This week, the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau (“NAD”), the investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation, announced changes to its filing fees that will take effect on January 1, 2020. The following price structure will apply to bring a challenge:

  • Under $250M – $10,000 (New Category)
  • National Partner – $25,000
  • Under $5B – $30,000
  • Over $5B – $35,000
  • NARB – $25,000

As indicated above, the filing fee changes create a new category, the under $250 million category, described by the NAD as intending to “encourage participation from small businesses and strengthen industry self-regulation.” The new category will allow small businesses with gross annual revenue under $250 million to initiate a challenge for a $10,000 fee.

The NAD further noted process improvements it seeks to make in 2020, including a new online submission process and a new challenge track for faster resolution of NAD challenges – investments intended to “increase the speed and efficiency of the process.”

Takeaway: The announcement of the NAD’s new under $250 million filing fee category marks a significant change to the NAD’s prior filing fee structure, now allowing small businesses to initiate a challenge for less than half of the fee for that of a National Partner.