Are you wondering what the $19.25 Amway IBO Million Lawsuit is all about?
MLM Blog gives you the full meal deal.
Amway/Quixtar IBO, Randy Haugen, says the following about P & G via the Amvox voice mail system (source):
I wanna run something by you real quick
that I think you will find pretty interesting. Just talking to a guy
the other night about this very subject and it just so happens that a
guy brings information in and lays it on my desk this morning, so here
It says the president of Procter &
Gamble appeared on the Phil Donahue Show on March 1, ’95. He announced
that due to the openness of our society, he was coming out of the
closet about his association with the church of satan. He stated that a
large portion of the profits from [P&G] products go to support his
satanic church. When asked by Donahue if stating this on television
would hurt his business, his reply was, "There are not enough
Christians in the United States to make a difference." And below it has
a list of the [P&G] products which I’ll read: [the subject message
then lists 43 P&G products].
It says if you are not sure about a
product, look for the symbol of the ram’s horn that will appear on each
product beginning in April. The ram’s horn will form the 666 which is
known as satan’s number. I’ll tell you it really makes you count your
blessings to have available to all of us a business that allows us to
buy all the products that we want from our own shelf and I guess my
real question is, if people aren’t being loyal to themselves and buying
from their own business, then whose business are they supporting and
who are they buying from. Love you. Talk to you later. Bye."
Here is the latest news about the lawsuit (via Deseret News):
A case of rumor mongering that over the years took on the stuff of urban legend has cost four Amway distributors dearly.
After some 12 years working its way through the courts, a federal
jury in Salt Lake City on Monday levied a $19.25 million judgment
against the distributors for spreading the rumor that the company
Procter & Gamble, and their old corporate logo, were linked with
"This is about protecting our reputation," said P&G’s chief
legal officer Jim Johnson, in a statement released Monday. "We will
take appropriate legal measures when competitors unfairly undermine the
reputation of our brands or our company."
In 1995, P&G sued four Amway distributors — Randy Haugen,
Steven Brady, Stephen Bybee and Ted Walker — on multiple claims,
including defamation and false advertising. In the company’s complaint,
P&G claimed the group, some of whom lived in Utah, perpetuated the
rumor that the company was linked to Satanism in order to gain a market
advantage in selling its competing products. Amway has traditionally
been sold outside of retail outlets primarily through representatives
and word of mouth.
"It was disseminated among Amway distributors via a phone-mail
system called Amvox," said attorney Tracy Fowler with Snell &
Wilmer’s Salt Lake office, who represented P&G. Through the Amvox
system, Fowler said Haugen, Brady, Bybee and Walker forwarded the
rumors to potentially thousands of other Amway distributors in Utah,
Nevada, Texas, Florida and other states.
The distributors managed to win several legal victories,
whittling P&G’s claim down to just one claim of violating the
Lanham Act, which prohibits unfair competition and false advertising.
During the trial, which ran over two weeks, Fowler said P&G
brought forward an economist who testified that the Satanism rumor had
a real economic impact on 40 P&G products, including detergents,
feminine-care products and oral-care items. The economist told the jury
that P&G’s brands actually fell in market sales nationwide against
competing brands during the time the rumors were being spread.
P&G sells a wide variety of household products in more than 80 countries.
Fowler said P&G didn’t claim that the four distributors
created the rumor. "It has been around for a while," Fowler said, going
back to the 1980s, but added the distributors "re-ignited" the rumor
for their financial gain.
The distributors’ attorney, Joseph Joyce in South Jordan, said he
was disappointed by the jury’s verdict. He believed that P&G did
not show any evidence linking his client to the spreading of the rumor.
Joyce said he and his clients are considering appealing the verdict.
"We feel there was an obvious missing link between Procter & Gamble’s claim and the actions of my clients," he said.
Joyce said that within a day to a week of leaving the phone-mail
messages, his clients submitted retractions to Procter & Gamble.
Fowler said although they have yet to research it, Monday’s
verdict could be one of the highest jury awards for false advertising
"At the end of the day, I think P&G was concerned about protecting its reputation," Fowler said.
Lastly, you can find the Haugen response here.