The BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust (BBB Institute) is the recipient of a cy pres award from a settlement in Fitzhenry-Russell v. The Coca-Cola Company, No. 5:17-CV-00603. The settlement of this consumer class action was approved by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on October 3, 2019, and provided that half of any remaining settlement funds be distributed to BBB Institute.  In April 2020, the claims administrator distributed $80,347.13 to BBB Institute.

BBB Institute is the charitable foundation of the Better Business Bureau. Funds from the settlement will be used to support the organization’s mission of building marketplace trust through educational programs and groundbreaking research.

“Receiving funds from this settlement will enable BBB Institute to continue its programs to foster a trustworthy marketplace through timely research, effective consumer educational campaigns, and outreach in communities across North America,” said BBB Institute Executive Director Melissa Trumpower. “At a time when COVID-19 is creating a perfect storm for scammers and price gouging, this support is especially needed.”

BBB Institute’s programs address a wide array of marketplace challenges and opportunities:

  • BBB Scam Tracker: an online tool that enables consumers to report scam activity and prevent others from falling to similar cons.
  • BBB AdTruth: teaches consumers about potential advertising abuses and empowers them to report advertisements that could cause financial or personal harm.
  • Digital IQ: provides consumers with the practical knowledge they need to navigate the digital world safely.
  • Military & Veterans Initiative: helps military consumers protect their assets, plan for the future, and prosper in a trusted marketplace.
  • Ethics Training: creates an ethical marketplace by providing training and resources on ethics to businesses and consumers.
  • BBB4Good: supports and elevates purpose-driven businesses by empowering consumers to locate them and spotlighting their work.

BBB Institute has received other cy pres awards. One recent cy pres award enabled the organization to spread awareness about confusing or misleading advertising claims to more than 217 million people through the BBB AdTruth public service campaign, and to build the BBB AdTruth reporting tool to enable consumers to report problematic ads.