This is a question I have been meaning to answer for quite some time and with my shows coming up, it seemed like a perfect time to respond. I know that many of you would like to call-in and share your experiences live during my shows and I enjoy nothing more than answering your questions and hearing your praise for my products, but it is not something someone can ethically and legally do on live-TV when selling health products. I know that some folks even feel it is disrespectful of me to ignore the people who are so devoted to my products and who have years of experience to share about those products. For obvious reasons, nothing works better for product sales than an enthusiastic live call, but sales is not my focus and because we are talking about health products, I can’t take live calls. Out of respect for you, the integrity of the shows and the law, live calls cannot be ethically taken with health products. I’m sorry if I seem unfair, but it is my desire to be fair that prevents these calls.
As you know, virtually all my products are “Customer Picks” with wonderful reviews on HSN.com. I am grateful and proud of the praise they receive, but those incredible reviews give an idea of the potentially inappropriate praise and medical claims that occur when taking live calls during shows. There were a number of past live calls praising my products that prevented me from continuing to take calls in the future. The calls were great – in fact, too great – and their praise crossed into areas that were medical claims. In the eyes of the law, the well-intentioned but medical claims of a caller are just as if I made those claims. They are not made legal just because they are made by a well-intentioned caller. I can’t undo a medical claim once made even by the most well-intentioned and enthusiastic user of my products. In other words, if I cannot make medical claims during my shows, then the law also considers a medical claim by a caller the same as if I had made that claim. It is a pretty strict and harsh rule, but live TV is a unique place to offer health products, which comes with serious responsibilities that I take very seriously. It would be foolish of a broadcaster to think that they are immune from the legal consequences of their claims because they are made by callers. And when you think about it, the law makes sense, since folks suffering from health conditions can be very vulnerable to statements about treatment and cure of their disease or condition. It is important to protect these folks from being mislead and leave medical issues for their relationship with their medical doctors. The law also prevents unscrupulous advertisers from being “cute” by using callers to make claims that were otherwise illegal for them to discuss directly.
I hope that was not too “legal” of a discussion, but let it suffice to say, I would love nothing more than to include live calls during all my shows. Taking these calls was always my favorite part of my shows in the past, but my respect for the law and for everyone who watches my shows prevents me from doing so now. Nothing sells products better than the wonderful enthusiasm and emotions of a genuine, live testimonial caller who has used my products for decades; however, my ethics and respect for you and the law, prevents me from taking live calls. As much as I’d love to talk to you during my shows and as beneficial as that might be from a sales standpoint, it would not be ethical to do so. It is ironic that precisely because my customers’ experiences are so remarkable and my products so well-liked that I cannot take live calls, but regardless, I still make sure to share your words using thousands of Customer Experience charts and I always make sure to encourage to learn more by reading reviews at HSN.com. In closing, I hope you understand that although I would love to take live calls, I must preserve the integrity of my shows and protect your right to make informed, independent decisions.
Best of health,