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Truth In Advertising Targeting Your MLM Company Next?

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YPR-page-cornerBefore I get into why you need to be fully aware of a website called TruthInAdvertising.org, I want to give you my theory about what happened to Vemma.  Everything will make a lot more sense once you understand that part of the equation.

I believe that Vemma began to head towards trouble when they targeted college students for the business opportunity. When I say “they”, I mean the Vemma field leaders who put together the Young People Revolution (YPR), a movement that the Vemma company was fully aware of and supported.

On a micro level. here’s what I envision happening:

Vemma Affiliate goes to college student and tells them about this cool company that will pay them to promote their energy drink and then tells the student that young people just like him are making X number of dollars doing it. College student signs up for a $600 product pack and a $150 monthly autoship and proceeds on his path to get rich promoting energy drinks (to college students).

About 4 weeks later, said college student’s parents get a bank statement that is $750 less than what they expected and said parents proceed to blow up.

The parents call the student, the student explains the business in the best way a 19 year old can, “I’m going to get rich selling energy drinks” and the parent says “Oh no you’re not.”

Or the student had selective memory and said “I don’t know what those debit card charges are.”, while drinking a Verve energy drink. (See what I did there? The student doesn’t know anything about the charges, but is drinking an energy that the charges paid for. Pay attention to this detail because it will come up again in a second.)

I’m betting that parents would not be too happy having spent upwards of $50,000 a year for college, only to find out that “Jimmy” is going to waste that education and become an energy drink salesman. (Remember I am trying to show the parents thinking here, who are operating on limited information).

Next, (speaking of information), the parents want to find out more about this Vemma thing and proceed to the Google and type in “vemma scam”.

And what do they find? An article from TruthInAdvertising.org about Vemma, titled “Things You Should Know About Vemma/Truth In Advertising”.

TINA.org Google Search Vemma Scam

 

So the parents click on the “Truth In Advertising: article and see:

“The FTC has received more than 140 complaints about the company and its products, according to results of two Freedom of Information Act requests filed by TINA.org. Complaints range from allegations that the company is a pyramid scheme that preys on college and high school students to customers saying their credit cards were repeatedly charged for Vemma products they didn’t want.”

Remember what I said about the college student who “couldn’t remember” anything about those energy drinks they bought?

More parents complain to the FTC and eventually the FTC shuts down Vemma, forcing them to make changes that put many affiliates out of business.

Which leads me back to TruthInAdverting.org, which sounds a lot like the FTC’s own “Truth In Advertising” laws, but it is not affiliated with the FTC in any way, shape or form.

TruthInAdvertising.org is plainly anti Network Marketing, not just anti-Vemma.

TruthInAdvertising.org has a list of 32 companies that are targets for an investigation, including:

ACN, Advocare, Empower Network, Herbalife, Isagenix, It Works, Kirby (Really, the vacuum people?), Life Leadership, Lifevantage, Melaleuca, NuSkin, USANA, Visalus, World Ventures and Zija.

Who’s next?

You see, an anti-Network Marketing group will always find ways to put a company in their own anti-Network Marketing box and I suspect that some of the work being done at TruthInAdvertising.org is from the same group of Anti-Network Marketing folks that have been “at it” for years.

I’m not saying that Network Marketing companies are blameless and perfect.  They are not. Just that these folks have an agenda and if you are part of the Network Marketing industry, you need to educate yourself on this ongoing situation.

———-

Ty Tribble is the author of ‘Double Your Income with Network Marketing‘ and launched the MLMBlog in 2003 when no one knew what a blog was.

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"Ty Tribble is an Internet entrepreneur, author and Work At Home Dad who lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife, Richelle and two children, Emma and Tyler. Ty has been featured in Entrepreneur and Success From Home magazine and is considered by many as the # 1 blogger in the world on the subject of Network Marketing. Author of the book, ‘Double Your Income with Network Marketing’, Ty teaches lead generation strategies through social media and blogging to tens of thousands of Network Marketers around the world."

3 COMMENTS

  1. I have been trying to tell people about that org but everyone thinks they are safe and its no big deal. They think I am just looking at the wrong things but I agree with you, we have to be educated about things like tghis and help reps not say and do stupid things through social media. When companies have no rules on using social media you run into out of control reps and that will always end up being a bad resuly.

  2. I agree with all your points Ty. Targeting college kids is a huge mistake. If people had seen any of the YouTube videos, all you could see is a few college kids who made it to the top making big income claims, talking about how college and having a job is stupid and other ignorant things. These things caught up to Vemma.

    I believe that every rep in every company has the responsibility to be a professional at all times. Never make income claims, promise easy money, or talk about getting rich quick. Be product driven, focus on the small money, and always do the right thing.

    Do that and you can’t go wrong. Do that and you can’t get hurt. Just my two cents.

  3. Thanks for your insights, Ty! I love hearing the insights of someone with your experience and credibility. As an attorney and network marketing professional I have fielded a lot of questions about this topic. Here's a webinar I did on the issue of what the FTC was alleging (according to the publicly filed docs) and what we can learn from these events going foward. This industry is shifting, but I'm confident that we'll rise stronger as a result.

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