Resources

Introductory videos

This video shows how MLM/pyramid schemes work.

Watch ‘Betting on Zero’. This is a documentary about Herbalife, although it applies to all MLMs. It is available on iplayer and Netflix. Rotten Tomatoes review and links to watch it.

This YouTube video called ‘The American Dream Denied’ shows what Herbalife has done to a lot of people. Victims speak out.

John Oliver rips MLMs apart in a very entertaining way on his entertainment show ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’.

 

Advertising

Adverts have to comply to CAP rules. Their non-broadcast code contains all the rules that advertisers need to adhere to when selling products. Visit the code here.

Section 9 covers distance selling rules.

Section 11 covers environmental claims.

Section 13 covers weight loss claims.

Section 15 covers food, food supplements and nutrition claims.

If you want to complain about an advert in the UK, contact the Advertising Standards Authority. They have a complaint form here.

Medical claims

MLMs often make health or nutritional claims about their products. There are strict rules on what a medicine is and how they can be advertised. There are also rules on what claims can be made about the nutritional benefits of foods. Non-traditional remedies also have tight regulations. Let’s see how you can work out if a claim is an allowable one.

The Blue Guide contains the regulations for medicines in the UK.

You can look up a product in the European Medicines Agency database to check its status. This link takes you to a box where you just type in the item.

This link takes you to the Herbal Medicines for Human Use search. For an example, if you type in ‘Aloes’ under ‘English common name’, you get to this page.

Legal side of things

If a bot in the UK tells you they are not in a pyramid scheme, they are wrong. They do not understand the law and have been lied to. See this blog post on the law relating to pyramid schemes.

Sites of interest

Timeless Vie

A support and campaign group fighting for the end of MLMs. They have a feminist angle and are particularly annoyed with how vulnerable women are targeted and exploited by these schemes. They have a blog, facebook page and are on Twitter.

Contact them for confidential advice or follow them for information. They have written some very good articles on the realities of MLMs.

Elle Beau The Antiblogger

Elle was in Younique which she calls #poonique. Her addictive blog, ‘The Not-Quite So Fairytale of Elle Beau’ charts her awful journey through MLM. It’s quite an eyeopener and, unfortunately, we have heard stories like this over and over again. She is on Twitter.

 

 

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