The Board of Directors of the Direct Selling Association (DSA) on June 3 approved a series of policy guidelines proposed by the DSA Ethics & Self-Regulation Committee to strengthen the DSA Code of Ethics and Association policies, building upon DSA’s stringent commitment to the highest standards of ethical business practices in direct selling.
The DSA Code of Ethics, enacted in 1970, is a self-regulatory instrument, enforced by an independent Code Administrator. All DSA member companies pledge to comply with the provisions of the Code – and the decisions of the Code Administrator regarding consumer or salesperson complaints – as an initial and continuing condition of membership in the Association. The DSA Code of Ethics is periodically reviewed and amended to ensure it continues to protect independent salespeople and consumers.
“DSA continues to set the standard for industry behavior,” says DSA President Joseph N. Mariano. “The new policy guidelines make clear that companies must demonstrate that real customers are using real products, and provide examples of how legitimate companies can define and describe customers, salespeople, business builders, personal use of product by salespeople, and other aspects of our business model.”
In addition, Mariano noted that “procedures have been put in place for cases in which DSA member companies are subject to governmental actions. In such cases, companies will now be subject to suspension of voting rights, and if the facts merit, expulsion from the Association.”
This action by the Board of Directors call for increased rigor of the Code’s training provisions, requiring DSA member companies to instruct their salesforce as to the scope of permissible earnings and products claims as well as other provisions of the Code.
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