The Association renews commitment to regulatory support, reputation improvement and self-regulation
By: SSN Staff
On June 4, the Direct Selling Association’s (DSA) Strategic Planning Committee unanimously approved the DSA Strategic Plan 2022 to represent the Association’s priorities through 2026. The plan seeks to refine and focus the DSA’s current objectives to meet the marketplace and regulatory changes anticipated in the coming years.
Plan 2022, as it is referred to, lists a number of these changes, including economic uncertainty, demographic changes in the direct selling salesforce, bans of certain business opportunities on social media platforms, attacks by industry critics including short-sellers, and the demand for better data regarding the direct selling business model and company business practices.
The Association’s strategic priorities through 2026 are organized into four workstreams. The first of these is a plan to Foster Vibrant Commercial Growth by becoming an industry attractive to young nano and micro-entrepreneurs. This goal is outlined in a six-part plan that includes action items such as brand repositioning to target a younger salesforce, education of member companies on changing technology and social commerce, promoting digital transformation, talent acquisition, and diversity and inclusion.
The second workstream outlines a plan to Ensure a Supportive Regulatory Environment. The DSA states its intent to “actively participate in and advocate for the industry in the current round of FTC (Federal Trade Commission) rule-making efforts around money-making opportunities and testimonials/endorsements.”
This workstream also commits to advocating for the industry in ongoing independent contractor legislation, which it refers to as an “existential consideration for the industry.” Other regulatory-related priorities include enhancing direct selling’s image with policymakers and consumer protection authorities as well as educating the general public, the media, and the financial and technology industries about the direct selling business model. To assist in strengthening the Association’s lobbying efforts, the 2022 Plan seeks to ask each member company that it set a goal of contributing $2,500 to the Direct Selling Association PAC.
The third component of Plan 2022 is to Continue the Self-Regulatory Efforts of the Association. This workstream lays out the goal of building awareness of the Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) amongst the industry and regulatory agencies, as well as providing DSSRC guidance on earnings claims, testimonials, and product claims. In addition to continuing the focus on its Code of Ethics, the DSA calls for the establishment of a standard for social media participation as well as the development of aligned salesforce policies governing social media content for potential inclusion in the Code of Ethics.
The final workstream outlined in the Association’s Strategic Plan is a goal to Expand Community and Collaboration. This action plan calls for assisting member companies to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as creating relationships with tech companies and influencers on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Amazon. To help improve direct selling’s image, the plan also calls for the cultivation of partnerships with the media and third-party critics to “foster more balanced viewpoints.”
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