A revised Code of Direct Selling was released Tuesday by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the body announced.
The Direct Selling Code, an instrument for self-discipline towards consumers, was first published in 1978 and last revised in 2007.
It can be used by the courts as a reference document within the framework of applicable legislation, but is also able to fill in the gap in countries which have not created direct selling laws.
Direct selling, as defined by the ICC instrument, “refers to the selling of products directly to consumers, generally in their homes or the homes of others, at their workplace and other places away from permanent retail locations, where the direct seller may explain or demonstrate products.”
Some of the well-known direct selling companies today include Dell, Amway, Unilever, Tupperware and Avon.
The revised document spells out responsible conduct towards consumers, such as the credo not to exploit a consumer’s age, that product demonstrations should be complete with regard to price and also covers recruitment practices in the direct selling industry.
In addition, recent changes include a section on referral selling stipulating that consumers should not be induced to make a purchase based on the assumption of a reduced price for customer referrals.
The ICC code, which was developed in co-operation with the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA), specifies that “descriptions, claims, illustrations or other elements relating to verifiable facts should be capable of substantiation.”