MLM European News: Seldia Newsletter August 2013

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August 2013
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Joe Mariano to join Round Table 

With great pleasure we announce that Joe Mariano, the President of the US DSA, will be joining Seldia at this year’s Annual Round Table on the Future of Direct Selling. Joe Mariano joined the US Direct Selling Association in 1985. Before becoming its President, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He is responsible for the success in the association’s programs and activities and advocates a progressive association leadership. Mr. Mariano also serves as Vice Chairman on the Direct Selling Education Foundation Board of Directors, and Chairman of the World Federation of Selling Associations (WFDSA) Ethics Committee. Joe Mariano will be joining the second panel of the conference on “How to communicate efficiently and transform negative issues into positive communication” alongside Michael Meissner Vice-President Corporate Affairs Amway Europe and Paul Baeyaert, CEO Belgium, Chairman Consumer Practice EMEA.
For a high quality image of the above teaser click here
To view the Annual Round Table Programme, for sponsorship opportunities or to register visit www.seldia.eu

Please note that when booking your hotel reservation, the Seldia blocked rooms at the Mariott Hotel will become publicly available on 2 September (Seldia will not be able to guarantee rooms from then on) and the specially reduced fee will end.

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Industry News

Pyramid Scheme case draws interest
Three EU Member States have submitted written observations in the case by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on pyramid schemes. The Czech Republic, Poland and Italy have all got involved in a case that could have important implications for the direct selling sector across Europe.

The ECJ was asked by the Supreme Court of Lithuania to rule on the interpretation of the EU law on pyramid schemes. These interpretations were asked because of the changes that were made when the relevant EU law was translated into the different EU languages. The Lithuanian court states that in some versions of the law, notably the Lithuanian and German version, a scheme is banned if it offers a consumer the possibility to make gains that primarily derive from the introduction of other consumers into the scheme rather than from sales. In other versions – the English, French, Polish and Spanish laws according to the court – a scheme is only illegal if the consumer has to buy himself the opportunity to get gains primarily from introduction of other consumers.

The ECJ is also asked to explain whether the level of payment by a consumer to join the scheme is of any relevance. Finally, it is asked whether it is relevant that the consumer gets gains from simply inscribing new people into the scheme or should these gains be related to the income generated from these new people.

A final ruling by the ECJ is expected to be made somewhere in the middle of 2014.

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Ireland: Significant rise in young direct sellers
New figures released by the Direct Selling Association of Ireland (DSAI) reveal a significant rise in the number of under 25-year-olds turning to direct selling, as an alternative to traditional employment. Figures from the DSAI’s member companies reveal a 60% rise in the total number of direct sellers in Ireland aged under-25, compared to 2011 figures.

With Irish youth unemployment at 26.7%, according to the Central Statistics Office, the jobs market for under-25s is increasingly difficult. Lynda Mills, Director of the Direct Selling Association of Ireland said: “The high unemployment figures show there is a real concern regarding young people finding work, and it is incredibly positive to see direct selling increasingly appealing to young people as a way to work for themselves and get up and running quickly. Despite the difficult jobs market, there is a real desire among many young people in Ireland to run their own business and make a very successful career.” 
 
Lynda Mills continues: “Direct selling is thriving as an industry with strong sales throughout recent years – recent figures showed a 121% increase in distributor numbers since the Irish recession began in 2008. While the industry still appeals to core demographics, for younger people it offers an alternative way for them to work with flexibility and freedom.”

The DSAI Website: http://www.dsai.ie

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Herbalife establishes New Terminology
In efforts to simplify the understanding of the company’s participant base, Herbalife recently announced that it will rename a category of participants from “distributor” to “member.”

“We know a large percentage of our distributors or participants are simply discount customers who use our weight management, nutrition, sports and personal care products primarily for their own use,” said Herbalife Chairman & CEO Michael O. Johnson during the company’s second quarter 2013 earnings conference call. “Knowing that most of our participants are discount buyers, we have decided to change and simplify the terminology we use for participants in our network. We believe the changes we are making will better serve our customers and investors and help them better understand our business.”

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Seldia Advocacy Programme on Trade Agreements
Over the course of the next three weeks, Seldia delegations will be meeting with the trade attachés of all the EU member states as well as with the Members of the US Monitoring Group of the International Trade Committee in the European Parliament. The aim of Seldia’s advocacy campaign is for future trade agreements such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the US (TTIP) and the Plurilateral Agreement on Trade in Services (TiSA) to include a specific text within these agreements that recognize the valuable economic contribution of direct selling. 

On 22 July a delegation composed of Seldia, Amway and Herbalife had a very positive first meeting with the EU Commission chief negotiators for both above mentioned trade agreements. Seldia, the US DSA and all involved corporate members are closely coordinating their advocacy on the TTIP.

Next Steps: 

  • On 4 September 2013 the US Monitoring Group of the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament will meet with Commission negotiators to reflect on the first negotiation round that took place from 8-11 July in Washington DC. This meeting is not open for the public.
  • On 26 September 2013 the US Congress International Trade Committee (US ITC) is expected to deliver its impact assessments.
  • A second negotiation round is envisaged for mid-October 2013 in Brussels, a third round is expected to be held in December 2013 in Washington DC.

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New Management at Nikken Europe
Mr. Ben Woodward, who previosuly made a carreer at Amwayn, joined Nikken in 2011 and has now been appointed as the new Managing Director for Europe. We congratulate Mr. Woodward to his new position and wish him all the best. A video message introducing himself and new projects for this autumn can be found here

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MEPs keen to join Seldia event
Many Members of the European Parliament have already inscribed to be a part of the upcoming Seldia European Parliament lunch debate on Women Entrepreneurship. The event will take place at the European Parliament in Brussels on the 25th of September and will feature EU Commission Vice President Ms. Viviane Reding as a keynote speaker. These well attended public affairs events give stakeholders and policymakers the opportunity to debate on the issues that women entrepreneurs currently face and allow Seldia to present the benefits of direct selling by relating to the remarkable figure of 84% of direct sellers being women. More information and a finalised programme will be sent to Seldia members shortly. 

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EU AT A GLANCE
EU Commission Question on E-Commerce

The European Commission’s, Directorate-General for Internal Market (DG MARKT) is doing a study on what businesses (starting companies, in particular SMEs) need to know before they go online. The focus of this initiative is to find out the level of “awareness” of businesses. 

Please send us your responses and/or any additional information you would like us to share with the Commission by latest on Friday 27 of September. Thank you.

  • How aware are businesses, in particular SMEs, about going online and about the knowledge/skills that are required?
  • What should a business know before it  goes “online” (information, training, skills, for example for the creation of a website, etc.)?
  • Are you aware of any existing (national) initiatives, trainings, etc.? Some Chambers of Commerce for example organise one day courses. Are you aware of these kind of courses? Are they useful? How can they be improved? What should be the role of the EU in this matter?      

EVENTS

Seldia European Parliament Lunch
    25 September 2013, Brussels
Annual Round Table on the Future of Direct Selling
    2 October 2013, Brussels
5th Annual EU E-Commerce Conference
    15 October 2013, Brussels (EMOTA)
EuroCommerce SME Day
    21 October 2013, Brussels
2013 SME Assembly in Lithuania
    25-26 November 2013, Vilnius (EU Commission)
EuroCommerce 20th Anniversary Dinner
    25 November 2013, BrusselsTo top      

 

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Troy Dooly is recognized internationally as an influencer in the areas of personal branding, leadership development, marketing campaigns, organizational expansion, and corporate launch strategies. Dooly is a speaker, results coach, and radio host. He is a founding member, show host (Beachside CEO) and News Director of the Home Business Radio Network. He is a founding member, and currently serves on the Board of the Association of Network Marketing Professionals