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From the Web: John Oliver calls out Nu Skin in MLM special

By Kurt Hanson daily Herald - | Nov 7, 2016

It should be old news that Utah, Utah County included, is something of a hub of multilevel marketing, or MLM, businesses.

Among Utah County-based MLMs are doTerra, Young Living and Nu Skin. 

John Oliver, host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” took time in his segment to point out some of the pros and cons of MLM-structured business models, and he unabashedly points out the similarity between MLM businesses and pyramid schemes.

Nu Skin particularly received attention from Oliver in the first 30 seconds of the segment.

“If you are thinking, ‘Well hold on, that business structure sounds familiar. Isn’t that a pyramid scheme?’ Well, there was a journalist waiting … to ask the exact same question,” Oliver said. Oliver then cuts to a clip of a journalist speaking with a Vemma consultant, who says, “It’s not an illegal pyramid scheme. It’s a direct-selling network-marketing company.”

About 25 minutes into the segment, Oliver allegedly quotes Nu Skin’s distributor compensation summary to illustrate flaws in income expectations.

“Nu Skin says around 18 percent of active distributors earned a commission check, which is worse than it sounds because active distributors represent around only 36 percent of total distributors,” Oliver says. “If you do the math, which they conveniently didn’t, that would mean 93 percent of all NuSkin distributors receive zero commission in a given month.”

In the video, Oliver continues to illustrate what he feels are fallacies in MLM companies in the remainder of the 30-minute segment. 

Mobile users can view the video here. Note, this video contains some language.


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