The National Advertising Division (NAD) provided advertisers with a reminder not to use decisions for promotional purposes in an action involving the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association.

The industry group, which represents makers of fiberglass insulation products, challenged certain advertising claims made by Applegate Insulation, the manufacturer of cellulose insulation. NAIMA objected to comparative performance claims in Applegate’s advertising that cellulose insulation provides superior energy savings over fiberglass insulation and provides a cost savings for consumers.

After reviewing the ads, the NAD recommended that Applegate discontinue certain unsupported claims (including “Applegate Cellulose helps keep your home warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer, blocks air infiltration, and saves you money!” and “Applegate Cellulose insulation can reduce your utility bill by up to 40%.”).

Subsequent to the decision, a public relations company working on behalf of NAIMA commissioned articles in three separate publications, using the decision to promote fiberglass insulation, a violation of the procedures that govern the self-regulatory system, the NAD said in a new press release.

“NAD procedures make clear that parties to an NAD case are prohibited from using NAD decisions for promotional purposes,” the self-regulatory body wrote. “Participating companies agree at the outset to abide by that rule and parties are reminded of the prohibition when a case is closed. The prohibition was put in place to encourage participation and to better assure NAD decisions are not used by parties either to promote their own products or implicitly criticize competitors.”

NAIMA violated the procedures by “directly promoting” the outcome of an advertising challenge case decided by the NAD. “Effective self-regulation requires that participants adhere to both the letter and the spirit of the self-regulatory system,” the NAD noted.

To read the NAD’s press release, click here.

Why it matters: The NAD provided an important reminder to advertisers to follow the self-regulatory procedures and refrain from using decisions for promotional purposes.