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