DSSRC Administrative Closure #144
The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) contacted a direct selling company (“Company”) regarding two Facebook posts disseminated by Company salesforce members. The first post featured a depiction of the Company’s line of products in front of a backdrop that listed several serious health conditions including, but not limited to, cancer, lupus, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The second social media post at issue included the claim “Take control of your financial freedom.”
The Company agreed that that the first post communicated an unauthorized claim that its product would be effective to treat the listed health-related conditions and that the Company had no intention of attempting to substantiate the truthfulness of the claim.
Moreover, according to section 6 of the DSSRC Guidance on Earnings Claims for the Direct Selling Industry, “[W]hile 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.”
Accordingly, based upon the context of the “financial freedom” representation in the second post at issue, DSSRC determined that the claim was inappropriately disseminated.
Two days after the Company was made aware of DSSRC’s concerns, it advised DSSRC that it was able to contact the salesforce members responsible for the posts and have the posts removed. Accordingly, DSSRC administratively closed the inquiry pursuant to the DSSRC Policy & Procedures based upon the prompt actions taken by the Company to disable the two Facebook posts.
(closed on 03/11/21)