Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) that signaled the Commission is interested in a new trade regulation rule on the use of earnings claims, and also expressed interest in addressing the use of lifestyle claims—like a new luxury car or being able to quit a nine-to-five job.
In response to this ANPR, the Direct Selling Association (DSA) filed comments questioning whether such rules are necessary, given the industry’s pre-existing self-regulatory safeguards.
“Harnessing the effectiveness of self-regulation is an important way of achieving the deterrence and swiftness of action that the ANPR sets forth as goals of this rulemaking,” the DSA stated in its comments. “In this regard, the DSA-created DSSRC (Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council) [is] an important adjunct to the law enforcement presence of the FTC. DSSRC has a strong track record of monitoring the market for potentially problematic claims and engaging in quick and effective follow-up to address the relatively rare instances where it finds that distributors are making questionable claims, usually in social media.”
“We hope if the FTC decides to proceed with a rule, it heeds the comments of our association— that represents millions of micro-entrepreneurs across the United States—and considers alternatives to this approach,” said Joseph N. Mariano, DSA President. “As we have before, we stand ready to work with the Commission on an outcome that protects consumers and does not burden these small businesses.”