Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Recommends SwissJust Discontinue Certain Health-Related Product Performance and Earnings Claims
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McLean, VA – September 15, 2021 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) of BBB National Programs recommended that certain product performance and earnings claims made by SwissJust USA, a direct selling company that markets and distributes natural products for emotional, physical, and dermo-cosmetic well-being, and its salesforce be discontinued. Central to this inquiry was a concern that the challenged product performance claims communicated that SwissJust products can treat and protect against serious health-related conditions, including COVID-19.
The inquiry was commenced by DSSRC through its ongoing independent monitoring of advertising and marketing claims in the direct selling industry. The claims that were the subject of the inquiry were disseminated by SwissJust salesforce members on social media.
Product Claims include, but are not limited to:
- Perfect duo fights viruses and bacteria clears the airways relieves cough, asthma, sinusitis, rhinitis, allergies, respiratory (translated from Spanish)
- strengthens the immune system, bactericidal disinfectant, relieve the stress, defenses corona times (translated from Spanish)
- Prevention by CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19). Strengthen your immune system using natural methods. #just #swissjust #coronavirus #covid #covid19
- Eucasol: antiviral, asthma, bronchitis, congestion, cough, emphysema, influenza, pneumonia, sinusitis
As noted in previous DSSRC cases, health-related claims must be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence, as defined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). DSSRC informed SwissJust of its concern that these product claims may convey unsubstantiated health-related and wellness benefits. SwissJust did not contest DSSRC’s concerns.
- Be Part of our Team SwissJust - You can make SwissJust a full time job or simply earn extra income to pay for life’s little extras
DSSRC informed SwissJust of its concern that a reasonable consumer may interpret these and similar claims to mean that salesforce members can earn significant income from the SwissJust business opportunity and again, SwissJust did not contest DSSRC’s concerns.
As stated in DSSRC’s Guidance on Earnings Claims for the Direct Selling Industry, while 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.” Furthermore, earnings claims must be substantiated and representative of a level of earnings that can be generally expected by the audience.
DSSRC requested that SwissJust immediately remove any and all social media posts indicating that its products are efficacious against serious health-related conditions as well as the challenged claims that SwissJust salesforce members will receive significant income from the SwissJust business opportunity.
While DSSRC appreciated the company’s commitment to having the subject posts removed from social media, DSSRC remained concerned that the posts are still publicly available.
Though SwissJust is an international company with many salesforce members located outside of the United States, DSSRC reminded SwissJust that it is nonetheless responsible for the truthfulness and accuracy of product and/or business opportunity claims disseminated by its independent salesforce members. If the post originated from a salesforce member that is no longer an active member of SwissJust’s salesforce, DSSRC will request that the company demonstrate that it made a a good faith effort to have the improper content removed, such as providing DSSRC with a copy of the takedown requests that were sent to the salesforce members responsible for the content.
At the time of this case decision publication, SwissJust has yet to provide DSSRC with copies of the takedown requests that were sent to salesforce members and many of the challenged claims remain accessible to the public. If SwissJust does not remove unsupported product performance and earnings claims from social media, DSSRC will have no recourse but to refer this matter to the appropriate governmental agencies.
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.