DSSRC Refers Health-Related Product and Earnings Claims for Bulavita to FTC
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McLean, VA – April 20, 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 Bulavita, a direct selling company offering muscadine-based health and nutritional supplement products, failed to respond to DSSRC’s inquiry.
At issue in DSSRC’s inquiry are earnings and health-related product performance claims disseminated on the company website and by salesforce members implying that Bulavita products can prevent and/or treat several serious health-related conditions, including COVID-19. In addition, Bulavita salesforce members have made unsupported representations in social media posts about income that can be earned as a member of the Bulavita salesforce.
The following representative claims were brought to Bulavita’s attention by the DSSRC as part of its ongoing independent monitoring of the direct selling marketplace.
Product claims include, but are not limited to:
- “Get paid while boosting your immune system, let’s fight this thing together…” with an image with copy stating “Get the Power Immune Pack! Amp up your Core Health with Organic Pink Fijian Ginger, Organic Fijian Turmeric, and Tea Tree essential oil!”
- “How are you boosting your immune system?" with an image depicting COVID-19 virus with copy stating “3 Strategies to Bolster your Immune System”
- “Are you worried about the Corona Virus with your health or finances?"
- "You can boost your immune system and health while boosting your wealth!”
- “The antioxidant, antibacterial and antibiofilm properties of muscadine polyphenols provide strong resistance against selected foodborne pathogens such as staphylococcus and E-coli”
Earnings claims include, but are not limited to:
- “Income opportunity of a lifetime.”
- “A better way to generate income. A better way to free up their time so that they can live life to the fullest.”
- “We’re willing to pay you a ridiculous amount of money”
- “Whether you’re looking for a side gig, a new career or the opportunity of a lifetime.”
- “The road ahead is wide open. No caps. No limits.”
- “Building a significant income”
- “We know there’s a better way to earn unlimited income. (picture of lavish lifestyle – woman sailing on boat).”
- “Earn residual income and be your own boss and create that walk-away income for you and family for generations to come.”
In March 2021, DSSRC commenced a self-regulatory inquiry involving these and other claims. Unfortunately, despite repeated efforts, Bulavita did not respond to this inquiry.
In accordance with DSSRC’s Policies and Procedures, if a company does not respond to DSSRC or declines to participate, DSSRC will issue a case decision indicating the company was unresponsive or declined to participate in the DSSRC process and refer the matter to the appropriate government agency. Accordingly, based upon Bulavita’s failure to participate in the self-regulatory process, DSSRC referred this matter to the FTC.
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.