By: Camille Barlow
“If you don’t pay people quickly enough, and they find they’re being paid quicker by another company, they’re going to leave.”
—Natalia Yenatska, Chief Operations Officer, i-Payout
Since its inception, the direct selling channel has prided itself on bucking convention. From introducing the gamechanger of residual income to openly eschewing the traditional 9-to-5 workday, direct selling companies have aimed to divert from the norm.
By: David Rauf
“The fact that leadership in companies has taken this stand is a very distinct change in culture.”
—Connie Tang, former CEO, Princess House
“This is a human issue, social issue and a justice issue.”
—Ryan Napierski, President, Nu Skin
Several major direct selling companies are joining a growing chorus of corporations issuing public statements in support of racial equality after protestors poured into the streets across the country following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody on Memorial Day.
By: David Rauf
“It almost seems like what the FTC is saying is you can’t represent that you have a business opportunity.”
—Michael Collins, President and CEO, M&L Collins Group
“The FTC is going to be very diligent. We’re not going to tolerate these claims.”
—Lois Greisman, Assoc. Director of Marketing Practices, Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued warning letters to six more direct selling companies over alleged misleading product and earnings claims related to the coronavirus. This represents the latest escalation between regulators and the direct selling channel over how to market products and business opportunities during the ongoing pandemic.
By: John Villafranco
The Supreme Court issued an 8-to-1 decision on June 22 in the highly anticipated case of Liu v. SEC. The opinion, authored by Justice Sotomayor (with Justice Thomas dissenting), holds that a “ disgorgement award that does not exceed a wrongdoer’s net profits and is awarded for victims is equitable relief,” and allows the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to seek such relief under the Securities Act.
By: Mona Ameli
Our industry’s objective is to provide entrepreneurship opportunities to all through a community-based approach that helps everyone to believe, belong, and become part of a company’s mission and growth. We, more than any other industry, need to be part of the solution to acknowledge, understand, commit and build systematic inclusion to truly become an opportunity for all.
The brutal killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans has brought into greater focus the challenges of systematic racism in America, as reflected in the protests all over the country and even globally. There is a critical need to understand how the often uncomfortable and tough conversations of race and inclusive diversity impact both individual direct selling companies and our industry as a whole. We can play an active and positive role in the new breakthroughs that are now possible.
By: John Fleming
Publisher’s Note: I received this letter from John Fleming concerning our channel and the social unrest generated by George Floyd’s killing. I asked him if we could reprint the letter in its entirety so that more people could benefit from his insight and thoughts.
— Teresa Craighead, Publisher
COVID-19 has changed the game and so will the resurrection of the social justice movement.
The direct selling model has been approaching an inflection point for more than a few years. We have never experienced a threat to the health and welfare of nations as we are experiencing today. Add to that the events of the past few weeks, during which we have seen an unprecedented global outcry for repairing social injustice, and one could easily say that these are indeed the most challenging of times.
By: David Rauf
“How much you want to put in it now and how tight you want to make the screws, that’s up to each company. But I would not hesitate to make it a priority today, especially.”
—Lois Greisman, Associate Director of Marketing Practices, Federal Trade Commission
The letters are working and, given the scope of the scams out there right now, we want to get the best and fastest results we can with the most efficient tool we have. Right now, for these coronavirus-related issues, that’s warning letters.
—Andrew Smith, Director, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) opted in late April to issue letters to 10 direct selling companies warning them to stop making claims about products and business opportunities associated with the coronavirus because it was “fast and efficient.” But direct sellers shouldn’t necessarily expect to receive warning letters moving forward if the FTC targets a company for something outside of COVID-19-related claims.
By: Peter Marinello, director, DSSRC and vice president of BBB National Programs
We anticipated more referrals, but parties have been responsive to the process and have shown a willingness to implement the recommendations that DSSRC has made.
In January 2019, the Direct Selling Association (DSA) and Better Business Bureau (BBB) National Programs Inc. announced the creation of a third-party, self-regulatory program called the Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC), which was established to monitor product and earnings claims disseminated by the entire U.S. direct selling channel.
In mid-March, DSA launched a comprehensive survey to understand current practices and policies regarding the COVID-19 and its impact on the direct selling channel. Specifically, the survey provided data and insights on events, recruitment, salesforce/customer support, parties, supply chain and travel restrictions.
By: Camille Barlow
In 2009, Apple debuted a new slogan: “There’s an app for that.”
As usual, the tech giant was on to something, and 11 years later that catchy little earworm is not only safely trademarked, it’s a post-modern truism. For virtually anything you want to do these days—from the personal to the professional and everything in between—chances are you can find an app to make it happen.