New York, NY – December 1, 2022 – In a BBB National Programs National Advertising Division (NAD) challenge, brought as part of NAD’s routine monitoring of national advertising for truth and transparency, NAD has determined that Blue Apron LLC provided a reasonable basis for the claim that “Canceling Meals is Easy.”
Blue Apron is a subscription-based meal kit company that offers changing weekly meal kits consisting of boxes of pre-portioned ingredients and corresponding recipes to be cooked at home.
These subscription services constitute negative option marketing, broadly defined as a category of commercial transactions in which sellers interpret a customer’s failure to take an affirmative action, either to reject an offer or cancel an agreement, as assent to be charged for goods or services. NAD noted that there are different types of plans in negative option marketing and Blue Apron’s service constitutes a continuity plan – namely, consumers agree to continue to receive their food kits for a monthly sum until they affirmatively cancel their subscription.
NAD inquired about the advertiser’s sponsored Instagram post with the express claim “Canceling meals is easy,” made in connection with a pricing claim (“Starting at $7.49 per serving”). NAD determined that the claim in context reasonably conveys the message that consumers can cancel their subscription seamlessly.
In reviewing whether Blue Apron offers consumers easy ways to cancel meals, NAD considered that the Federal Trade Commission’s recent “Bringing Dark Patterns To Light” report suggests that consumers should be able to cancel a subscription-based service through the same medium (such as a website or mobile application) as signup. NAD determined that the claim “[C]anceling meals is easy” is supported since consumers sign up for and cancel Blue Apron online.
In its advertiser statement, Blue Apron stated that it “supports NAD’s mission of voluntary self-regulation of advertising and is pleased by NAD’s determination.” The advertiser further stated that it “continuously seeks improvements in its customer experience and takes great pride in its support of the goal of clear, transparent, and truthful information in advertising.”
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About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.
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