DSSRC Administrative Closure #270
The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) contacted a direct selling company (“Company”) that markets CBD products regarding eleven product performance claims and one earnings claim disseminated on social media by Company salesforce members. The claims at issue were disseminated on Twitter, TikTok, Facebook and Instagram. Although several of the social media posts were disseminated in 2019 or earlier, several other posts were communicated as recently as 2022.
DSSRC contacted the Company and expressed its concern that the product performance posts included representations that the Company’s products could treat a series of health-related conditions including, inflammation, joint pain, migraines, depression, anxiety, weight loss and insomnia. The earnings claim at issue referenced “generational wealth” that could be created through the participation in the Company’s business opportunity.
The Company acknowledged that the product claims and earnings claim at issue were not appropriate and did not attempt to provide evidence to support the claims. Within days after receiving DSSR’s Notice of Inquiry, the Company was able to remove all but one of the twelve posts at issue.
With respect to the one remaining post which was disseminated in 2020 by an inactive salesforce member on Twitter and included an “immune-boosting” claim, the Company demonstrated to DSSRC that it made a good-faith effort to have the post removed or significantly modified. More specifically, the Company provided documentation to DSSRC indicating that it had tried to contact the individual responsible for the post two times to request removal, but its correspondence went unanswered. Notwithstanding, the Company then contacted the social media platform on two separate occasions to report the violation and provided DSSRC with a screen shot from Twitter showing that the platform was processing the request.
DSSRC determined the actions taken by the company were necessary and appropriate. As noted in Federal Trade Commission’s Health Products Compliance Guidance, marketers need to ensure that there is adequate support for their claims and claims about the health benefits of a product must still meet the basic substantiation standard of “competent and reliable scientific evidence.”1 Moreover, it is well established that health-related claims must be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. The FTC generally defines competent and reliable scientific evidence as: “test, analyses, research, studies, or other evidence based on the expertise of professionals in the relevant area that has been conducted and evaluated in an objective manner by persons qualified to do so, using procedures generally accepted in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results”.2
In conclusion, DSSRC determined that the Company demonstrated that it made a genuine, good faith attempt to address the concerns Aat issue by removing eleven of the twelve posts that were brought to its attention and taking the appropriate steps to have the remaining social media post at issue removed. Given the Company’s bona fide efforts to address DSSRC’s concerns, the inquiry was administratively closed.
(Administrative Closure #270, closed on 4/21/23)
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 Se FTC’s Health Products Compliance Guidance, page 13.
 See, Vital Basics, Inc., C-4107 (Consent April 26, 2004); see also In Re Schering