Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Refers Tori Belle to the Federal Trade Commission for Possible Enforcement Action
McLean, VA – August 16, 2023 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) of BBB National Programs recommended that Tori Belle Cosmetics discontinue certain earnings claims made by salesforce members on Facebook and YouTube. After a sustained lack of response from Tori Belle, DSSRC has referred direct selling company Tori Belle to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for possible enforcement action.
The inquiry into Tori Belle, which markets beauty and cosmetics products, was commenced by DSSRC through its ongoing independent monitoring of advertising and marketing claims in the direct selling industry.
The earnings claims that formed the basis of this inquiry include, but are not limited to:
- “Honestly, weather you just want to feed your lash addiction on a discount, want to get a bill paid each month, or are looking for a full-on supplemental or replacement income- it is all do-able!”
- “Who wants a free vacation?! I can't believe this, guys. These magnetic lashes have been flying off the shelves so much that I earned a free trip to an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico! And in just under 4 months.
- “You can supplement your income with just minutes a day work!...I’ve been with the company just under 2 months and I am making money and enjoying my new business”
- “financial freedom”
- “Are you looking for something to do from home to supplement your income or even to replace lost income”
- “Now is a great time to have a second income or to create a full time business.”
- Compensation Plan; [05:28] If you were to sell $3,000 worth of product…you would earn $1,200 in commission…the sky’s the limit
- “how about we transform you bank account with a second income stream. Join me and let me show you how to have fun while building an empire…Earn Bonus incentives such as bonus pay & travel credits… Let me help you with that car note, mortgage or tuition! It’s your choice. #multiplestreamsofincome”
As stated in DSSRC’s Guidance on Earnings Claims for the Direct Selling Industry, 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 salesforce members.
When DSSRC opened its inquiry and informed Tori Belle of its concern that these types of earnings claims can lead a reasonable consumer to conclude that salesforce members can earn significant, career-level, or replacement income from the Tori Belle business opportunity, Tori Belle indicated that the posts in question were more than three years old and that the dates on the social media posts had been altered.
When a direct selling salesforce member has disseminated an unsupported, inaccurate, or deceptive claim, the direct selling company cannot evade responsibility. DSSRC reached out to Tori Belle to discuss the alleged alteration of the social media post dates and let them know that even if the posts are old and the salesforce members responsible for the posts are no longer active with the company, Tori Belle is nonetheless responsible for making a bona fide, good faith effort to have the posts discontinued.
DSSRC received no substantive response from Tori Belle to this and other communications and all 12 of the posts at issue in this case remain available to the public.
DSSRC remains extremely concerned about the unsupported earnings claims and Tori Belle’s failure to demonstrate that it has made any effort to contact the individuals responsible for the posts to have the claims removed or alert the social media platform of the unauthorized representation. As such, and pursuant to DSSRC Policies and Procedures, DSSRC has referred Tori Belle to the FTC for possible enforcement action.
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