Wednesday, March 22, 2017

MLM and Health Claims

Today's blog post is about an article written by Truth In Advertising (TINA.org) involving illegal or false health claims from MLM supplement companies. The article states, "Calling into question the Direct Selling Association’s commitment to consumer protection, a truthinadvertising.org (TINA.org) investigation has revealed that 97 percent of DSA member companies selling nutritional supplements have distributors deceptively marketing their products with unsubstantiated health claims." TINA.org's investigation is not only scary, but down right frustrating, as this industry continues to propose they have answers to major diseases through unregulated and untested products. These flim-flam companies have just as high a rate of failure as they do for their illegal health claims.

Some examples of their illegal health claims include, "
From autism, and cancer to Ebola, there is an MLM supplement that is being marketed to cure, treat, mitigate, or prevent a wide variety of diseases, the ad watchdog’s findings show. " This is just the tip of the iceberg as fellow bloggers regularly see other health claims from distributors boasting about their miracle product cures. These MLM companies have gotten too big to regulate their distributors, and probably don't want to regulate them because the distributors are the bulk of their revenue. If the regulatory agencies are ineffective in policing these companies, and the companies are unable to police their distributors (or care to), then it is up to each individual to be aware and informed for their own protection.

MLM companies have no qualification processes to join and hawk their products. They give MLM distributors free reign to promote the products, and only create limitations on how they actually distribute the products. There are consistently false or illegal testimonials, photos, research studies, and references. Youngevity claimed to be working with Clemson's research institute, and Nerium claimed to be working with Princeton, both of these claims are completely false. John Oliver's twenty minute segment on MLM also eviscerated Herbalife and showed distributors hosting a meeting and claiming to help with heart problems and pregnancy. As long as you have a pulse and a couple of dollars in your pocket, then you are allowed to start selling MLM products.

Snake-oil companies have existed for far longer than MLM, and the MLM business model is not creative or new, but rather a convoluted pyramid designed to destroy people's finances
MLMs have not grown out of necessity for their products or their business model, but rather through top dollar donations, lobbying, settlements, SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) lawsuits to stifle first amendment rights, and continuous lies about everything involving their businesses. These people are not your friends, they are not interested in making you fabulously rich, they are not interested in curing your diseases. These MLM companies are here to take your money, get you to find more friends to take their money, and ravage your local neighborhoods until everyone is stuck with worthless products and no assets.

Sources: Truth in Advertising - https://www.truthinadvertising.org/tina-org-investigation-reveals-mlm-industry-rife-with-illegal-health-claims/

John Oliver - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6MwGeOm8iI&t=749s

If you have a story involving abuses from your upline and would like me to share it on this blog as a guest post, then please e-mail me and I will be more than happy to post it! Your stories are not as unique as you may think, and your stories are some of the most impactful resources we have to fight MLMs. I will keep your anonymity upon request.

3 comments:

  1. MLM companies won't stop their distributors from making false claims because they benefit from the sale of product or new memberships as a result of those claims. The only way is if regulatory agencies force them to take action with the threat of closure or heavy monetary fines. If not, they will make cosmetic or superficial changes to pretend they are concerned about these issues.

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    1. Joe,

      Absolutely! This is the truly frustrating situation we are in, because the FTC has to regulate, but the government that controls the FTC doesn't want it to regulate or have any power. Therefore, our government committee can't do the job it was designed to do, and is simply a faux committee.

      We just had an amazing chair person do some significant damage to Herbalife, and her reward was being forced out because of a regime change. It is truly heartbreaking because we have 5 year old's guarding the chocolate chest and we are expecting them not to steal any of the chocolate themselves.

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  2. John and Joe - US regulators, even the best of the bunch, have never been the solution to the 'MLM' problem. On the contrary, they have been, and remain, a significant part of it.

    It will be interesting to see if Edith Ramirez will now speak the truth to her former employers, the public.

    The truth being that 'MLM' racketeers have been gnawing their way into government for decades; pricipally, by bribing legislators and offering lucrative employment contracts (more bribes) to legally qualified senior regulators.

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