DSSRC Administrative Closure #226

The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) contacted a direct selling company (“Company”) that offers nutritional beverages regarding certain earnings and product claims that were disseminated on social media by the Company’s salesforce members. More specifically, the seven earnings claims and twelve product claims at issue were all communicated on Facebook. The product claims brought to the Company’s attention pertained to representations that the Company’s products could be used to relieve a number of serious health-related conditions including, but not limited to, headaches, fibromyalgia, diabetes, attention deficit disorder, autism and COVID-19.  The earnings claims communicated by salesforce members indicated, among other things, that the Company’s business opportunity provided an opportunity to earn $10,000 and $20,000 and free cars and incentive trips. 

DSSRC notes that a majority of the posts at issue were disseminated before the Company was acquired by a larger company in 2019. Once informed of the posts by DSSRC, the Company immediately began reaching out to the salesforce members in question and was successful in disabling sixteen of the nineteen pots at issue. The Company did not attempt to try and support the claims at issue and conceded that all of the claims are in violation of Company Policy. DSSRC agreed that the Company’s actions to have the posts removed was necessary and appropriate. 

Shortly after its receipt of DSSRC’s Notice of Inquiry, the Company informed DSSRC that all but three of the nineteen posts had been removed. With respect to the remaining posts, DSSRC was informed that one of the posts was from 2013 and the name used in the post did not match with any existing Brand Partner account.  The Company twice sent take down notices to the salesforce member at the email address on the Facebook account and contacted them twice via Facebook messenger. The second post that is still publicly accessible was from 2020 and the individual did not respond to any of the Company’s correspondence. Subsequently, that partner account was terminated. The third remaining claim originated from a post that was disseminated in 2015 and the salesforce member has not been responsive to the Company’s outreach. The Company indicated to DSSRC that this account has also since been terminated. 

In addition, to these enforcement measures, the Company indicated to DSSRC that it has contacted Facebook with a request to have the remaining three posts disabled and should the platform be unresponsive to the Company’s request, it is prepared to pursue any remedies available to it based upon the Company’s intellectual property rights.  

While DSSRC was very concerned with the egregiousness of the social media posts that were brought to the Company’s attention, it agreed that once notified of the posts, the Company made a good faith effort to have almost all of the posts in this inquiry removed and that it has taken the necessary steps to address the remaining three posts. Based upon the Company’s responsiveness, DSSRC administratively closed this matter.  

(Administrative Closure #226, closed on March 28, 2022) 
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