MCLEAN, Va., Sept. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) of BBB National Programs referred certain earnings and health-related product performance claims to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Utah Attorney General's Office for possible enforcement action after Q Sciences, a direct selling company that distributes and markets health-related and wellness products, failed to adequately respond to DSSRC's inquiry.
At issue in DSSRC's inquiry are health-related product performance claims disseminated by salesforce members on social media implying that Q Sciences' products can protect against several serious health-related conditions, including COVID-19.
The following claims were brought to Q Sciences' attention by DSSRC as part of its ongoing independent monitoring of the direct selling marketplace.
Product claims include, but are not limited to:
"Who wouldn't want a spray that boosts their immune system during a pandemic??? Give me all the sprays"
"Helps with pain, inflammation, feelings of sadness, sleep issues, IMMUNITY-just to name a few"
"There are several different sprays including immune system boosting (which is a great thing when we are living in a Pandemic and have so many other sicknesses we want to protect ourselves from)."
"I have everything you need to keep yourself and your family healthy during the CrAzY CoRoNa times!"
"Now more than ever it is important to boost you immune system!"
During the inquiry, DSSRC also identified several additional posts, including an earnings claim on the Q Sciences website promoting their "Financial Freedom Movement" that promises full-time income through the Q Sciences business opportunity.
When the company first received the inquiry from DSSRC, Q Sciences questioned DSSRC's jurisdiction. DSSRC's jurisdiction includes any product or earnings claim communicated by any national direct selling company and/or its independent salesforce members, making this inquiry appropriate for DSSRC.
After the initial contact with Q Sciences, and despite DSSRC exercising its due diligence in attempting to contact Q Sciences several times, the company failed to substantively respond to DSSRC, provide substantiation for the challenged claims, and address DSSRC concerns regarding several of the identified posts. The company did, however, disable three of the five social media posts at issue and significantly modify the "CrAzY CoRoNa" post.
In accordance with DSSRC's Policies and Procedures, if a company does not respond to DSSRC or declines to participate, DSSRC will issue a case decision indicating the company was unresponsive or declined to participate in the DSSRC process and refer the matter to the appropriate government agency. Moreover, according to section (V)(B) of the DSSRC Policies and Procedures, in the event that the subject company fails to submit a responsive statement, DSSRC may refer the matter to an appropriate government agency for review and possible law enforcement action. Accordingly, based upon Q Sciences' failure to respond to DSSRC in the self-regulatory process, DSSRC referred this matter to the FTC and Utah Attorney General's Office.
About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council: The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC), a division of BBB National Programs, provides independent, impartial monitoring, dispute resolution, and enforcement of false product claims and income representations made by direct selling companies and their salesforce members across digital platforms. The DSSRC seeks to establish high standards of integrity and business ethics for all direct selling companies in the marketplace.