The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs, Inc. recently launched its new Fast-Track SWIFT (Single Well-defined Issue Fast Track) challenge process. NAD’s Fast-Track SWIFT offers an expedited process for resolving relatively simple and well-defined single-issue advertising disputes.

Three types of categories are currently eligible for a SWIFT challenge, although as the program develops, NAD indicates it may expand the scope of the matters that are deemed appropriate for SWIFT review:

  • The prominence or sufficiency of certain disclosures, such as:
    • Influencer disclosures;
    • Native advertising disclosures; or
    • Incentivized reviews, etc.
  • Pricing and sales claims.
  • Express claims that do not require review of complex evidence or claim substantiation (such as clinical studies, technical testing, or consumer perception evidence, etc.).

Additional differences between a SWIFT challenge and a standard track NAD challenge, include factors such as the following:

  • SWIFT challenges are limited to a single issue (claims that are worded slightly differently but convey the same message may be brought together as a single challenge).
  • Only one substantive submission per party is permitted (the challenger is only permitted to submit its initial challenge submission, and once the advertiser submits its response, the record is closed).
  • All challenges and supporting materials are submitted online.
  • SWIFT decisions will be issued within 20 business days from the day the advertiser receives notification of the challenge from NAD.
  • The advertiser has an opportunity to object to the issue being undertaken as a SWIFT challenge. If NAD agrees, the matter can be routed to the standard track process.

Keller and Heckman advises and represents clients in various stages and types of NAD proceedings. We will continue to monitor this new challenge mechanism as it develops.