justin Carey
Advertising review has a long relationship with the Better Business Bureau. In fact, it was a lack of advertising regulation in the marketplace which spawned the very first BBB. That’s right; the BBB system was pioneered by the Gentleman’s Advertising League (now know as the Ad Club of New York) in New York City nearly a century ago. With the myriad of services your BBB provides, who would have known it all started with advertising!
Here at your BBB, we’re working daily to maintain a precedent in the local advertising community. Our ultimate goal: Truth in Advertising. Not only will truthful advertising protect consumers from local “snake oil” salesmen but it also keeps businesses from using untrue, misleading, and often fraudulent advertising claims to gain an unfair advantage over businesses that advertise sincerely. In essence, the Advertising Review Program here at your BBB protects consumers and competing businesses, alike.
In reviewing newspapers, readers, websites, television advertising, and any other vehicle of advertising every day, we hold local businesses accountable to a set of standards and guidelines known as the BBB Code of Advertising.
This Code of Advertising is published by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, and provides a mass of information about federal and state laws and regulations governing advertising. Not only are our Accredited Businesses held strictly to these standards, but non-Accredited Businesses are as well.
A specific and uniform process of self-regulation with each business is upheld each time an illicit advertisement is published. Advertisers are expected to substantiate any claims or offers made, and upon request, present that substantiation promptly to your BBB. Of note, advertising review plays an integral part in the application process for businesses seeking to become accredited with your BBB.
So you see, without the BBB Advertising Review program, the advertising world would be similar to the Wild West: lawless, misleading, and very risky. Ok, well maybe it wouldn’t be quite as dangerous as the days of Jesse James, but it does convey the importance of your BBB Advertising program in the Southern California Market.