COVID-19 Updates & Resources

National Programs Operating Status

BBB National Programs remains vigilant, following the guidance of federal, state, and local officials and using necessary precautions to keep our employees, partners, and stakeholders safe and healthy.

 

As the situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves, we stand ready to help businesses and individuals navigate the significant challenges they are facing in a time of great uncertainty.

 

Like any major natural disaster, the coronavirus will have a significant impact on businesses and economies and has already demonstrated an ability to disrupt regular operating procedures for most Americans. BBB National Programs staff, and the 10 programs we serve, have successfully moved to remote work and remain operational.

 

BBB National Programs remains focused on serving its stakeholders during this international pandemic.

 

  • We are accepting new and proceeding with existing complaints, challenges, and inquiries.
  • We are conducting video conference, email, and teleconference dispute resolution, compliance, and guidance support.
  • We are welcoming new participants and program supporters. All our programs are providing uninterrupted services.

 

BBB National Programs stands ready to serve you. If you do not already know how to engage with us, and need assistance or have questions, please email us at marketing@bbbnp.org—one of our team members will respond quickly to assist you. 

 

For Businesses

Because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food Drug Administration have both stated that there are no approved vaccines, drugs, or investigational products currently available to treat or prevent COVID-19, BBB National Programs urges all companies and their salesforces to exercise extreme caution in the dissemination of health-related product claims in their marketing. They should be especially mindful of expressly claiming or implying that their products:

 

  • Treat or alleviate the symptoms of COVID-19
  • Cure, treat, or alleviate symptoms of viruses
  • Boost or improve immune function
  • Eliminate or remove germs and/or viruses

 

Should any direct selling company become aware of any COVID-19 or other problematic health-related claims, send them to us here

 

Operating Status: National Advertising Division

For the health and safety of our National Advertising Division® (NAD) stakeholders, all NAD Fast-Track SWIFT filings should be filed through our online portal and NAD Standard filings should be submitted by email until further notice.

 

  • Opening a Challenge? Please email Laura Brett, lbrett@bbbnp.org, and Sheryl Harris, sharris@bbbnp.org, with your opening letter, exhibits, and the challenged advertising. If you submitted a filing by mail after March 9, please email Laura Brett.
  • Large Files: Please contact us directly if any files related to your filing are too large to submit via email and we will make alternate arrangements.
  • Filing Fees: You will be provided an invoice and information on submitting payments electronically.
  • Meetings: All meetings will move forward as scheduled and be held by video or telephone conference. The attorney assigned to the matter will contact you to set up meeting logistics.

 

Operating Status: BBB AUTO LINE

 We are experiencing a higher than normal call volume.

 

  • If you are calling to file a new BBB AUTO LINE® claim, click here.
  • To follow up on an existing BBB AUTO LINE® claim, email us.

 

Events

To protect the health and safety of BBB National Programs staff, stakeholders, and partners, and to align with the guidance of federal, state, and local officials, we are rescheduling upcoming events to the fall or moving them to an online platform. We are communicating with participants and registrants via email but if you have any questions, please contact events@bbbnp.org.

 

 

Additional Resources

 

Our national partner, Google, has gathered some useful resources to help your business navigate these challenging times. View these resources here.

 

 


Related News

BBB National Programs’ Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council and Direct Selling Association Urge Caution Regarding Health-Related Product Claims

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jim Boyle, BBB National Programs, 571.213.3979 | jboyle@bbbnp.org

 

In Age of COVID-19, This Timely Effort Will Help “Maintain the Integrity of Direct Selling”

 

Arlington, VA — April 7, 2020 — As the United States deals with the unprecedented health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus, BBB National Programs’ Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC), and the Direct Selling Association (DSA) today urged all direct selling companies and their salesforces to ensure all claims made about health-related products are accurate.


The two organizations said that direct selling companies and their salesforce members must be especially mindful of expressly claiming or implying that their products:

  • Treat, alleviate, or cure the symptoms of COVID-19
  • Prevent symptoms of COVID-19
  • Boost or improve immune function to prevent COVID-19
  • Eliminate all traces of COVID-19

“During these dynamic times, it is of paramount importance that we maintain the integrity of the direct selling space and be especially cognizant of any and all product claims and business opportunity representations,” said Eric D. Reicin, President and CEO, BBB National Programs. “Since product claims made by salesforce members are attributable to direct selling companies themselves, our direct selling self-regulatory division, DSSRC, reminds all direct selling companies to educate their salesforce members about best practices with respect to health-related product claims.”

“As integral members of their neighborhoods, direct sellers have a unique opportunity and responsibility to share accurate information about their products and opportunities. We can and will be an important part of the restoration of our communities and our country by providing needed products, services, and information,” said Joseph N. Mariano, President, DSA. “As we continue to protect consumers and elevate the ethical business standards for the direct selling channel, we are encouraging our members to be conduits of accurate, reliable information.”

While unprecedented research efforts are taking place on a global scale, according to the World Health Organization, there are no current cures or direct treatments for the novel coronavirus. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have both stated that there are no approved vaccines, drugs, or investigational products currently available to treat or prevent COVID-19.

As the impact of the coronavirus spreads, BBB National Programs’ DSSRC has already reached out to several direct selling companies to address COVID-19 claims and other health-related representations and continues to be vigilant in its monitoring of the marketplace. DSSRC Vice President Peter Marinello recommends that if any direct selling company becomes aware of any COVID-19 or other problematic health-related claims, it should visit BBBprograms.org/file-a-DSSRC-challenge to bring these claims to the attention of DSSRC.

 

 

About BBB National Programs’ Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) 

In 2019, the Direct Selling Association (DSA) and BBB National Programs announced the creation of the Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC), a program designed to enhance consumer confidence in direct selling advertising and marketing practices, offer the direct selling industry an expeditious system for review of that advertising and marketing, and discourage advertising and marketing in the direct selling industry that communicates unsubstantiated claims. For more information about the Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council and its commitment to truthful and accurate advertising, please visit BBBprograms.org/programs/dssrc

 

About BBB National Programs 

BBB National Programs is a non-profit that fosters trust, innovation, and competition in the marketplace through the development and delivery of cost-effective, third-party self-regulation, dispute resolution and other programs. BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumers’ trust and consumers are heard. BBB National Programs is the home of leading industry self-regulatory and dispute resolution programs that include the National Advertising Division (NAD), National Advertising Review Board (NARB), BBB EU Privacy Shield, BBB AUTO LINE, Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), Children’s Confection Advertising Initiative (CCAI), Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC), Digital Advertising Accountability Program (Accountability Program), and the Coalition for Better Advertising Dispute Resolution Program (CBA DRM). The programs are designed to resolve business issues and advance shared objectives by responding to marketplace concerns to create a better customer experience. To learn more about industry self-regulation, please visit: BBBNP.org.

 

About the Direct Selling Association 

The Direct Selling Association is the national trade association for companies that offer entrepreneurial opportunities to independent sellers to market and sell products and services, typically outside of a fixed retail establishment. In 2018, direct selling took place across the United States, generating $35.4 billion in retail sales. More than six million entrepreneurs in the U.S. are selling products or services through the direct selling channel, providing a personalized buying experience for more than 36.6 million customers. For more about the DSA visit www.dsa.org.