by Matt Weik
I’m not sure how or even why MLM supplement companies are still in business, but they are. The unfortunate part is, they’re pushing out products that aren’t anything special, while allowing any Tom, Dick, or Harry without an education or industry background to be out there selling the product. More times than not, they go out there peddling the products to all of their friends and family until they make it to the NFL (no friends left).
Whatever nonsense that comes out of a distributor’s mouth whether it be on social media, via email, over the phone, or in-person is 100% the responsibility of these MLM supplement companies. You can’t have people out there making claims that are untrue, potentially harmful, or that says it can cure, treat, or prevent diseases or illnesses. That’s what real scientists are there to do, not Monday morning quarterbacks in the supplement space who don’t even belong in the industry in the first place. These MLM supplement companies are built on lies and deceit.
It’s no secret that MLM supplement companies have been in the news over the last several years regarding some extremely shady practices. Well, they’re back at with yet another “hold my beer, watch this” moment. This time, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has sent out 10 warning letters to MLM supplement companies for disease and earnings violations – giving them 48 hours to reply with how they are going to correct the situation and that they are to stop making the false claims immediately.
Big Brother Is Always Watching
If you think what you say on social media is only viewed by those on your friend’s list, you’re wrong. Big brother (the government) is watching everything we do and say whether you know it or not. In fact, social media is how these 10 businesses got caught.
It appears that the MLM supplement companies along with their sales force have been out there making some pretty stupid claims on social media which threw up the red flag to the FTC. The whole game being played by MLM supplement companies and their “teams” has always been to build their network. The more people an individual can get under them as part of their team, the more money that an individual makes due to the sales of those under them.
Well, it appears that these MLM supplement companies have been touting how much money you can make during these tough times when you become part of their team even though there is no information to back these claims nor do they mention the risk involved and how much money people could actually lose pushing their brand.
The key piece they are leaving out is that they need more people because most of their distributors aren’t making any money from sales right now due to the pandemic and they need more little soldiers out there peddling their snake oil. So, what do they do? They tell their distributors to mention they can help prevent and ward off the coronavirus. Womp womp. Sorry to say, that’s incorrect.
The MLM companies who got letters were selling things like supplements, personal care items, cosmetics, and essential oils and making several false diseases and earnings claims. The list of companies who received letters was:
- Total Life Changes
- ID Life
- It Works
- Rodan & Fields
Some of the names listed above should sound familiar not only because they are commonly pushed on social media but also because for some of them this isn’t their first rodeo when it comes to offenses or run-ins with the government for wrongdoing.
It’s Dumb to Make Claims Regarding Virus Prevention
Some of the MLM supplement companies who received a letter were touting that their products can help prevent or treat coronavirus/COVID-19. Now, let me get this straight… we don’t have a vaccine or a clear way to kill this virus, but out of the blue MLM supplement companies with their brilliant minds have figure out what scientists and those who dedicated their lives to the prevention of diseases can’t? Makes perfect sense, right?
What’s even more worrisome, is that people are believing the nonsense these MLM supplement companies are spewing. I manly think this is due to those selling the products pushing it on their friends and family and those individuals want to believe their friend or family member, so they buy into the lies (literally).
I’m just not sure how people sleep at night peddling this garbage. But then again, most of the people selling the products haven’t got a clue what they are talking about or even what the ingredients in the products do so they probably don’t know any better or different. They simply memorize the talking points given to them by the MLM supplement companies and head out like a robot to regurgitate the information.
The director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Andrew Smith, was quoted saying, “MLMs and other companies that distribute their products through networks of distributors are responsible for the product and earnings claim those distributors are making. During this health and economic crisis, we are on the lookout for false income claims for work-at-home opportunities, in addition to spurious health claims that products can treat or prevent COVID-19.”
I Don’t Feel Bad for These MLM Supplement Companies
It’s hard to feel bad for many of these MLM brands when they’re constantly in the news for breaking rules and not following guidelines and procedures. Not only that but how can you hire anyone off the street as a distributor so long as they can pay the vig to start up with your company and start selling products?
Look, I’m not going to be a hypocrite and act like brands in the supplement industry are the poster boy for following the rules. I’ve always been one to keep my head down, do the right thing, put in the work, and keep my nose clean. I’m not after a quick buck or easy money. When brands aren’t doing the right thing because they are greedy, they need to be punished. Unfortunately, sending out letters to these MLM supplement companies isn’t going to change their behavior. It’s not even a slap on the wrist. If you want to hurt them, hurt their wallet to get your point across.