Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Recommends Visi Discontinue Certain Health-Related Product Performance Claims

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

703.247.9330 / press@bbbnp.org 

McLean, VA – October 25, 2022 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) of BBB National Programs recommended that certain health-related product performance claims made by Visi and its salesforce members be discontinued. 

The inquiry was commenced by DSSRC through its ongoing independent monitoring of advertising and marketing claims in the direct selling industry. The claims that were the subject of the inquiry were disseminated by Visi salesforce members on Facebook, YouTube, and appeared on the Visi website. Visi is a direct-selling company that sells a variety of health-related products, including protein, essential oils, and extracts. 

Product Claims include, but are not limited to:

  • “Collagen helps turn back the clock. Maintaining adequate collagen levels can help you prevent (and sometimes reverse) wrinkling and sagging skin. And it can also effectively promote thicker and glowing hair, hard-as-nails nails, and even improve your eyesight. It helps prevent disease. Collagen helps maintain a healthy gut, which is important because 90% of all diseases and chronic issues start there.”
  • “What did I lose? 170 lbs.,180 narcotic pain meds, 90 muscle relaxers per month, my cane, size 4X clothing, eating disorder, pain and shame are all GONE!”
  • “…the arctic cloudberry, which stands alone in offering an array of nutritional and healing properties…”
  • “I started Collagen chews about 6 months ago and my back hasn’t felt this good in years!!”
  • “We ALSO use the amino acid LYSINE for at least four amazing processes. 1. Blocking viral replication, particularly the pesky Herpes Simplex Virus that causes cold sores and canker sores. 2. Reducing anxiety by blocking stress response receptors.”
  • “DOES WORK! Since I made the commitment and joined this family, I have kicked severe depression to the curb, lost 75 lbs., gone from a size 14/16 to a ¾ and look and feel younger.”
  • “#Immuniti has been proven to boost the immune system…. #covid”
  • “Protects against damaging bacteria, viruses, pollutants and free radicals…Detoxifies foreign compounds such as carcinogens and harmful metabolites…Adds extra years to your life by preventing the onset of heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and Parkinson’s disease.
  • “I started Collagen chews about 6 months ago and my back hasn’t felt this good in years!!”

 

Visi did not provide substantiation for the testimonial claim nor any indication that the results depicted may be atypical. 

With respect to the posts disseminated by independent salesforce members, DSSRC determined that claims referencing the efficacy of specific ingredients in Visi’s products could be reasonably interpreted by consumers as meaning that the dosage of those ingredients would confer the same health benefits. 

Visi provided no data to DSSRC demonstrating that the products and/or ingredients as contained in its product can provide such health benefits. When making general statements about the efficacy of an ingredient contained in an advertised product, unless an advertiser has consumer perception data showing otherwise, consumers may reasonably interpret ingredient efficacy statements as meaning that the product itself will provide the same results as claimed in the advertisement or social media post. Similarly, when making claims based on ingredients contained in a product, an advertiser bears the burden of demonstrating that the ingredient contained in the product is of the same dosage, formulation, and route of administration as any underlying studies submitted in support of its health claims.

Because Visi did not provide any substantiation or data to back up these claims, DSSRC requested that Visi immediately remove all social media posts indicating that its products are efficacious against the stated health-related conditions and appreciated Visi’s participation in the self-regulatory process and immediate response to DSSRC’s inquiry.

Although Visi did remove one weight loss testimonial from their website, the second testimonial which references extraordinary weight loss achieved by a Visi product user remains accessible to consumers absent any disclosure of typical weight loss results that may be generally expected by consumers. 

While DSSRC appreciates Visi’s good faith efforts, DSSRC recommended that Visi remove the remaining testimonial from their website and make a bona fide good faith effort to have the improper salesforce member claim removed from social media, including by attempting to contact the individual in writing. If the social media platform where the subject post was made provides a mechanism for reporting trademark or copyright violations, Visi should use it to seek the removal of the posts. 

Should DSSRC continue to identify social media posts that include claims such as the health-related and earnings claims outlined in this case, it will commence a compliance inquiry with Visi to evaluate the appropriate steps that have been taken to ensure that such claims are discontinued.

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

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