Why The BBB Works To Improve Advertising
For more than 80 years, the Houston Better Business Bureau has been actively helping the community by giving information about companies, resolving business/consumer complaints, and alerting the public to con games, charity promoters, and false or misleading advertising. In fact, "Truth in Advertising" is the primary reason why the Better Business Bureau was formed in 1922.
When advertising works as it should, consumers purchase products and services, and companies profit. However, false advertising goes hand-in-hand with rip-offs of consumers and hurts companies who advertise fairly and honestly.
The Better Business Bureau wants to help business strengthen consumer trust in advertising. And the BBB wants to help advertisers prevent problems with regulatory agencies, such as the District Attorney, Attorney General, and the Federal Trade Commission.
To help advertisers get and keep customer confidence, and to help avoid legal problems, the BBB developed these basic guidelines. They are all clear-cut, simply-stated, and practical. Most importantly, they work.
Use of these guidelines is not a guarantee a company will be successful. But they will promote accuracy, fairness, and consumer trust.
These basic advertising guidelines have been prepared by the Better Business Bureau to provide guidance for advertisers, advertising agencies, and the advertising media. Basic Rule Of Thumb
Advertisements which are untrue, misleading, deceptive, fraudulent, falsely disparaging of competitors, or insincere offers to sell, shall not be used. All advertising claims and/or implications of advertising claims should be based in truth. The advertising as a whole must not create a misleading impression, even if every statement is literally true.
The burden of proof of advertised statements and claims rests with the advertiser. An advertiser should be prepared to substantiate any claim made in an advertisement upon request by the Better Business Bureau or a regulatory agency.