Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Recommends Stella & DOT Discontinue Salesforce Member Earnings Claims

For Immediate Release
Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs

703.247.9330 / press@bbbnp.org

McLean, VA – June 15, 2022 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) of BBB National Programs recommended that certain earnings claims disseminated by Stella & DOT, LLC salesforce members be discontinued. Stella & DOT is a multi-level direct selling company that sells jewelry, bags, accessories, and women’s clothing headquartered in California. The inquiry was commenced by DSSRC through its ongoing independent monitoring of advertising and marketing claims in the direct selling industry. 

The claims that formed the initial basis of this inquiry, as well as additional claims that were identified during the inquiry, were located on Facebook. They include:

  • “Home based businesses are providing 18 million Americans the opportunity to make a living or supplement their incomes to the tune of $34 billion a year. Join Stella & Dot and our team of 9000+ Stylists to enjoy financial freedom, flexibility, fashion, and to have more fun and joy in your life!”
  • “Stella & Dot is more than a company. It’s a movement. A movement to empower women and give them financial freedom in an environment that is flexible, positive, supportive and of course, stylish! In my 7 years as a stylist, I have seen women’s lives drastically changed not just because of the additional income their Stella & Dot gig provides, but because of the uplifting community of women they become a part of, the person development training we are given and the opportunity to do something we LOVE when and how we want to do it.
  • “What if I told you that Stella & Dot will literally pay you $40 to sign up this weekend AND give you $1000 worth of free product, $250 commission, and so many other perks? I can’t believe I’ve been with this company just over 2.5 years and I can sit on this side of that signup button and tell you that this company has brought me financial freedom”
  • “If you would have asked me in August 2016 why I joined Stella & Dot as a stylists, I would have replied ‘to try to earn extra cash to afford my dream dog – a French Bulldog.’ Well, that goal was accomplished faster than I ever could have imagined. I placed a deposit on my Frenchie ‘Stella’ in November 2016 and in January 2017 she joined our family. From then on my ‘why’ has snowballed into #amillionreasons - Here are just a few…*freedom to work wherever & whenever I want *financial freedom for all of life’s ‘extras’ *opportunity to travel -- What would you ‘why’ be? How could this sparkly side hustle change your life?”
  • “FUN. FASHION. FRIENDS. FINANCIAL FREEDOM = Stella & Dot!” Image with copy stating “MAKE MONEY AT HOME – HOUSE PARTIES”
  • “Your Stella & Dot business will give you financial freedom, flexibility, fun, and style”
  • “It’s no secret that Stella & Dot has brought so many amazing blessings into my life – friendships, financial freedom, and more empowerment than I ever thought possible…#FinancialFreedom”
  • “I’ve been searching for right at 7 years for a fun, creative way to achieve financial freedom while at home with my littles.”
  • “If you have followed me in my S&D journey over the last 4 years, you know full well that S&D has brought be nothing but joy and has given me that little extra "financial freedom" (and when I say little I mean $1000+ a month... sometimes $10,000+ a month - YUP!!! YOU HEARD CORRECT!!! $10,000!!!!!!!). You can have this too!”
  • “Stella & Dot is my selfcare everyday!!!  Community, connections, flexibility, financial freedom, product, fun and a little something just for me.”
  • “July 2020, Sales Earnings Details, Monthly Earnings: $6,542.28”

 

DSSRC informed Stella & DOT of its concern that a reasonable consumer may interpret these and similar claims to mean that salesforce members can earn significant, career level, or replacement income from the Stella & DOT business opportunity. 

As stated in DSSRC’s Guidance on Earnings Claims for the Direct Selling Industry, while DSSRC will evaluate any claim based upon the context in which the claim appears and the potential net impression of such claim to the audience, some words and phrases commonly used in earnings claims can carry a particularly high risk of being misleading to consumers. Such words and phrases include claims such as “financial freedom,” “full-time income,” “replacement income,” “residual income,” and “career-level income.” Furthermore, earnings claims must be substantiated and representative of a level of earnings that can be generally expected by the audience. 

Stella & DOT did not contest DSSRC’s concerns and committed to take steps to remove all social media posts in question from circulation. All challenged claims are several years old, and some claims were made by individuals no longer in the Stella & DOT salesforce.

DSSRC appreciated Stella & DOT’s good faith actions to remove the challenged claims from circulation but remained concerned that only three of the 12 identified posts have been taken down, and that five of the remaining posts are from active Stella & DOT salesforce members.

If Stella & DOT is not successful in its attempts to have all challenged posts removed from social media, DSSRC has asked that Stella & DOT use Facebook’s reporting mechanism for intellectual property violations and, if necessary, contact the platform in writing to request the removal of the remaining social media posts. In addition, for the currently active Stella & DOT salesforce members responsible for challenged posts, if those salesforce members remain unresponsive or fail to remove the claims, DSSRC has requested that the company take enforcement action against those members. 

All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For full text of DSSRC decisions, visit the DSSRC Cases and Closures webpage.

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