DSSRC Administrative Closure #34

DSSRC contacted a direct selling company regarding two Facebook posts that referenced the corona virus. The first post discussed the necessity to “slow the spread of corona virus,” accompanied by a picture of the Company’s product. Viewers of the post are required to scroll down the screen to view language disclosing that, although the product has been proven to eliminate almost all viruses, it has not been tested against the COVID-19 virus. DSSRC expressed concern that the post could be reasonably interpreted as an implied claim that the product is effective against COVID-19 and that the disclosure was not clear and conspicuous nor in close proximity to the triggering claim.

In a second Facebook post, a member of the Company’s salesforce references the “fears and concerns about the Coronavirus pandemic outbreak” and that “According to the CDC, the Coronavirus may remain on surfaces for hours or days depending on surfaces and people within 6’ of each other can be infected with the virus.” A picture of the Company’s product is featured prominently alongside the post. DSSRC again determined that it would be reasonable for consumers to interpret the claim as meaning that the subject product is effective against COVID-19. The Company acknowledged that it could not support this implied claim.

Immediately after learning about the existence of the posts, the Company contacted the salesforce members responsible for the Facebook pages and had the posts removed. The Company provided DSSRC with a detailed explanation of its internal compliance process and the steps it has taken to advise its salesforce members of statements of product performance that have not been authorized by the Company. The Company expressed it regret that the posts were not flagged by its compliance team and informed DSSRC that it was in the process of taking steps to provide additional educational resources for its salesforce team.

(closed on 06/08/20)