BBB National Programs’ Direct Selling Regulatory Council and Direct Selling Association Urge Caution Regarding Health-Related Product Claims

April 7, 2020


In Age of COVID-19, This Timely Effort Will Help “Maintain the Integrity of Direct Selling”

(Arlington, VA) – As the U.S. deals with the unprecedented health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus, the Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC), a division of BBB National Programs; and the Direct Selling Association (DSA), today 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 or alleviate the symptoms of COVID-19;
  • Cure, treat or alleviate symptoms of COVID-19;
  • Boost or improve immune function that can prevent COVID-19; and/or
  • Claims to 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 Reicin, President and CEO, BBB National Programs.  “Since product claims made by salesforce members are attributable to direct selling companies themselves, our DSSRC division 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 Joseph N. 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 U.S., 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, 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, they visit to bring these claims to the attention of DSSRC.

In 2019, the Direct Selling Association (DSA) and BBB National Programs announced the creation of the DSSRC, a program designed to enhance consumer confidence in direct selling advertising and marketing practices, offer the direct selling industry an expeditious system for review of that advertising and marketing, and discourage advertising and marketing in the direct selling industry that communicates unsubstantiated claims.  For more information about the DSSRC and its commitment to truthful and accurate advertising, please visit

ABOUT BBB NATIONAL PROGRAMS: BBB National Programs is a non-profit that fosters trust, innovation, and competition in the marketplace through the development and delivery of cost-effective, third-party self-regulation, dispute resolution and other programs. BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumers’ trust and consumers are heard. BBB National Programs is the home of leading industry self-regulatory and dispute resolution programs that include the National Advertising Division (NAD), National Advertising Review Board (NARB), BBB EU Privacy Shield, BBB AUTO LINE, Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), Children’s Confection Advertising Initiative (CCAI), Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC), Digital Advertising Accountability Program (Accountability Program), and the Coalition for Better Advertising Dispute Resolution Program (CBA DRM). The programs are designed to resolve business issues and advance shared objectives by responding to marketplace concerns to create a better customer experience. To learn more about industry self-regulation, please visit:

ABOUT THE DIRECT SELLING ASSOCIATION: The Direct Selling Association is the national trade association for companies that offer entrepreneurial opportunities to independent sellers to market and sell products and services, typically outside of a fixed retail establishment. In 2018, direct selling took place across the United States, generating $35.4 billion in retail sales. More than six million entrepreneurs in the U.S. are selling products or services through the direct selling channel, providing a personalized buying experience for more than 36.6 million customers. For more about the DSA visit

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You may contact Adolfo Franco, Executive Vice President.