Summary of Action
Specifically, TINA.org compiled over 100 examples of unsubstantiated health and disease-treatment claims made by Nerium distributors about the company’s products, such as being able to treat, cure, or alleviate the symptoms of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, psoriasis, eczema, acne, and rosacea. TINA.org also compiled numerous examples of deceptive, atypical, and unsubstantiated income claims regarding the financial gains consumers will achieve by becoming distributors of Nerium.
As a result of these findings, TINA.org sent a warning letter to Nerium on June 6, 2016 notifying it of TINA.org’s findings and asking that the company remedy the deceptive marketing immediately. On June 14, 2016, the company informed TINA.org that it was taking immediate action to address the deceptive claims at issue, including contacting its distributors, requesting the removal of deceptive claims, and educating its distributors about how to make proper claims about the products and business opportunity.
However, three weeks after receiving Nerium’s promising response, TINA.org audited the original sampling of deceptive claims being made about Nerium’s products and business opportunity that it provided to the company, and found that the majority of the claims were still up on the Internet. Therefore, on July 12, 2016, TINA.org filed complaint letters with the Federal Trade Commission and Texas Attorney General urging them both to investigate the company and take appropriate enforcement action.
Then, approximately a year after putting Nerium on notice of the deceptive advertising issues, and the company assuring TINA.org that it takes “proactive measures…to prevent these types of issues from occurring,” TINA.org found hundreds more inappropriate health and income claims published on the internet. As a result, on May 30, 2017, TINA.org notified the Code of Ethics Administrator for the Direct Selling Association (of which Nerium is a member), as well as company officials, the FTC, and the Texas Attorney General, of the company’s continuing transgressions.