DSSRC Administrative Closure #281

The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) contacted a direct selling company (“Company”) regarding seven product performance claims disseminated on Facebook by Company salesforce members.

DSSRC expressed concern that the claims at issue communicated the message that the Company’s products could treat a series of health-related conditions including anxiety, brain fog, high blood pressure, and irregular heartbeat, and boost the immune system which could prevent other illnesses.

The Company recognized that the product performance claims at issue were not appropriate and did not attempt to provide evidence to support the claims. Shortly after commencement of the inquiry, the Company began contacting the salesforce members responsible for the claims at issue to have the posts removed. In each instance where a salesforce member was nonresponsive, the Company contacted Facebook directly to have the post removed. The Company was ultimately successful in removing all seven of the social media posts that were identified by DSSRC.1 The Company also informed DSSRC that it has been working with a third-party monitoring platform to flag and resolve non-compliant social media posts.

 DSSRC determined the actions taken by the company were necessary and appropriate. As DSSRC has noted in past cases, it is well established that health-related claims must be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. The Federal Trade Commission generally defines competent and reliable scientific evidence as “tests, analyses, research, or studies that (1) have been conducted and evaluated in an objective manner by experts in the relevant disease, condition, or function to which the representation relates; and (2) are generally accepted in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results.”2 In the absence of such evidence, health-related performance claims will be deemed unsubstantiated.

DSSRC appreciated the prompt, good faith effort made by the Company to address the concerns at issue in this inquiry. Based upon the Company’s actions to remove all seven of the Facebook posts brought to its attention, DSSRC administratively closed this inquiry.

(Administrative Closure #281, closed on 6/27/23)
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[1] One additional, eighth claim identified by DSSRC and initially brought to the Company’s attention was later determined not to be affiliated with the Company or its salesforce members.

[2] Fed. Trade Comm’n, Health Products Compliance Guidance 12 (2022), https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/ftc_gov/pdf/Health-Guidance-508.pdf.