DSSRC Administrative Closure #260
The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) contacted a direct-selling company (“Company”) that markets dietary supplement products regarding six product performance claims that were disseminated on social media by the Company’s salesforce members and as well as weight-loss depictions and testimonials that appeared on the Company’s website. DSSRC expressed its concerns regarding the claims that the Company’s product can treat several health-related conditions including, but not limited to, diabetes, depression, hormonal imbalances, fibromyalgia, high cholesterol and blood pressure. The Company website also featured before and after weight loss depictions and weight-loss testimonials that did not include disclosures of the weight-loss that could be generally expected by the typical product user.
In its response to DSSRC, the Company explained that its monitoring vendor had previously identified several of the posts that DSSRC brought to its attention and confirmed that the Company removed five of the six social media posts at issue and all of the before-and-after weight loss images and testimonials that appeared on the website. With respect to the remaining social media post, the Company informed DSSRC that the individual responsible for the post had a “retail-only account” that had never placed any orders and that the Company had unsuccessfully attempted to contact the individual on three separate occasions after learning about the post. The Company terminated the individual’s account in November 2022 and committed to DSSRC that it would be contacting Facebook to request that the post be removed because of unauthorized content. DSSRC determined that the actions taken by the Company were necessary and appropriate.
Lastly, the Company explained that it has recently conducted training sessions with its salesforce members to reinforce that they should refrain from communicating health-related product performance claims and that before and after photos may be considered implied curative and treatment claims.
Based upon the good faith efforts of the Company to: a) effectuate the removal of all but one of the social media posts at issue; b) remove the weight-loss images and testimonials from the Company website; c) terminate the account of the individual responsible for the remaining social media post and: d) follow-up with Facebook to request that the remaining post be removed, DSSRC administratively closed its inquiry, DSSRC administratively closed its inquiry.
(Administrative Closure #260, closed on 12/16/22)
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