DSSRC Administrative Closure #35

DSSRC contacted a direct selling company about a social media post depicting the company’s name alongside an image of a hand stopping a coronavirus particle. The subject social media posts came to DSSRC’s attention pursuant to its independent monitoring of advertising in the direct selling marketplace. DSSRC expressed concern to the direct selling company that the post conveyed unsubstantiated product claims that the Company’s products can protect against COVID-19.

The direct selling company promptly responded to DSSRC’s inquiry and stated that the company shared DSSRC’s valid concerns regarding this type of claim. The direct selling company stated that it was working diligently to address claims related to COVID-19 in connection with the company’s products and that its compliance team has been working hard to monitor the internet and communicating to the field informing them that is not allowed and is unethical to make any claims related to any of the company’s products in connection with a cure, prevention or even help in anyway against COVID-19.

In this particular case, the company informed DSSRC that it was not able to obtain a response from the distributor responsible for the Facebook post.  The company provided DSSRC with a copy of a message it sent directly through Facebook requesting the removal of this post immediately. In addition to sending a direct message to the distributor, the company also sent notifications to the email address on file, left several voice messages to the phone number on file, contacted the distributors upline leaders for assistance, blocked the distributor’s back office until communication has been established and ultimately terminated the distributor.

In addition to the steps above the direct selling company also submitted a trademark infringement report to Facebook seeking removal of the post. While the company was not successful in having the post removed from Facebook, DSSRC acknowledged the company’s good faith efforts to remove this post and administratively closed the inquiry.

(closed on 6/25/2020)