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NAD Announces New Fast Track Challenge Process

The BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division (NAD) announced April 2, 2020, that it has launched a new fast-track challenge process called the Fast-Track SWIFT (short of Single Well-Defined Issue Fast Track) process.

Under the Fast-Track SWIFT process, decisions will be issued within 20 days from when the challenge was initiated and will likely offer a lower cost option to the traditional NAD process.

Key details of Fast-Track SWIFT are summarized below:

  • Only certain types of claims are eligible for Fast-Track SWIFT, specifically (i) influencer disclosures, (ii) native advertising disclosures, (iii) misleading pricing and sales claims, and (iv) express claims that do not require complex claim substantiation. 
  • Challenges are limited to a single issue. 
  • Only one substantive submission per party is permitted and submissions are limited to five typewritten pages and no more than five evidentiary exhibits. 
  • Challenges must be filed online.
  • Within two business days of receipt, NAD will determine whether the challenge is appropriate for Fast-Track SWIFT. If NAD determines it is not appropriate for Fast-Track SWIFT, the challenger may transfer the challenge to the standard NAD track or close the challenge. 
  • Filing fees are $5,000 more than the filing fees for traditional challenges, ranging from $15,000 if the challenger’s gross annual revenue is less than $250 million to $40,000 if the challenger’s gross annual revenue is $5 billion or more.

In addition to Fast-Track SWIFT, challengers can also still request an expedited proceeding by waiving their right to add to the record after receiving the advertiser’s substantive written response and foregoing a written reply. Unlike Fast-Track SWIFT, a challenger that elects the expedited process does not have to decide at the outset of a challenge whether it wishes to go through the full or abbreviated review process.

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