DSSRC Administrative Closure #53

DSSRC contacted a direct selling company about twelve social media posts disseminated by its salesforce members. The subject social media posts came to DSSRC’s attention pursuant to its independent monitoring of advertising in the direct selling marketplace. Specifically, DSSRC expressed concern that the social media posts conveyed unsubstantiated health-related claims that the Company’s direct selling products can protect against COVID-19 and various other health related ailments/conditions.

Nine of the posts in question specifically referenced COVID-19. More specifically, all nine of the posts had a common theme claiming that the Company’s products can help protect an individual from contracting COVID-19 by boosting their immune system. One of the posts went to the extent of claiming that CNN reported breaking news stating that the Company’s products will cure COVID-19. The other three posts contained generic health related product claims that the Company’s products can help treat or cure various health conditions such as cancer, fights against infections, controls high blood pressure, helps regulate diabetes, and can even act as an anti-aging supplement.

In response to DSSRC’s inquiry, the Company informed DSSRC that upon receipt of the inquiry it immediately took action to identify and remove the claims. Many of the claims were traced back to independent distributors located outside of the U.S., so the company took the proper actions in contacting the relevant country managers in order to notify the independent distributors of their violations. The Company was successful in removing all twelve of the social media posts. Additionally, the Company assured DSSRC that they take these matters very seriously and have educated all of their independent distributors of the Company’s policies. The Company has also set up an internal review system in order to monitor all social media postings made by independent distributors.

DSSRC expressed its appreciation to the Company for its efforts in promptly removing the posts. As a result of the prompt actions taken by the Company, DSSRC administratively closed the inquiry.

(closed 7/10/2020)