Celebrating her first anniversary as director of the National Advertising Division, Laura Brett highlighted the reduced timeline for cases the self-regulatory body has under consideration.

An investment in staffing by the Council of Better Business Bureaus—the administrator of the industry’s self-regulatory body—has resulted in “a steady reduction” in the life of a case before the NAD, Brett stated. For challenges filed after Nov. 15, 2017, the average count has dropped to 87.25 days, with just 19.75 days as the average number of days between the advertiser meeting and the date the decision is sent to the advertiser.

In comparison, the averages for competitive challenges opened between Jan. 1, 2016, and Nov. 15, 2017, was 134 days, with 53.7 days between the NAD’s meeting with the advertiser and the decision.

“To be sure, not all cases have had speedy resolutions,” Brett acknowledged. “We are clearing a backlog of case decisions that developed when NAD was in transition, and many of those matters have moved more slowly than we would like.”

“We plan to continue to work on shortening case time, but I want to make sure you are aware of our recent progress,” Brett wrote.

The reduced time to decision can be traced to the investment in NAD staffing levels, she noted, as well as a new scheduling team that was put in place. “The most significant progress to date has been reducing the time in between the last meeting and sending the decision to the advertiser, a credit to the hard work of the NAD staff attorneys,” Brett added.

“Thank you again for your support for NAD and the good work that you allow us to do as a resource for industry and consumers,” she concluded.

Why it matters: Over the past six months, the NAD has managed to decrease the case life span by almost 47 days from 134, while the average number of days between the advertising meeting and the date the decision is sent dropped to just under 44 from 64. A valuable improvement for advertisers, the truncated timeline may continue to shrink as the fully staffed NAD plans to keep working on shortening the length of the challenge process.