Case #46-2021: –Monitoring Inquiry– Root Wellness, LLC

The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) is a national advertising self-regulation program administered by BBB National Programs. This inquiry was commenced by DSSRC pursuant to its ongoing independent monitoring of advertising and marketing claims in the direct selling industry. 

Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Recommends RootWellness Discontinue Certain Health-Related Product Performance Claims

McLean, VA – September 23, 2021 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) recommended that certain product performance claims made by Root Wellness, LLC, a direct selling company that markets and distributes health and wellness nutritional supplement products, and its salesforce be discontinued. The inquiry was commenced by DSSRC through its ongoing independent monitoring of advertising and marketing claims in the direct selling industry. The claims that were the subject of the inquiry were disseminated by Root Wellness on the company website and by salesforce members on social media. 

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DSSRC Administrative Closure #198

The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (“DSSRC”) contacted a direct selling company (the “Company”) regarding three social media posts that DSSRC was concerned communicated the message that the Company’s products are effective as a weight-loss supplement and in treating several serious health-related conditions including, but not limited to, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. The posts were identified by DSSRC pursuant to its ongoing, independent monitoring of the direct selling industry.

DSSRC Administrative Closure #197

The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (“DSSRC”) contacted a direct selling company (the “Company”) regarding six social media posts disseminated by salesforce members. DSSRC was concerned that the posts communicated inappropriate earnings claims to consumers and potential salesforce members including representations of financial freedom and monthly income ranging from $500 to $1,000 a month.

Ad Watchers: When Are Advertisers Responsible for Consumer Ratings and Reviews?

In the increasingly digital landscape, the influence of word-of-mouth has gone viral. Before making a purchase, consumers frequently turn to a product or service's reviews and ratings. Since consumers trust what other consumers have to say, brands want to leverage these voices—but are they responsible for them? In this episode, Hal and La Toya explore endorsements and testimonials, as well as the broader category of the implementation of user-generated content in advertising. Listen in to learn about the lines between user-generated content versus testimonials versus endorsements.

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Media Advisory: FTC Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter to Keynote National Advertising Division “Future of Ad Law” 2021 Annual Conference

New York, NY – September 21, 2021 – In its 50th anniversary year, the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs will host the NAD 2021 Annual Conference virtually next week, running Wednesday, September 29 through Friday, October 1. Members of the media are invited to cover NAD 2021 with complimentary registration by emailing press@bbbnp.org.

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National Advertising Division Finds Claim that Almased Diet and Weight Loss Program is “So Safe that Even People with Diabetes Can Use It” Supported

New York, NY – September 16, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that Almased USA, Inc.’s claim that its Almased Diet/Weight Loss Program is “. . . so safe that even people with diabetes can use it” was supported. During the proceeding, the advertiser permanently discontinued certain challenged claims, therefore NAD did not review these permanently discontinued claims on the merits. The claims at issue were challenged by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). 

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National Advertising Division Finds SlimFast “Energy For Hours” Claim Supported; Advertiser Appeals Recommendation to Discontinue “Clinically Proven” Claims

New York, NY – September 15, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that KSF Acquisition Corp. (SlimFast) provided a reasonable basis for its “energy for hours” claim for its SlimFast Food Products & Weight Loss Plans. However, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue certain "clinically proven" claims. The claims at issue, which appeared on the advertiser’s product labels, website, and app, were challenged by Simply Good Foods.

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    Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Recommends SwissJust Discontinue Certain Health-Related Product Performance and Earnings Claims

    McLean, VA – September 15, 2021 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) recommended that certain product performance and earnings claims made by SwissJust USA, a direct selling company that markets and distributes natural products for emotional, physical, and dermo-cosmetic well-being, and its salesforce be discontinued. Central to this inquiry was a concern that the challenged product performance claims communicated that SwissJust products can treat and protect against serious health-related conditions, including COVID-19.

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    What Do CARU’s Revised Guidelines Mean for Advertisers?

    Despite this generation’s comfort navigating digital spaces today, they still face the same cognitive limitations – and therefore, vulnerabilities – that they always have. This reality is just one of the reasons that BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) recently issued revised guidelines to assure that advertising directed to children is not deceptive, unfair, or inappropriate for its intended audience.

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    National Advertising Division Refers Advertising Claims for Gravity Defyer Shoes to Federal Trade Commission for Possible Enforcement Action

    New York, NY – September 14, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs is disappointed that Gravity Defyer Medical Technology Corporation declined to participate in the industry self-regulation process. As a result of the advertiser’s failure to participate, NAD has referred advertising claims for their Gravity Defyer shoes to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for review.

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    DSSRC Administrative Closure #196

    The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (“DSSRC”) contacted a direct selling company (the “Company”) regarding five Facebook posts that DSSRC was concerned communicated unsubstantiated health and wellness benefits claims that the Company’s products can protect against health-related conditions including COVID-19. The posts were identified by DSSRC pursuant to its ongoing, independent monitoring of the direct selling industry.

    DSSRC Administrative Closure #195

    The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (“DSSRC”) contacted a direct selling company (the “Company”) regarding two social media posts (i.e., one YouTube video and one Facebook post). DSSRC was concerned that post communicated the message that the Company’s products can help protect against COVID-19. The posts were identified by DSSRC pursuant to its ongoing, independent monitoring of the direct selling industry.

    DSSRC Administrative Closure #194

    The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (“DSSRC”) contacted a direct selling company (the “Company”) regarding three Facebook posts and three other online posts disseminated by salesforce members which DSSRC was concerned were communicating inappropriate earnings claims. The posts included references to “Full-time income/employment,” “unlimited income,” “long term residual income,” “significant income,” and “financial independence.”

    Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Recommends Globallee Discontinue Certain Health-Related Product Performance and Earnings Claims

    McLean, VA – September 9, 2021 – DSSRC recommended that certain product performance and earnings claims made by Globallee, Inc., a health and wellness supplement direct selling company, and its salesforce be discontinued. Central to this inquiry was a concern that the challenged product performance claims communicated that Globallee’s Taka products and various other drinks can treat and protect against serious health-related conditions, including COVID-19, cancer, and diabetes. The inquiry was commenced by DSSRC through its ongoing independent monitoring of advertising and marketing claims in the direct selling industry.

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    National Advertising Division Finds Verizon’s “America’s Most Awarded Network” Claim Supported; Recommends Certain Other Claims be Modified or Discontinued

    New York, NY – August 24, 2021 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that the claim “America’s most awarded network” in Verizon Communications, Inc.’s “I’m a Verizon Engineer” commercial did not reasonably convey any unsupported messages about awards given to Verizon’s 5G network. However, NAD recommended that Verizon discontinue the claim “5G from America’s most reliable network” in the “Everyone Deserves the Best” commercial and several other challenged commercials or modify the claim to clarify that “most reliable” is not a specific reference to 5G. NAD also recommended modifications to the challenged portion of Verizon’s website. 

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    Case #44-2021 – Government Referral – ByDzyne

    The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (“DSSRC”) is a national advertising self- regulation program administered by BBB National Programs. This inquiry was commenced by DSSRC pursuant to its ongoing independent monitoring of advertising and marketing claims in the direct selling industry.

    Ad Watchers: The Best Podcast Episode Ever: What is Puffery?

    When you hear a claim in an advertisement like, “best in the world,” you probably know that the product has not been measurably proven to actually be the best in the world. And that’s okay, because this is an example of puffery, an exaggerated, blustering, or boastful statement or general claim that could only be understood to be an expression of opinion, not a statement of fact. But where is the line between puffery and a claim that needs a reasonable basis? In this episode of Ad Watchers, hosts Hal Hodes and La Toya Sutton break down the questions they ask to determine whether or not a statement is puffery. Later in the episode, they are joined by their colleague Eric Unis to judge the Battle Royale of Puffery: each host presents cases that illustrate various types of this practice. Tune in to hear which of our hosts has the best examples of puffery in the universe!

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    Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Refers Earnings Claims for ByDzyne to FTC

    McLean, VA – August 18, 2021 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) of BBB National Programs referred certain earnings claims to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for possible enforcement action after ByDzyne, a direct selling company that sells a variety of health and wellness, technology, beauty, and travel products, failed to respond to DSSRC’s inquiry. At issue in DSSRC’s inquiry are earnings claims disseminated on the company website and by salesforce members on social media. 

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