For the first time in history, I believe he direct sales, network marketing, MLM, or whatever you call it, is finally collaborating and Raising the Bar. No longer is the Status Quo good enough. No longer is turning a blind eye to companies operating in the gray or using loopholes and not standing up to protect the people from the top down, good enough. And the news this week goes a long way to validate this collaboration.
Direct Selling Energy Companies Power Worthy Causes
As energy deregulation has enabled the direct sales channel to tap into a whole new market in recent years, two of direct selling’s leading energy companies, Stream Energy and Viridian Energy, have gone beyond powering people’s homes in efforts to transform lives and unite communities in support of worthy causes.
“We strive to be leaders in the energy industry and in the local communities we service,” said Stream Energy’s Chief Marketing Officer, Matt McGaughey. “Partnering with Captain Hope’s Kids has really helped us dive into meeting the needs of our surrounding neighborhoods and, most importantly, we’ve been able to help meet the needs of homeless children all over North Texas. By combining our efforts with Hawaiian Falls and Captain Hope’s Kids, we’re able to give more than just a day of fun at the water park. With the help of Hawaiian Falls, we hope to be able to raise awareness and support for Captain Hope’s Kids throughout the summer and create an experience to provide some fantastic memories for children that would otherwise not have an opportunity like this.”
“The Viridian brand is based on the principle of giving back to the communities where we live and work,” said Meredith Berkich, Senior Vice President of the Viridian Network. “In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, our associates wanted to get involved in disaster relief efforts. It’s natural that Viridian associates, who are a community of like-minded change agents, would extend their support to One Fund Boston. The initial idea for the Boston fundraiser came from Michael and Jason, who were looking for a way for their group, the Green Team of New England, to help the victims and families impacted by the Boston Marathon attacks.” (Click To Read The Full Article)
Federal Trade Commission Shuts Down Fraudulent Scam
Just a few years ago, the Direct Selling Association and its member companies successfully carried out a large, multiyear effort to have the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Business Opportunity Rule focus on illegitimate frauds and scams, often masquerading as legitimate direct sellers. Recently, the FTC shut down a fraudulent operation that was the type of scam the Rule was ultimately crafted to address.
This particular fraud involved a work-at-home scheme that falsely promised jobs and income to the unemployed or underemployed. The scam involved data-entry work processing rebates and credit card applications. The FTC found the scheme constituted fraud and therefore violated the FTC Act and the FTC’s Business Opportunity Rule and also failed to provide the required disclosures under the Rule.
DSA will continue to monitor and report on the FTC’s enforcement of the Business Opportunity Rule and applauds the Commission’s efforts to root out fraudulent scams such as these.
Network Marketing Pros In The News
Barry Bondroff, CPA, has been appointed Lead Director for the Board of Directors of Medifast, parent company of DSA member Take Shape for Life. Carl Sassano has also been appointed to the Board and will serve on the company’s Compensation Committee.
Sheri McCoy, CEO of Avon, will be the keynote speaker at the 2013 Cosmetic Executive Women Achiever Awards.
Network Marketing Companies In The News
4Life has announced pre-enrollment for Brazil, the company’s 23rd global marketplace. Networkers are now invited to enroll prior to product availability.
In additional company news, 4Life and LifeVantage are now members of the United Natural Products Alliance, based in Salt Lake City.
Herbalife has announced it will be the Official Nutrition Partner of the 2013 Guinness International Champions Cup. This eight-team tournament, which features some of the world’s best and most prestigious football clubs from Spain, Italy, England and the U.S., begins on July 27 and culminates with the championship final in Miami on Aug. 7, 2013.
In additional company news, Herbalife and AEG Worldwide, a sports and entertainment company, have agreed to a partnership in which Herbalife will be the official shirt sponsor of Swedish football team, Hammarby Fo0tboll Club. Herbalife will also become the club’s official global nutritional partner until 2016.
Also, Herbalife Vietnam and the Vietnam Olympic Committee have announced that Herbalife is the official nutrition sponsor for Vietnam’s athletes competing at the 27th South East Asian Games 2013 (SEA Games 2013) in Myanmar, to be held in December 2013.
Mary Kay has ceased operations in India due to regulatory and financial concerns. Independent representatives there were alerted in February.
In additional company news, Mary Kay (China) recently partnered with the China Women’s Development Foundation to donate 1.5 million yuan (U.S. $244,350) to the Fujian Women’s Federation in Fuzhou, capital of southeast China’s Fujian Province, to help provide women with small loans to start their own businesses. Mary Kay (China) plans to donate another 5 million yuan (U.S. $814,500) this year to distribute loans to women in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality, central China’s Hubei Province, southeast China’s Fujian Province and north China’s Hebei and Shanxi provinces.
Talk Fusion has donated $8,900 to Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E.), a small, nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter located in Ruskin, Fla., for abused and abandoned cats and dogs.
Tupperware announced second-quarter financial results for 2013.
Second-quarter 2013 net sales were $688 million. Emerging markets, accounting for 65 percent of sales, achieved a 14 percent increase in local currency. Established markets were down one percent, a sequential improvement versus the first quarter. In Europe, sales were up three percent versus last year. Emerging markets were up 10 percent, led by a 27 percent increase in Turkey.
France was up 10 percent in the quarter after having been down in the prior year. Sales in Asia Pacific were up 13 percent, driven by the emerging markets, up 20 percent. This was led by Indonesia, which was up 36 percent. India and China were both up more than 20 percent. The total salesforce was up three percent, a six percent improvement over the first quarter.
Sales in Tupperware North America were up 11 percent, which reflected Tupperware Mexico sales up 12 percent, primarily a result of higher salesforce activity. Tupperware U.S. and Canada sales were up four percent versus the prior year. The salesforce size comparison improved eight percent in the quarter to a three percent advantage. Sales for Beauty North America were down five percent. Fuller Mexico sales were down six percent.
BeautiControl sales were down 26 percent. Sales were up 18 percent in South America, with Brazil up 32 percent in local currency. Venezuela was up 13 percent. A 17 percent quarter-end advantage in salesforce size was an improvement over the first quarter. The active salesforce, while down three percent, was an eight percent improvement over the first quarter.View the full press release online.
USANA recently announced record financial results for the second quarter of 2013. Net sales increased by 17.5 percent to $189.1 million compared with $160.9 million in the prior-year period. This growth in net sales was driven by increases in both the company’s Asia Pacific and North America/Europe regions.
Favorable changes in currency exchange rates also contributed approximately $1.2 million to the top line for the quarter. Net earnings for the second quarter increased to $24.2 million, an improvement of 44.6 percent, compared with the prior-year period. This increase was due primarily to higher net sales and lower relative operating expenses, which were partially offset by a higher effective tax rate.
Net sales in Asia Pacific increased by 24.3 percent to $122.4 million, compared with $98.4 million for the second quarter of the prior year. This improvement was due to strong sales growth in the Greater China and Southeast Asia Pacific regions, which was driven by a 12.5 percent increase in the number of active associates in Asia Pacific. Net sales in North America/Europe increased by 6.9 percent to $66.8 million, compared with $62.5 million in the prior-year period. The company generated double-digit sales growth in Mexico and moderate sales growth in the U.S., Canada and France. Sales growth in the U.S. and Canada was due primarily to increased associate productivity, while growth in Mexico and France was driven by double-digit increases in the number of active associates. View the full press release online.
Health and fitness company ViSalus has unveiled a major effort to improve programs and materials geared toward its Hispanic consumers. The company behind the Body by Vi 90-Day Challenge recently announced the expanded strategy at its national Vitality convention.
Collaborating with more than 5,000 of the company’s own independent promoters of Latino Heritage, ViSalus has taken a comprehensive approach to expanding its focus on the Latino market. The company’s new offerings include updated promotional materials to cross cultural and language barriers, a convenient cash payment solution, and plans to launch a multi-city Spanish-only Challenge Tour in Q3 2013.
ViSalus is tapping into a large segment of this potential buying (and selling) power with a greater focus on the 50 million U.S. citizens of Hispanic descent. The effort aligns the company’s commitment to helping people lose weight with an at-risk population.
“Hispanics are 1.2 times more likely to become obese than non-Hispanics,” said Nick Sarnicola, Co-Founder and Global Ambassador of ViSalus. “This is an important constituency for us, and we are excited to bring the Body by Vi Challenge to them to change more lives that are truly at risk.” (Read Full Press Release)