Complain/Case Handling Process | ANA

Complaint/Case Handling Process

The ANA Accountability team and Ethics Committee receive promotions for review from consumers, member companies, nonmembers, or, sometimes, consumer protection agencies. The Committee reviews most of the matters that are received by ANA concerning possible violations of the ethics guidelines; however, it is not possible for the Committee to review all complaints or inquiries received.

Criteria For Case Review

The most important criteria for accepting cases to be reviewed include the following:

  • the magnitude of the promotion or practice brought to ANA’s attention;
  • the possible damage or economic harm to consumers;
  • a pattern of complaints received by the ANA;
  • and complaints that are the subject of media and/or government attention.

Review Process

Complaints referred to the Committee are reviewed against the Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice and if a majority of Committee members believe there is a potential violation, the company is contacted. Most companies work with the Committee to cease or change the questioned practice. Case proceedings are kept strictly confidential. However, if a member company does not cooperate and the Committee believes there are ongoing guidelines violations, the Committee can recommend that action be taken to make the case results public. If a nonmember or a member company does not cooperate with the Committee and the Committee believes violations of law may also have occurred, referral of the case is generally made to federal and/or state law enforcement authorities for their review; such referral may be made public.

General Complaint Handling Procedures and Policy

The ANA is interested in hearing from you if you believe a direct marketing promotion or practice is questionable and may warrant a formal review by the Committee. The ANA receives and investigates complaints against member and nonmember organizations.

ANA Accountability staff may be reached at for questions or concerns.