If you believe that incremental change is better than nothing, the FTC needs your input.
… or skip to:
Out of the Frying Pan…
The cult-to-MLM pipeline is a topic that has fascinated me for a while now, but I have found it difficult to write about publicly because of the general lack of understanding or knowledge pertaining to some of the requisite concepts in society at large. I’ve had some incredible conversations with former MLM participants, ex-cult members, and cult experts over the past year that have been lightbulb moments for me, connections suddenly toppling one another like dominoes, but how to explain where I’m coming from in order to broach the subject with people unfamiliar with how cultic abuse and mind control work in all of these groups—that has been hard. But I’m here to give it a try.
FTC to Consider Potential Changes to Controversial "Business Opportunity Rule"
Could this be a sign to the MLM industry that they’re losing their home team advantage? A little background… The Business Opportunity Rule is a federal regulation that requires certain business opportunity sellers to provide prospective buyers with specific information before they enter into a business opportunity agreement. Under the rule, a business opportunity is… Read More »FTC to Consider Potential Changes to Controversial "Business Opportunity Rule"
Sections & Resources:
For a general understanding of what the Business Opportunity Rule is and what the FTC’s Regulatory Review & Public Comment period could mean for it, click here to skip to the top bullet points.
Click to view the Business Opportunity Rule as it appears on the FTC’s website today.
MLMChange.org encourages any and everyone whose life has been affected by deceptive practices in Multilevel Marketing to use this public comments period as an opportunity to ensure your story is heard by authorities who could be preventing future victims like you. Submission of evidence of any widespread harmful tactics is particularly encouraged (find acceptable file formats and sizes at the link above), however, your comment does NOT need to:
– Conform to any template, script, or style
– Address or answer any specific questions set out by the FTC
– Contain any identifying personal information
– Include file attachments
That being said, if you prefer to use the FTC’s questions as a guide for writing your comment, keep reading.
by Adam Looney
Director, Center on Regulation and Markets
Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
Please note that these public comment periods are not a numbers game–we provide these to provoke and inspire, not so that they can be duplicated. A large number of nearly-identical comments is what we could expect from lobbyist groups like the DSA; it would be wasteful and counterproductive to organize such a push and MLMchange.org is not about that. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed in any public comment shared here are not necessarily those of MLMchange.org or its contributors/volunteers.
With 25 different questions about a rule that covers (or could potentially cover) many industries, figuring out which questions are relevant to your experience and the opinions you want to share can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Thank goodness Dave Vaughan has created a super easy quiz to guide you in the right direction–for you.
Do you want to help the FTC to make better rules against deceptive earning claims by MLMs, but the thought of sitting down and writing out your experience is daunting? That’s what Prof. Claudia Gross’ FTC Comment Crafter is for.
Answer a set of writing prompts inspired by the official questions, then copy and paste the preview at the end into an official comment for the FTC!
By describing your experience, you can help the FTC understand the problem. The more people share their experiences, the clearer it gets that action by the FTC is needed.
Glossary of Terms
|Word, Phrase, or Acronym:||Definition or Context:|
|Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – According to The Regulatory Group, Inc., an ANPR/ANPRM is “a document that an agency may choose to issue before it is ready to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). It may also be called a “notice of intent” or simply a “request for comments.” The ANPRM is used by an agency as a vehicle for obtaining public participation in the formulation of a regulatory change before the agency has done significant research or investigation on its own. Thus, one of the primary uses of an ANPRM is to involve the interested public in a regulatory action at an early stage, before the agency has arrived at even a tentative decision on a particular regulatory change. In some cases, the agency may issue an ANPRM to test public reaction to a proposal.”|
Biz Opp Rule
|Business Opportunity Rule – The FTC’s Business Opportunity Rule was first adopted in 2012, making it easier for people to get the information they need when they are thinking about investing in a business opportunity.|
The Business Opportunity Rule prohibits those selling a business opportunity from making deceptive statements, and it requires them to make a number of key disclosures to potential buyers, including:
– The seller’s identifying information.
– Whether the seller is making claims about possible earnings or profits, and if so, information that backs up those claims.
– Whether the seller, its affiliates, or key personnel have been involved in certain legal actions, and if so, information on those actions.
– Whether the seller has a cancellation or refund policy, and if so, the terms of that policy.
– A list of people who have purchased the business opportunity in the last three years.
Sounds perfect for protecting people from MLM schemes, doesn’t it? Well, it doesn’t currently cover them.
|MLM||Multilevel Marketing or an individual Multilevel Marketing Company|
|According to the FTC, “Business Opportunities” refers to “commercial arrangements where a seller solicits a prospective buyer to enter into a new business, the prospective purchaser makes a required payment, and the seller – expressly or by implication – makes certain kinds of claims.”|