Business Bureau: Report shady ads


DAYTON — Better Business Bureau has announced the launch of its latest consumer reporting service, BBB AdTruth (BBB.org/AdTruth), an online tool that empowers everyday shoppers to identify advertisements that appear to contain claims that are questionable or which may lack evidence to support them and report them so BBB advertising review specialists can investigate and assess their truthfulness.

“Misleading advertising is a huge source of frustration for both consumers and honest businesses in today’s marketplace,” said Melissa Trumpower, executive director of the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust. “Although BBB has always called out fraudulent, confusing or unsubstantiated advertising, this new reporting function provides another way for consumers to be our allies in the fight for truth-in-advertising.”

BBB AdTruth guides consumers through a series of questions about where they saw or heard the advertisement, which claims were made in the advertisement (based on the BBB Code of Advertising), and why the consumer was concerned about the truthfulness of the ad. Consumers are able to upload screen shots or photos, as well, enabling BBB investigators to gather information quickly.

The BBB AdTruth program was created in 2013 to teach consumers how to identify and report suspicious or misleading advertisements, thanks to support provided through a cy pres award from the California courts and a grant from Google Inc. Google is also a 2019 Community Program Partner for BBB AdTruth. The educational program includes online content, videos, infographics, and a public awareness campaign that has garnered more than 237 million media impressions.