BBB National Programs’ Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Applauds Federal Trade Commission’s Warning Letters on Coronavirus Claims

 

Arlington, VA – April 28, 2020 – BBB National Programs’ vice president of the Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC), Peter Marinello, today applauded the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s April 24 action to send 10 warning letters to direct selling businesses disseminating inaccurate claims about the ability of their products to treat or prevent coronavirus disease, as well as claims that their salesforce members can earn significant income during the current pandemic that is not representative of the amount of income that their salesforce members generally earn. 

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there currently are no products that are scientifically proven to treat or prevent the virus. 

Marinello issued the following statement: 

“Now is the time for direct selling companies to step up and fulfill their commitment to self-regulation. The actions taken by the FTC are consistent with the recent guidance issued by both DSSRC and the Direct Selling Association (DSA) cautioning direct selling companies against expressly claiming or implying that their products can prevent, treat, alleviate, or cure COVID-19 and its symptoms. 

“Several of the direct selling companies that received warnings letters from the FTC have also been the subject of recent DSSRC self-regulatory inquiries. They have committed to take significant steps to monitor their salesforce and refrain from communicating any claims that could be interpreted as offering protection from COVID-19 or its symptoms. 

“DSSRC remains concerned with the continued proliferation of these claims and will continue to monitor the advertising messages of these direct selling companies as well as other companies in the industry to make sure they adhere to appropriate and ethical advertising standards throughout this pandemic.”  

To submit a challenge to a COVID-19 or other problematic health-related claim, visit  https://bbbprograms.org/docs/default-source/dssrc/filing-a-dssrc-challenge.pdf for direct selling companies and  https://bbbprograms.org/programs/all-programs/national-advertising-division for other advertising claims. 

###

Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC): An expeditious system for review of advertising and marketing in the direct selling industry to discourage unsubstantiated claims and enhance consumer confidence in those practices. For more information about the DSSRC and its commitment to truthful and accurate advertising, please visit  https://bbbprograms.org/programs/all-programs/dssrc

About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is a non-profit that fosters trust, innovation, and competition in the marketplace through the development and delivery of cost-effective, third-party self-regulation, dispute resolution and other programs. BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumers’ trust and consumers are heard. BBB National Programs is the home of leading industry self-regulatory and dispute resolution programs that include the National Advertising Division (NAD), National Advertising Review Board (NARB), BBB EU Privacy Shield, BBB AUTO LINE, Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), Children’s Confection Advertising Initiative (CCAI), Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC), Digital Advertising Accountability Program (Accountability Program), and the Coalition for Better Advertising Dispute Resolution Program (CBA DRM). The programs are designed to resolve business issues and advance shared objectives by responding to marketplace concerns to create a better customer experience. To learn more about industry self-regulation, please visit: BBBNP.org

Latest News

Press Release

BBB National Programs’ Privacy Watchdog Issues Compliance Warning Regarding Consent for Interest-Based Advertising

McLean, VA – June 21, 2022 – BBB National Programs’ data privacy watchdog, the Digital Advertising Accountability Program (DAAP), has issued a new compliance warning against the practice of inferring consent from a consumer’s passive use of a product or service following a notice of interest-based advertising (IBA).

Read the Press Release
Press Release

Justin Connor Named Executive Director for The Center for Industry Self-Regulation, a Foundation Created by BBB National Programs

McLean, VA – May 17, 2022 – Recognizing a timely opportunity to promote and grow the next generation of independent industry self-regulation programs, The Center for Industry Self-Regulation today named Justin Connor as its inaugural Executive Director. The announcement was made by Eric D. Reicin, President...

Read the Press Release
Press Release

Companies Agree to Expand Age Coverage under Children’s Food & Beverage Advertising Initiative Core Principles

The nation’s 20 leading food, beverage, and quick serve restaurant companies have agreed to strengthen their voluntary commitments for responsible food advertising to children under the BBB National Programs Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) 6th Edition Core Principles.
Read the Press Release
Press Release

Hostess Brands Joins the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative Pledge Program

The Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) welcomes Hostess Brands as the newest participant in BBB National Programs’ food advertising pledge program. Hostess has agreed to advertise only foods that meet CFBAI’s Uniform Nutrition Criteria in advertising primarily directed to children under age 13. Hostess’ CFBAI pledge is...

Read the Press Release