As the United States deals with the unprecedented health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus, BBB National Programs’ Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC), and the Direct Selling Association (DSA) urged all direct selling companies and their salesforces to ensure all claims made about health-related products are accurate.
The two organizations said that direct selling companies and their salesforce members must be especially mindful of expressly claiming or implying that their products:
Treat, alleviate, or cure the symptoms of COVID-19
Prevent symptoms of COVID-19
Boost or improve immune function to prevent COVID-19
Eliminate all traces of COVID-19
“During these dynamic times, it is of paramount importance that we maintain the integrity of the direct selling space and be especially cognizant of any and all product claims and business opportunity representations,” said Eric D. Reicin, president and CEO, BBB National Programs. “Since product claims made by salesforce members are attributable to direct selling companies themselves, our direct selling self-regulatory division, DSSRC, reminds all direct selling companies to educate their salesforce members about best practices with respect to health-related product claims.”
“As integral members of their neighborhoods, direct sellers have a unique opportunity and responsibility to share accurate information about their products and opportunities. We can and will be an important part of the restoration of our communities and our country by providing needed products, services and information,” said Joe Mariano, president, DSA. “As we continue to protect consumers and elevate the ethical business standards for the direct selling channel, we are encouraging our members to be conduits of accurate, reliable information.”
While unprecedented research efforts are taking place on a global scale, according to the World Health Organization, there are no current cures or direct treatments for the novel coronavirus. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have both stated that there are no approved vaccines, drugs or investigational products currently available to treat or prevent COVID-19.
As the impact of the coronavirus spreads, BBB National Programs’ DSSRC has already reached out to several direct selling companies to address COVID-19 claims and other health-related representations and continues to be vigilant in its monitoring of the marketplace. DSSRC Vice President Peter Marinello recommends that if any direct selling company becomes aware of any COVID-19 or other problematic health-related claims, it should visit BBBprograms.org/file-a-DSSRC-challenge to bring these claims to the attention of DSSRC.