Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Refers Business Opportunity Claims for Fortress Network, LLC to the FTC

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

703.247.9330 / press@bbbnp.org

New York, NY – November 5, 2020 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) of BBB National Programs has referred certain marketing claims made by Fortress Network, LLC (Fortress) to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for possible enforcement action after Fortress failed to participate in the self-regulatory process. At issue in DSSRC’s inquiry were income and business opportunity representations made by the peer-to-peer marketing platform concerning the amount of money that Fortress salesforce members could reasonably expect to earn from related business opportunities. 

The challenged marketing for Fortress was identified through DSSRC’s ongoing independent monitoring of the direct selling marketplace as part of its responsibility as the industry’s self-regulatory forum. DSSRC requested substantiation for business opportunity representations that were disseminated on a video located on the Fortress website.  

The business opportunity claims reviewed by DSSRC were representative examples of those made generally in the marketplace on behalf of Fortress and included: 

  • “The most significant benefit is the opportunity to earn ongoing residual income for your direct role in bringing new members to the Fortress community and growing the Fortress ecosystem. The compensation plan enables every member of the opportunity to generate a monthly residual income that balloons into a monthly income of near $30,000 per month. The power of the internet, social media, and your contacts makes it easy for your personal community to rapidly expand and generate an ongoing income while you sleep, travel, or play.  
  • “Now you’re earning over a $1,000 a month. Now what would you do with a $1,000 a month.”
  • “Now you have a potential of more than $3,000 a month. What’re you going to do now? Buy a new car, get a new house, are you still going to continue to work for someone else? There’s just so many things you can do with an additional $3,000”
  • Look what happens when your seventh level goes out and brings in their three people. Now you’re making over $9,000 a month. Need I say more.”
  • “Look what happens when your level eight goes out and brings in their three people. You would now be earning $19,000 on your ninth level alone. And when you add all your levels together, that’s $29,593 every single month you can potentially earn by becoming a Fortress member.”
  • “Tell your friends and family about this, show them this incredible opportunity and you can have a potential of nearly $30,000 a month.”
  • “Once you get a full Matrix you will earn an additional $10,000 monthly bonus indefinitely. That’s right, $10,000 monthly bonus for the rest of your life. So now we’re talking nearly $40,000 every single month for you doing something that you do already anyway.”
  • “In Fortress, you add all of your levels together and that’s your monthly income. Now look what happens when your matrix begins to fill up. We are a 3x9 force matrix, so that means you have the potential of earning over $29,000 and this happens very rapidly because social media is so powerful.” 


DSSRC brought the representative claims identified above to Fortress’ attention multiple times, beginning in September 2020 and requested substantiation for the claims. Fortress failed to respond to DSSRC’s requests for substantiation for its business opportunity claims. 

In accordance with DSSRC’s Policies and Procedures, in the event the company whose marketing is the subject of a DSSRC inquiry fails to participate in the self-regulatory process, DSSRC may refer the matter to an appropriate government agency for review and possible law enforcement action.  

All DSSRC written case decisions can be found on our website.  

### 

About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org. 

About the Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council: The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC), a division of BBB National Programs, provides independent, impartial monitoring, dispute resolution, and enforcement of false product claims and income representations made by direct selling companies and their salesforce members across digital platforms. The DSSRC seeks to establish high standards of integrity and business ethics for all direct selling companies in the marketplace.   

Latest Decisions

Decision

NAD Finds “Scientifically Formulated” Claim for Morning Recovery Dietary Supplement Supported; Recommends Modification of “80% Improvement” Claim

New York, NY – July 27, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that More Labs, Inc.’s claim that its Morning Recovery dietary supplement is “scientifically formulated to help you bounce back after drinking” was supported. NAD recommended, however,...

Read the Decision
Decision

Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Recommends Mary Kay Modify and Discontinue Certain Social Media and Website Marketing Earnings Claims

McLean, VA – July 22, 2021 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) recommended that Mary Kay Inc. modify or discontinue certain express and implied earnings, incentive, and lifestyle claims from social media and corporate marketing materials, including the Mary Kay website. These claims...

Read the Decision
Decision

DSSRC Refers Earnings and Health-Related Product Performance Claims for Alliance in Motion to FTC

McLean, VA – July 22, 2021 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) of BBB National Programs referred certain representative product performance and earnings claims to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for possible enforcement action after Alliance in Motion Global, a direct selling company that distributes and markets food...

Read the Decision
Decision

National Advertising Division Finds Claim that Kerasal Fungal Nail Renewal “Starts Improving Nail Appearance in Just 2 Days” Supported

New York, NY – July 21, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that Advantice provided a reasonable basis for the claim that its Kerasal Fungal Nail Renewal product “starts improving nail appearance in just 2 days.” 

Read the Decision