Posted: February 22, 2023
Typicality Advertising Claims
A typicality claim conveys the net impression that the claimed results are representative or typical of the results that consumers can generally expect to achieve.
What is NAD?
The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (NAD) provides a valuable, non-judicial service for digital advertisers, including an (i) advertising monitoring and review service, and (ii) a dispute resolution process for advertisers involved in false advertising disputes.
If you'd like to learn more about what NAD does, visit National Advertising Division .
NAD closely follows FTC precedent and policy.
What is a "typicality" marketing claim example?
NAD reviewed the following ad claims in its 2022 case with Accredited Debt Relief, a debt settlement company:
- clients could cut their monthly payments in half,
- reduce their total debt by up to 50%, and become,
- “debt-free in as little as 12 months.”
NAD found that these claims were "typicality" claims.
What is a "quantified performance" marketing claim?
NAD also found that these claims included "quantified performance claims," a subset of typicality claims that “promise consumers that they will experience results to the level or degree claimed in the advertising.”
Why you need a "generally expected results" disclosure
General Rule: If a typicality claim does not in fact, represent the typical results of what consumers should generally expect, it should not be used, or it should be qualified with a disclosure of generally expected results.
NAD reviewed the substantiation produced by Accredited Debt Relief and concluded that the advertised results were not typical.
Among NAD's findings based on its review of the substantiation data:
- only 33% of purchasers cut payments by 50% or more,
- only 25% of purchasers reduced debt by 50% or more,
- "A comparatively small number of purchasers were debt-free in 12 months.
Further, NAD determined that Accredited Debt Relief failed to provide clear and conspicuous disclosures material information that qualified the performance claims, including:
- the length of the advertised program, and
- related fees.
If typicality claims, particularly if they are quantified performance claims, are not representative, or typical, of the results that consumers can generally expect to achieve, they should not be used, or they should be qualified with a disclosure of generally expected results.
The disclosures should be clear and conspicuous and in proximity to the claims they qualify.