Few weeks ago the WFDSA (World Federation of Direct Selling Associations) announced 2015 figures it had gathered from local organizations. Before that, we had Direct Selling News magazine’s company-specific sales volumes.
Both reports contain interesting statistics, especially from a comparative point of view. Let’s take a look at these numbers.
Amway is the new title sponsor of the USA Today Coaches Poll, which establishes the ranking of the top 25 teams in college football. The poll will now be called the Amway Coaches Poll. The American Football Coaches Association Coaches Trophy, the Waterford Crystal football awarded to the national championship team, will also be presented by Amway.
CUTCO/Vector Marketing Corporation has partnered with Purdue University to support the Wounded Warrior Project, a veterans’ service organization that provides programs and services to severely injured service members during the time between active duty and transition to civilian life, and the Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis. Students in Dr. Scott Downey’s advanced sales and marketing class raised $6,000 as a result of CUTCO in the Classroom, a program that allows students to expand the theoretical knowledge of sales learned in the classroom and gain real-world sales experience by selling CUTCO.
Herbalife reported fourth-quarter net sales of $1.3 billion, reflecting an increase of 20 percent compared to the same period in 2012. Net income for the quarter was $123.5 million. On an adjusted basis, adjusted net income for the quarter was $137.2 million, as compared to 2012 fourth-quarter net income of $112.2 million. For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2013, the company reported record net sales of $4.8 billion, an 18 percent increase on 13 percent growth in volume compared to 2012. For the same period, the company reported net income of $527.5 million. View the full press release online.
Mary Kay and members of its independent salesforce joined Georgia’s Coalition Against Domestic Violence (GCADV) in Atlanta recently to advocate for laws that enhance safety and promote justice for domestic violence survivors with Georgia’s lawmakers. This event is part of Mary Kay’s national initiative “Lobbying for Good” and part of the company’s longstanding commitment to prevent and end domestic violence.
WFDSA member Natura Cosmeticos reported its financial results for the year ending on Dec. 31, 2013. The company provided related consolidated statements of income, of comprehensive income, shareholders’ equity and cash flows for the year 2013, including the summary of main accounting practices and explanatory notes. View the full earnings release online.
Global member Oriflame recently reported its year-end and fourth-quarter 2013 financial results. For the three months ending on Dec. 31, 2013, local currency sales decreased by one percent and Euro sales decreased by 10 percent to €371.2 million. The number of active consultants increased by one percent to 3.5 million. For the 12 months ending on Dec. 31, 2013, local currency sales decreased by one percent and Euro sales decreased by six percent to €1.4 billion. View the full press release online.
In additional company news, Oriflame has partnered with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) to create a line of products geared toward sportswomen. The new line will be called the WTA Strong is Beautiful Range.
SimplyFun was recently awarded with three Tillywig Toy and Media Awards and a Family Choice Award.
Pending member ViSalus recently announced it has expanded operations to Germany and Austria through its subsidiaries, Vi Germany GmbH and Vi Austria GmbH.
The news in and around the Direct Sales aka Network Marketing World is roaring right now from Wall Street to Main Street. So what is it, that has everyone talking? I think it is the fact, that from regulators to critics, people are starting to recognize legit network marketing companies from illegal ponzi and pyramid money schemes. This new awareness is opening the doors for investors all the way down to brand new independent professionals getting involved in direct sales in one form or another.
BK Boreyko, Co-founder and CEO of VEMMA, home of the Young Peoples Revolution shot me over the numbers for the first half of 2013…
Starting in January – $14 million, February – $15 million, March – $18 million, April – $19.1 Million, May – $19.3 million, and June – $18.1 million. That’s a total over 103 million dollars! And I might also add that in June VEMMA acquired over 24K new customers and Brand Partners!
San Diego, CA – July 8, 2013 – CLR Roasters, a wholly owned subsidiary of Youngevity International Inc. (OTCQX: YGYI) (www.YGYI.com), announced today that it has signed an agreement with Marketing Management Inc’s (MMI) subsidiary brokerage firm Market Solution Inc. (MSI), to represent CLR Roaster’s Café La Rica Espresso and Josie’s Java House ground coffee brands on a nationwide sales campaign.
Café La Rica holds the third place in sales per unit through Walmart stores with a recent increase of 46%. Over the past 52 weeks, Café La Rica has seen a sales increase of over 300% through Winn-Dixie stores. Café La Rica has also been authorized for sale in 318 Publix Super Market locations in Florida.
Josie’s Java House is a boutique styled ground coffee that comes in a variety of blends and flavors. In 2014, the Josie’s Java House line is to be expanded to include Hazelnut Cream through Walmart.
Café La Rica and Josie’s Java House coffees have full distribution through Sedano’s Supermarkets, the largest Hispanic Supermarket chain in the country. As well as being distributed by Associated Grocers, which services 450 independent stores throughout the state of Florida. Discount Drug Mart has added the Josie’s coffee line and Café La Rica Espresso to all 72 of their stores in Ohio with repeat orders. (Read the full Press Release)
CVSL And Tomboy Tools Sign Letter Of Intent
OPENS DOOR TO HOME IMPROVEMENT AND HOME SECURITY MARKETS
DALLAS and DENVER, July 12, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Tomboy Tools, Inc., an Entrepreneur Magazine “Top 100 Brilliant Company,” and CVSL Inc. [stock symbol: CVSL] announced today that they have signed a letter of intent for Tomboy Tools to become part of CVSL’s family of direct selling companies. (Read Full Press Release)
If short interest as a percent of equity float is an indicator of popularity, Blyth Inc. (BTH) is the most hated stock on the NYSE. However, an in-depth look into the company reveals some key factors that may create an extremely positive risk reward. The market is currently offering shares at unsustainably low valuation, four times management’s 2013 cash flow guidance. Pessimism toward the company is extreme with 75% of the current float short. Management is aggressively repurchasing shares of the company. 14% of the equity float has been repurchased in the last three quarters at higher stock prices than today. The company has repositioned its balance sheet resulting in nearly five years prior to its senior notes maturing. The company’s largest business segment and the focus of the short sellers, appears to be turning a corner. Now may be the perfect time to become a contrarian and invest in Blyth Inc. (Read The Full Report)
To make a clear distinction between genuine direct-selling companies and fraudulent ponzi schemes, the government will soon put in place a set of ‘model guidelines’ to be followed by different states in such cases.
“These guidelines are close to being finalised by the Consumer Affairs Ministry and the Corporate Affairs Ministry has given its suggestions and other inputs in this regard,” union minister Sachin Pilot said.
“There was a meeting of consumers affairs secretary,corporate affairs secretary, myself and other stakeholders on the issue. Once we put these standard guidelines in place, the ambiguities about genuine companies and fraudulent schemes would go away,” the corporate affairs minister told PTI in an interview here. (Read Full Report Here)
Direct selling is a business model that offers entrepreneurial opportunities to individuals as independent contractors to market and/or sell products and services, typically outside of a fixed retail establishment, through one-to-one selling, in-home product demonstrations or online. Compensation is ultimately based on sales and may be earned based on personal sales and/or the sales of others in their sales organizations.
Direct sellers may be called distributors, representatives, consultants or various other titles. They may participate in various ways, including selling the products themselves or through their sales organizations, providing training and leadership to their sales organizations, referring customers to the company and purchasing products and services for personal use.
Network Marketing Pros In The News
Doug DeVos and Steve Van Andel (Amway) have been named Business Persons of the Year by the Economic Club of Grand Rapids. They were honored at a dinner at DeVos Place that was headlined by Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state, U.S. senator and first lady. Steve was also named Chairman of the Board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week, where he will serve a one-year term.
Kirsten Aguilar (Vice President of Marketing) and Leslie Boyd-Bradley (Director of Distributor Development) have been named to SeneGence’s non-profit organization, the Make Sense Foundation.
Diahanna Brown, Vice President, Worldwide Events and Promotions for Herbalife, was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year Award by Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles.
Steve Hastings has been appointed Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Reliv; Brett Hastings has been appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
Mark Patterson has been promoted to Executive Vice President of Vemma.
Andre Peterson, former Director of Global Public Relations of Morinda Bioactives, passed away in his home on June 1, 2013. Andre had been with Morinda Bioactives for 12 years, having also worked at WordPerfect and Managed Wealth Financial.
Monica Wood is now Vice President of Consumer and Distributor Insights forHerbalife.
Network Marketing Companies In The News
The 11th Annual American Business Awards, aka the Stevie Awards, were presented to honorees during a gala banquet on June 17, 2013 in Chicago. The second round of winners will be announced on Sept. 16, 2013 in San Francisco. DSA congratulates the following direct selling companies for their achievements.
Silver Stevie Award—BK Boreyko, Founder and CEO—Executive of the Year—Health Products & Services
Bronze Stevie Award—Vemma Revolution Convention—Best Tradeshow or Convention
Bronze Stevie Award—Vemma Achieve Film Series—Motivational Video
Bronze Stevie Award—This is Vemma! Welcome to the Revolution—PR Video
Bronze Stevie Award—Verve Bold Launch—Marketing Campaign of the Year—Health Products & Services
AL International, parent company of non-member Youngevity, has changed its name to Youngevity International, Inc., and will trade under the stock ticker “YGYI.”
Amway is teaming up with KaBOOM! to build a new playground at the Indian Trails Camp in Tallmadge Township, Mich. The camp provides camping experiences for children and adults with disabilities.
Avon’s beauty and fashion boutique brand, mark, has named actress and singerLucy Hale a Beauty Ambassador. In the role, Hale will appear in mark Magalogs, as well as on mark and Avon digital platforms. She will also be the spokesperson for the m.powerment by mark campaign, the brand’s philanthropic effort dedicated to breaking the cycle of dating abuse and partner violence against young women.
Creative Memories recently announced that plans for layoffs, detailed in an April 16, 2013, notice, will no longer be happening. “We have been and will continue to make changes, but at this time we aren’t expecting any layoffs of that magnitude . We want the business to go forward and we need people to do that,” said Chris Veit, CEO.
CUTCO/Vector Marketing recently presented Linda Price, Ph.D., department head and Underwood Family Professor of Marketing in the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona, with its CUTCO/Vector Distinguished Marketing Award for Lifetime Contributions to Marketing Scholarship, endowed by Vector Marketing Corporation.
Herbalife was presented with an award for its corporate social responsibility by Global Views magazine in Taiwan. The award, in the “Care for the Community” category, was in recognition of Herbalife’s commitment to helping the development of youth baseball in Taiwan.
Immunotec has released its second quarter 2013 financial results. Total revenue for the three-month period reached $12.6 million, an increase of 10.6 percent as compared to the same period in the previous year. Total revenue in the six-month period reached $24.8 million, an increase of 10.4 percent as compared to the same period in the previous year. Network sales in the three-month period reached $11.2 million, an increase of nine percent as compared to the same period in the previous year. Network sales in the six-month period reached $22.4 million, an increase of 10.7 percent as compared to the same period in the previous year. View the full press release online.
Mannatech recently announced the launch of its Give for Real℠ program. This unique, donation-through-consumption initiative is designed to help consumers and social entrepreneurs meet the needs of malnourished children around the world. For every purchase on an automatic order containing certain products, a donation of PhytoMatrix® bulk dietary supplement is provided through MannaRelief to children in need worldwide. MannaRelief is an independent, nonprofit organization.
Mary Kay donated $326,400 to the China Women’s Development Foundation to fund a micro-credit project for women in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality. The funds will go toward helping poverty-stricken women start their own businesses.
In additional company news, Mary Kay has partnered with Jordyn Wieber, the reigning Olympic gold medal gymnast, to raise awareness of teen dating abuse as the official spokesperson of Mary Kay’s “Don’t Look Away” campaign to help prevent and end dating abuse.
Nu Skin will be opening its Innovation Center in October in Provo, Utah. The facility includes two restaurants (both open to the public), a water feature in the 18,000-square-foot, four-story atrium, walking and hanging gardens, a state-of-the-art fitness facility and a two-story glass pavilion with mountain vista views.
Pending member Origami Owl has made the following staff appointments:
Robin Crossman is now the company’s Chief Executive Officer
Deb Bursley is Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications
Kym Gonzales is Vice President, New Market Development
Pam Mercado is Vice President, Sales Strategy and Incentives
Tracey Vlahos is Executive Director, Field Sales Development
PartyLite is a recipient of Manufacturing Executive’s 2013 Manufacturing Leadership 100 Award. The company’s winning project in the Global Value Chain category highlights its successful program to optimize its supply chain through the use of Logility Voyager Solutions™. The Manufacturing Leadership 100 Awards (ML100), presented by Manufacturing Executive, honor manufacturing companies and individual manufacturing leaders who help shape the future of global manufacturing.
In additional company news, PartyLite sponsored and participated in the Relay for Life of Greater Plymouth (Mass.) recently. The event is an annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.
Primerica held its 2013 conference last week at the Georgia Dome. Approximately 35,000 distributors attended the event.
Scentsy recently donated $123,000 to the Special Olympics International. Orville and Heidi Thompson presented the check to representatives from Special Olympics International and member Lauren Schmellick, an Idaho contestant in the 2011 Special Olympics Summer World Games in Athens, Greece, during a ceremony. The money was raised through the sales of its fall and winter special release candle, “Champion.”
Distributors who attended Talk Fusion’s “Believe” corporate event, held recently in Russia, raised a total of $80,000 to benefit Rusfond USA to pay for three surgeries for a Ukrainian toddler suffering from spina bifida.
WineShop At Home has moved into a new 20,000-square-foot facility in Napa Valley, Calif., at the Gateway Business Park.
WorldVentures has launched a Trust Council to measure, audit, counsel and advocate company practices and behaviors in the field and at the corporate office. The council includes corporate executives as well as independent representatives.
Without a doubt Direct Selling worldwide is coming on strong. Having weathered the economic recession of 2008, we are now seeing the rise in sales as well as distributors. And 2013 has started off on a strong note for both the public and private network marketing companies as we can see with this most current MLM News Report.
Success University 2013
Mary Kay Implements Latest Mobile Technologies to Support Worthy Cause
Domestic violence remains the number one cause of injury for women ages 15 to 44 and each year, in the U.S. alone, victims of domestic violence lose nearly 8 million days of paid work. In efforts to promote prevention and raise awareness, Mary Kay has launched innovative strategies to put a stop to violence and educate others about how to identify abuse.
In 1996, Mary Kay Ash first launched the Mary Kay Foundation with a commitment to help bring an end to cancers affecting women. Just five years later, those efforts were expanded to include working toward an end to domestic violence, a cause that has remained one of the foundation’s primary focuses ever since. Today, as part of its efforts, the company takes a uniquely innovative approach to furthering the cause through the use of mobile technology to provide support and assistance to those impacted by domestic violence who may feel they have no place to turn. (Read The Whole Article Click Here)
This week Washington, D.C., was the site of conferences hosted by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) and the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA). DSA’s involvement with these organizations has long been recognized by the DSA Government Relations Committee as an integral tactic of the Association’s government relations and political outreach strategy. DSA attorneys Valerie Hayes and John Webb participated in these events and spoke with numerous State Attorneys General about issues important to the direct selling industry. Specifically, they discussed the recent enforcement action filed against Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing by the Kentucky, North Carolina and Illinois Attorneys General in conjunction with the Federal Trade Commission. DSA staff discussed the Association’s membership review process and members’ compliance with DSA’s stringent Code of Ethics. In addition, DSA staff discussed legislation introduced in various states that would impact direct selling companies and distributors, as well as other issues.
Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder gave keynote addresses at the NAAG meeting, focusing on the Administration’s gun control initiative. Thomas Curry, Comptroller of the Currency, and Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, discussed how the federal government is working with states to enforce consumer protection laws.
As prescribed by the DSA Government Relations Committee, DSA will continue to meet with State Attorneys General to foster these relationships and advocate the interests of the direct selling industry.
Network Marketing Companies In The News
Amway recently opened a new facility at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets baseball team. The Amway Business Center will be used for classes and serve as a resource for distributors. The company has also announced a sponsorship package with the team that includes a sign on the right-center field scoreboard, hospitality opportunities, season tickets and other ways to put its sponsorship into action.
Natura Cosmeticos was ranked No. 2 on the 2013 Global 100 List of the Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. The list is created by Corporate Knights Inc. using data on corporate sustainability from the top 100 large-cap companies in the world. The rankings are announced each year at the World Economic Forum.
Origami Owl has partnered with the country music band Rascal Flatts to promote its TAGGED™ collection. For a limited time customers will receive a digital download of Rascal Flatts’ latest single, Changed, with the purchase of Origami Owl’s Changed Tag.
Stella & Dot has established its European headquarters in London and is now looking to expand to Scotland with the recruitment of up to 450 new sales representatives there.
USANA announced that its China subsidiary, BabyCare Ltd., received official government approval from the Ministry of Commerce People’s Republic of China to expand direct selling activities in three additional provinces/municipalities: Jiangsu, Shanxi and Tianjin. These licenses are in addition to a license in Beijing.
In additional company news, the USANA True Health Foundation donated $10,000 NZ to KidsCan, a nonprofit organization in New Zealand, in response to Mike Allsop completing the 777 Project. The challenge included running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents.
Vemma has won five graphic design awards in two competitions sponsored by GDUSA magazine. The company took home three awards in the American Graphic Design Awards competition and two from the American Package Design Awards.
This weeks Direct Selling News, has the Network Makreting Community on fire as more and more companies and distributors prepare for 2013!!! Even her at MLM Help Desk we are making some huge moves in how we cover the news and create our video news reports.
According to a report issued earlier this year by Business2Community, social media accounts for only 16 percent of customer engagement today; however, that number is expected to jump to 57 percent within the next five years, making it the second-most used channel behind face-to-face interaction.
Recognizing how often consumers turn to social media for product advice, brand recommendations and more, approximately 90 percent of companies nationwide use social media marketing, yet many are left wondering where the dividing line between “too much” and “too little” interaction through social networking platforms stands. (Read On)
Hello my name is Paul Kroto. I grew up and currently live in Buffalo, NY. After graduating from high school I joined the Marines for 4 years and I was proud to serve my country. Upon returning home I went to college to earn my bachelor’s degree in health and wellness and continued on to get my master’s degree in Nutrition.
Zig Ziglar once said, “You can have everything you want just as long as you help enough people get what they want.” Because I was so focused on helping other people have more energy and become healthier I was able to turn my yearly income into my monthly income! For the past 17 years I have continued to share the ”Dead Doctors Don’t Lie” recording with people every day. I have helped thousands of people achieve health and wealth in their lives from just sharing this audio recording. (Read On)
Direct Selling Professionals News
MonaVie recently announced the following new appointments to its executive staff:
Gavon Barkdull has been named President of US Latino Market
Katy Holt-Larson was appointed VP of North America
Dr. Shawn Talbott was promoted to Chief Science Officer
Catherine Ehrenberger, Amway’s Vice President, R&D, Quality and Regulatory, has been elected to the American Cleaning Institute’s Board of Directors.
Michael Norris has been named to the newly created position of President, PartyLite Americas, for PartyLite.
We have 2 pages left to sell before we’re done for the year. This is your last chance to reach 25,000+ of the nation’s top network marketers & opportunity buyers – January 2013.
2 Page “Spread” – $1495 (Reg. $1795)
1 Full Page – $795 (Reg. $1045)
1/2 Page – $495 (Reg. $635)
HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! We’ll see you again in the New Year – 2013… God Bless you and your family this coming year! <><
Amway has partnered with NBA teams the Golden Gate Warriors and the Orlando Magic, as well as the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, to raise awareness and funds to call attention to the malnourishment of children worldwide.
In other company news, Amway has purchased the Fulton Street Strip in Ada, Mich., which will enable a redesign of the town’s village. The finalization of the purchase of the properties was announced by township officials, who say they are excited about the new development possibilities provided by the sale.
Avon has opened voting for its Makeup Mavens video contest for U.S. representatives. More than 600 Avon representatives submitted how-to beauty videos for the chance to be crowned one of four Makeup Mavens, who will serve as Avon Color Brand Ambassadors throughout 2013.
Melaleuca has started to build a 371,000-square-foot home office building, which the company estimates will cost $50 million. The building will house all of Melaleuca’s international and domestic operations except for manufacturing and distribution. It will be the latest addition to the company’s 195-acre campus in Idaho Falls, Idaho. A distribution center is already on the site. Manufacturing operations will follow in coming years, the company said.
Talk Fusion has entered into a second year as the exclusive American corporate sponsor of David Zauner, a member of the Austrian ski jumping team and Talk Fusion Diamond Elite Associate.
USANA made a $10,000 donation through the International Relief Teams to aid victims in the Philippines of Typhoon Bopha. This is the second USANA True Health Foundation donation this year that has gone to support relief efforts in the Philippines.
In additional company news, USANA recently opened an office in Mexico City, Mexico. The new 10,000-square-foot building will house 38 employees with room for 325.
USANA is also now the title sponsor of an Audi FIS Ski Cross World Cup stop and FIS US Snowboard World Cup event. The events, scheduled to be held on Dec. 14, 2012, at Telluride Mountain Resort in Colorado, will be renamed the USANA Ski and Snowboardcross (SBX) Cup.
FTC’s Second Kids’ App Report Finds Little Progress in Addressing Privacy Concerns Surrounding Mobile Applications for Children
Kids’ Data Still Collected, Shared without Parents’ Knowledge, Consent
The Federal Trade Commission issued a new staff report, “Mobile Apps for Kids: DisclosuresStill Not Making the Grade,”examining the privacy disclosures and practices of apps offered for children in the Google Play and Apple App stores. The report details the results of the FTC’s second survey of kids’ mobile apps.
Since FTC staff’s first survey of kids’ mobile apps in 2011, staff found little progress toward giving parents the information they need to determine what data is being collected from their children, how it is being shared, or who will have access to it. The report also finds that many of the apps surveyed included interactive features, such as connecting to social media, and sent information from the mobile device to ad networks, analytics companies, or other third parties, without disclosing these practices to parents.
“While we think most companies have the best intentions when it comes to protecting kids’ privacy, we haven’t seen any progress when it comes to making sure parents have the information they need to make informed choices about apps for their kids. In fact, our study shows that kids’ apps siphon an alarming amount of information from mobile devices without disclosing this fact to parents,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “All of the companies in the mobile app space, especially the gatekeepers of the app stores, need to do a better job. We’ll do another survey in the future and we will expect to see improvement.”
Staff examined hundreds of apps for children and looked at disclosures and links on each app’s promotion page in the app store, on the app developer’s website, and within the app. According to the report, “most apps failed to provide any information about the data collected through the app, let alone the type of data collected, the purpose of the collection, and who would obtain access to the data. Even more troubling, the results showed that many of the apps shared certain information with third parties – such as device ID, geolocation, or phone number – without disclosing that fact to parents. Further, a number of apps contained interactive features – such as advertising, the ability to make in-app purchases, and links to social media – without disclosing these features to parents prior to download.”
The survey found that:
Parents are not being provided with information about what data an app collects, who will have access to that data, and how it will be used. Only 20 percent of the apps staff reviewed disclosed any information about the app’s privacy practices.
Many apps (nearly 60 percent of the apps surveyed) are transmitting information from a user’s device back to the app developer or, more commonly, to an advertising network, analytics company, or other third party.
A relatively small number of third parties received information from a large number of apps. This means the third parties that receive information from multiple apps could potentially develop detailed profiles of the children based on their behavior in different apps.
Many apps contain interactive features – such as advertising, links to social media, or the ability to purchase goods within an app – without disclosing those features to parents prior to download.
Fifty-eight percent of the apps reviewed contained advertising within the app, while only 15 percent disclosed the presence of advertising prior to download.
Twenty-two percent of the apps contained links to social networking services, while only nine percent disclosed that fact.
Seventeen percent of the apps reviewed allow kids to make purchases for virtual goods within the app, with prices ranging from 99 cents to $29.99. Although both stores provided certain indicators when an app contained in-app purchasing capabilities, these indicators were not always prominent and, even if noticed, could be difficult for many parents to understand.
The report strongly urges all entities in the mobile app industry – including app stores, app developers, and third parties providing services within the apps – to accelerate efforts to ensure that parents have the key information they need to make decisions about the apps they download for their children. The report also urges industry to implement recommendations in the recent FTC Privacy Report including:
Incorporating privacy protections into the design of mobile products and services;
Offering parents easy-to-understand choices about the data collection and sharing through kids’ apps; and
Providing greater transparency about how data is collected, used, and shared through kids’ apps.
In addition, FTC staff is developing new consumer education directed to parents to help navigate the mobile app marketplace and avoid apps that fail to provide adequate disclosures.
The report also states that FTC staff is launching non-public investigations to determine whether certain entities in the mobile app marketplace are violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act or engaging in unfair or deceptive practices in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
The Commission vote authorizing staff to issue the report was 5-0.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.
Office of Public Affairs
Manas Mohapatra Bureau of Consumer Protection
This week I share about a new format I will be using in reporting the news in 2013, and some of fantastic news on the financial health of the direct selling industry and the network marketing community that makes it what it is.
Direct Selling Companies You May Not Have Heard Of!
Awbrey Smith started this company out of her home in 2011. With little to go on besides a crazy idea and “dream” of what she wanted to accomplish for women all over the country, 2CP has grown by leaps and bounds since it’s opening. According to Awbrey, the success of 2CP lies within her amazing team (listed below) and the consultants and customers who make each day an exciting one! Work is no longer what she has to do to help pay the family bills, it is now a growing change that Awbrey is helping make in women’s lives all over.
We have been helping women build businesses for over 20 years.
Cookie Lee jewelry is delivered directly to customers through shows, fundraisers and personal shopping. Our ever-growing base of independent Consultants operates throughout the United States.
A HISTORY OF SWEET SUCCESS!
DOVE CHOCOLATE DISCOVERIES™ launched in February 2007 as one of the latest ventures from Mars, Incorporated. Now, a global leader in chocolate, Mars roots goes back to the kitchen. In the 1880’S, when Frank Mars was a young boy, his mother taught him to hand-dip chocolate. With his wife, Ethel, Frank started a home candy-making business in Tacoma, Washington, that eventually grew into Mars, Inc., a world-wide industry leader in chocolate confections. Going back to its direct-selling heritage, Mars created DOVE CHOCOLATE DISCOVERIES™. Since then, the Chocolatier sales force has taken off. There are now Chocolatiers in 48 states.
With over 100 years of candy-making experience behind us, DOVE CHOCOLATE DISCOVERIES™ is dedicated to creating the ultimate chocolate experience – in the comfort of your own home, providing an opportunity to share some sweet moments with family and friends. Plus, as a Chocolatier, you’re walking in the door with respect and recognition. What could be sweeter than that!
The lia sophia Story
Jewelry has been a passion in the Kiam family for decades. In fact, lia sophiaisn’t the only jewelry company that family patriarch and entrepreneur Victor Kiam and his wife, Ellen, were a part of. They learned a great deal about the business from the Friendship Collection, which they started as a mom-and-pop enterprise in their apartment decades earlier. By the 1970s, it had grown into the United States’ largest importer of jewelry, antiques and artifacts from China. Even early on, their instincts were good. (Read On)
We had a question in early 2010- what would happen if women were able to earn some extra money selling designer jeans at a discount? Well, based on the success we have had so far, the answer is pretty clear. Vault Denim is a direct sales company that is a little different than others. Our consultants don’t have to spend money to purchase their own inventory- we provide it. Customers don’t place orders at home parties and then wait for products to be shipped- they wear their new jeans home. And because we sell the same jeans found in department stores for up to 50% less, people are lining up to host parties and become a part of this fast-growing, exciting company.
Leslie Montie never dreamed she would become the founder of a company that helps families enjoy great tasting, nutritious meals in minutes.
When Leslie discovered that her two young children had medical conditions requiring special dietary restrictions, she began her search for healthy alternatives. “It was amazing how this impacted our entire family.” recalls Leslie. â€œI needed to come up with meals that my children would not react to, yet still enjoy. And since I was a full-time working mom, they had to be easy to make.” (Read On)
At Willow House, our mantra is Simply Good Design — and it permeates everything we do.
Our in-house designers strive to create high-quality products with impeccable design and effortless style, from the sparkling luxury of our designer Jewelry by Sara Blaine to our line of exclusive home décor and American artisan pieces.
More than simply “on trend,” our exclusive home décor and jewelry collections are thoughtfully designed to be timeless. They’re pieces that you’ll enjoy wearing and decorating with season after season.
But Simply Good Design runs deeper than our look — it’s in the very soul of our company. You see, Willow House offers our family of Consultants two strong divisions to grow their own small business — Jewelry by Sara Blaine and Style for Home. We empower our Consultants with the tools needed to succeed in this ever-growing industry.
Willow House is the most compelling home-based business opportunity in America. Through e-commerce, savvy social media marketing and our on-trend blog, Plate & Pattern, we help our Consultants connect with their customers in new, exciting, and profitable ways.
Network Marketing Company News
AdvoCare will continue its partnership and primary sponsorship of Austin Dillon’s No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet for the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. This follows the company’s sponsorship of Dillon and the No. 3 car for 20 races in the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season.
Berkshire Hathaway, parent company of Kirby,The Pampered Chef and World Book, announced its financial results for the third quarter of 2012. The conglomerate reported that its third-quarter profit rose as strength in the railroad and utility businesses, as well as investment gains, offset weaker results in its insurance units. Berkshire said its cash holdings grew to $47.78 billion, up $10 billion from the start of the year. View the full press release online.
Blyth, parent company of PartyLite and ViSalus, reported earnings for the third quarter of 2012. Net sales for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2012, increased 40 percent to $268.8 million versus $191.5 million for the comparable prior-year period, primarily due to the 132 percent year-over-year sales growth at ViSalus. International sales for Blyth represented 25 percent of third-quarter sales this year, compared to 34 percent last year, driven by ViSalus’ strong domestic sales growth. View the full press release online.
Mannatech has reported net income of $2.2 million for the third quarter ending Sept. 30, 2012, compared to a net loss of $3.7 million for the third quarter of 2011. In achieving net income of $2.2 million for the third quarter of 2012, non-cash items impacting profitability included a reduction in a previously recognized deferred tax asset valuation allowance of approximately $1 million, a release of reserves related to transaction taxes of $800,000 due to the expiration of statutes of limitations, and income from foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations of $500,000. Third-quarter operating profitability and net income adjusted for the non-cash items listed above was near even as the company moves closer to its goal of profitability.
Net sales for the third quarter of 2012 were $43 million, a decrease of 14.8 percent, compared to $50.5 million in the third quarter of 2011. Net sales for the U.S. and Canada declined 16.3 percent to $20.5 million, compared to $24.5 million in the third quarter of 2011. International net sales of $22.5 million decreased 13.5 percent, compared to $26 million in the third quarter of 2011. View the full press release online.
Medifast, parent company of Take Shape for Life, announced its financial earnings for the third quarter of 2012. Net revenue increased 20 percent to $91 million from net revenue of $76.1 million in the third quarter of the prior year. Each of the company’s three primary distribution channels, Take Shape for Life, Direct Response Marketing and Medifast Weight Control Centers and Wholesale Physicians, contributed to this year-over-year revenue increase. Revenue in the direct sales channel, Take Shape for Life, increased 20 percent to $55.6 million in the third quarter of 2012 compared to $46.4 million in the same period last year. Growth in revenue for Take Shape for Life was driven by increased customer product sales as a result of an increase in the number of active health coaches and an increase in the monthly revenue per health coach. The company ended the third quarter with approximately 10,800 active health coaches and the average revenue per health coach per month for the quarter increased 3 percent to $1,634 compared to $1,585 in the third quarter of 2011. View the full press release online.
Nature’s Sunshine Products recently reported its third-quarter financial results. Net sales were $91.2 million, compared with $91.1 million in the same quarter a year ago, an increase of 0.1 percent; however, net sales increased 2.1 percent in local currencies. As of Sept. 30, 2012, active managers worldwide were 28,700, an increase of 1.8 percent from Sept. 30, 2011, while active distributors and customers worldwide were 656,800, a decrease of 3.7 percent from the end of the quarter a year ago. Operating income was $8.7 million, compared with an operating loss of $5.1 million and pro forma operating income from continuing operations of $9.6 million (excluding contract termination costs) in the same quarter a year ago, a decrease of 9.7 percent year-over-year. For the first nine months of the year, net sales were $277.1 million, compared with $275.8 million in the same period a year ago, an increase of 0.5 percent; however, net sales increased 2 percent in local currencies.
Net income was $20.9 million, compared with net income of $10 million and pro forma net income of $19 million (excluding contract termination costs) in the same period a year ago, an increase of 9.9 percent year-over-year. In the U.S., net sales were $33.7 million, compared with $33.5 million in the same quarter a year ago, an increase of 0.5 percent. Net sales for core products increased by 1 percent, but were partially offset by the discontinuance of non-core products. Active managers within NSP U.S. totaled approximately 5,300 and 5,600 at Sept. 30, 2012 and 2011, respectively. Active distributors and customers within NSP U.S. totaled approximately 191,500 and 210,300 at Sept. 30, 2012 and 2011, respectively.
Synergy WorldWide, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nature’s Sunshine Products, Inc., reported net sales of $26.3 million, compared with $24.5 million in the same quarter a year ago, an increase of 7.1 percent. In local currencies, net sales increased 13.1 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. Active managers within Synergy Worldwide totaled approximately 3,200 and 2,600 at Sept. 30, 2012 and 2011, respectively. Active distributors and customers within Synergy Worldwide totaled approximately 89,100 and 85,000 at Sept. 30, 2012 and 2011, respectively. View the full press release online.
Primerica announced its financial results for the third quarter of 2012. Total revenues were $299.1 million in the third quarter of 2012 and net income was $45.6 million. Operating revenues increased by 7 percent to $295.2 million in the third quarter of 2012, compared with $276 million in the third quarter of 2011. Net operating income grew by 21 percent to $45.1 million in the third quarter of 2012, compared with $37.3 million in the third quarter of 2011. The size of the company’s life-licensed insurance salesforce was 91,506 at Sept. 30, 2012, up modestly from 90,868 at June 30, 2012.
There was downward pressure on recruiting in the second and third quarters as the company placed more focus on licensing initiatives, which improved the percentage of new recruits obtaining a license in those quarters. Lower sequential recruiting levels in the second quarter and a 3 percent decline in recruiting in the third quarter from the second quarter translated into 12 percent fewer new life licenses in the third quarter than in the second quarter of 2012. On a year-over-year basis, the life-licensed salesforce was down slightly from 91,970 at Sept. 30, 2011. Coming off the unusually high post-convention recruiting surge in 2011, recruiting declined 43 percent to 47,639, and new life licenses declined 17 percent to 8,613 compared with the third quarter of 2011. View the full press release online.
Stella & Dot won the Retail Innovation award for the 16th annual Accessories Council Excellence Awards. The company was also listed as No. 11 on the “100 Fastest Growing Private Companies in the Bay Area” list, published in the San Francisco Business Times.
Stream Energy is working to assist low-income families this winter with a donation to the Fuel Fund of Maryland. The donation will help families in distress with their heating and energy needs. The company has provided electricity services to customers in Maryland since 2011.
Direct Selling on Wall Street: Despite Challenges, Companies Post Record Q3 2012 Results
As the United States continues to emerge from the effects of the global recession, direct selling companies are seeking—and, in many instances, capitalizing on—opportunities for growth and expansion in the U.S. and abroad.
Of those companies to post strong results for third quarter 2012, Herbalife, Nu Skin andUSANA were among those publicly traded direct selling companies to report record-breaking figures.
Herbalife reported record third-quarter net sales of $1 billion, a 14 percent increase year over year; and Nu Skin announced record third-quarter results with revenue of $526.2 million, a 23 percent improvement over the prior-year period. Additionally, USANA’s net sales for the third-quarter 2012 increased by 15.1 percent to $165.2 million.
Although such results are not representative of the entire industry, they are indicative of the steady growth various companies across the channel have experienced in recent months.
“We truly believe, as direct sellers, we’re at the right place at the right time,” said DSA President Joe Mariano. “We’re an industry that clearly thrives on better service, consumer education and opportunities that aren’t necessarily available to the rest of the market. We’re centered on the fact that people trust what we do and share a passion for what we do and that’s something unique.”
In many ways, this uniqueness that defines the direct sales channel proffers an advantage as companies look to enter the public market.
“As more and more direct selling companies continue to do well in the public market, that will be great for the overall industry and attract more investors,” said Rodney Clark, Managing Director and Co-Head of U.S. Consumer Investment Banking with supplier member Canaccord Genuity Inc. “The model has worked extremely well and growth is strong. As direct selling companies mature, they have to find ways to continue their growth, whether it’s through new products or distribution or expansion to new markets.”
While financial gain is most commonly viewed as the distinct advantage to going public, for many companies—particularly direct selling companies—another key benefit is an increased public awareness of the company as well as the business model itself.
“There is somewhat of an education element present in that people who don’t know much about the direct selling model might have picked up on the bad case studies that are out there and based their opinions on those instances,” Rodney said. “The direct selling industry is going to have to distance itself from those cases over time. It’s very similar to what’s happened in the nutrition industry. There was once a lot of turmoil but, in that industry, we’ve seen a lot of strategic big deals. Just like the nutrition industry, as direct selling gains traction, investors will become more astute to the fact that this is a highly productive channel.”
Even when negative coverage of the direct sales channel is not making front-page news, broad-sweeping generalizations, however inaccurate they might be, pose challenges to direct selling companies looking to break into the public market.
“The industry has had some challenges in the public’s eyes so valuations aren’t very rich right now,” Rodney said. “It’s been a little challenging for direct sellers to attract new investors because there’s been a spotlight on the industry and there hasn’t always been a positive tone in some of the coverage that’s out there. But, what companies are showing coming out of the recession is that many are getting the right products and services into distributors’ hands and are seeing strong growth. These business models are fantastic and if you’ve got the right products in the right hands and distributors who are excited and engaged, you can post positive results.”
As direct selling companies new to the public sector face a number of challenges including legal and accounting fees, Securities and Exchange Commission reporting requirements and pressure to increase earnings, it is important to recognize that the greatest challenges are often those that companies face internally.
“Abstracting from the direct selling industry and looking at the broader market, any company can face challenges in the spotlight, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the rest of the industry isn’t doing well or shouldn’t be viewed favorably,” Rodney said. “The challenges could be company-specific, such as management issues. Overall, the industry is a strong industry and for the companies that are well-managed and on trend, they’re firing on all cylinders in the public market and even experiencing a great deal of international growth.”