The mission of the BBB is simple: to establish a marketplace characterized by ethics and mutual trust between buyer and seller. It formed in 1912 in Dallas, Texas, as the National Vigilance Committee after several years of growing demand for honesty in advertising. In 1915, fledgling local committees logged nearly 1.5 million complaints, with door-to-door sales companies being the greatest offenders. The organization became the Better Business Bureau in 1916. The BBB promoted model legislation to outlaw fraudulent and misleading advertising and offered standards and codes of truth in advertising to which businesses could subscribe.
The modern Better Business Bureau operates in the digital world with a website at www.bbb.org and continues to promote education and vigilance.