BBB National Programs Archive
ERSP Recommends Marketer Modify Certain Podcast Claims for Amazon Secrets Live Coaching Program
New York, NY – April 25, 2018– The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has recommended that Natural Health modify or discontinue certain podcast claims for the Amazon Secrets Live Coaching Program, the company’s live coaching program for consumers seeking to start an Amazon-based business.
ERSP is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The marketer’s advertising came to the attention of ERSP through its ongoing monitoring program.
The marketer operated several podcast channels, including but not limited to Passive Income Ideas, which directed consumers to their website, www.AmazonSecrets.net. The podcast episodes and website advertised the program, Amazon Secrets Live Coaching Program, which promised to teach consumers how to earn money creating an Amazon based business.
ERSP reviewed email and online advertising claims for the mentorship program, including:
- “How we generated over $2,400,000 with a brand new business in the last six months flat with no experience working less than two hours per day.”
- “You will be so excited when you learn how simple this business is, and just the potential with such low risk”
- “Some students make $45,000 a month, some make $1,000. Doesn’t matter where you started because if you can make $1,000 a month you can make $10,000, $20,000, and we show you how to do this.”
ERSP noted in its decision that it appreciated the marketer’s voluntary participation in the ERSP process and the voluntary revisions the marketer made to its podcast and online advertising. During the inquiry the marketer also informed ERSP that Natural Health would no longer operate as one company, but that the individual partners would continue to offer the same live coaching program through their separate companies, AmSecret.Net and OnlineSecret.com. The individual partners continue to disseminate various podcasts including, but not limited to, “Passive Income Report,” “Build an Online Business 2018,” and “Residual Income Report.”
ERSP recommended that in the absence of data indicating the amount of money consumers will typically earn from using the Amazon Secrets Live Coaching Program, the marketer should discontinue communicating any earnings claims in its advertising, including earning claims by consumer testimonials and success stories. Furthermore, if the marketer intended to make claims in future advertising regarding the level of success and money achieved by the podcast host or coaches, then it has the burden to clearly and conspicuously disclose that these results are his alone and there should be no implication that these same results may be typically expected by consumers.
ERSP emphasized that when using consumer success stories and testimonials, if a marketer does not have substantiation that the endorser’s experience is representative of what consumers will generally achieve, the advertisement should clearly and conspicuously disclose the generally expected performance in the depicted circumstance and that the marketer be in possession of reliable data to support the information in such a disclosure.
Finally, ERSP recommended that the marketer include all material terms in the subject advertising, including the different programs and pricing, and that other coaches may teach the program instead of the company spokespeople.
Natural Health, in its marketer’s statement said, “We have made numerous changes to our websites, podcasts, and videos during this period… We are passionate about what we do and are committed to running businesses that operate with the highest standards of integrity and that deliver on the promises we make to our customers.”