DSSRC Administrative Closure #291
The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) contacted a direct selling company (“Company”) specializing in the clean air industry regarding ten earnings claims disseminated on social media by Company salesforce members. DSSRC contacted the Company and expressed concern that the posts, which were communicated on Facebook, YouTube and Linked-In, included representations that prospective salesforce members can achieve “financial freedom,” “full-time income”, “massive wealth” and a ”6 figure income every month.”
The Company did not attempt to provide evidence to support the claims identified by DSSRC. Rather, the Company promptly effectuated removal of five of the ten claims. After further correspondence with DSSRC, the Company was able to effectuate the removal of one remaining claim (i.e., “financial freedom”) on Linked In. With respect to two of the social media posts that remain publicly available, the Company provided DSSRC with copies of letters that were sent to the inactive salesforce members responsible for the posts. The Company further indicated to DSSRC that it was unable to identify the individuals responsible for the two remaining posts.
DSSRC determined that the Company’s actions were necessary and appropriate and concluded that the Company demonstrated a bona fide, good faith effort to address DSSRC’s concerns by removing or significantly modifying six of the ten social media posts brought to its attention and by providing DSSRC with copies of letters sent to the two inactive salesforce members that were responsible for posts that remain accessible to consumers. Regarding the two posts for which the Company could not ascertain the individuals responsible, DSSRC noted the claims at issue were related to “passive income” and “residual income” and confirmed that the posts were communicated by third party entities, not individuals, that conducted reviews of direct selling business opportunities. Notwithstanding, DSSRC recommended that the Company contact the social media platforms (i.e., Facebook and YouTube) where the posts appeared and report the content as unauthorized and as violations of its intellectual property rights. The Company acknowledged DSSRC’s recommendations and indicated that it was in the process of contacting the platforms.
Based upon the Company’s efforts to address DSSRC’s concerns, this inquiry was administratively closed.
(Administrative Closure #291, closed on 10/04/23)
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