The Amway Media Blog has a new post up giving more information on the situation in the United Kingdom. What we now know is that the parties involved in the DTI investigation are Network TwentyOne, Britt World Wide, and Amway. Amway saysthat it's their understanding that -
The heart of the DTI’s position, as we understand it, is that the business opportunity is promoted by incorporated and unincorporated organizations in a manner that does not reflect the financial rewards people are likely to earn when they participate in the Amway business.
The DTI also objects to the manner and frequency in which meetings and BSMs are promoted by the sales organizations in conjunction with the Amway business opportunity.
My first thought is that to the best of my knowledge, objecting to how often somebody markets something doesn't have much of a legal basis :-). Interestingly, at the court hearing on Monday, the court -
ordered DTI to set out its case in more detail so that Amway, Network 21 and Britt know precisely what is being alleged. Each company will have the opportunity to respond to the claims and to submit evidence.
So apparently the court didn't think the DTI had done this clearly to date. My guess is the DTI probably repeated many of the critics talking points about "average income" and "negative sum game" and such. These are very simplified and naive criticisms of the business and given access to decent statistics, which hopefully Amway and the systems have, such concerns may be alleviated.
From the perspective of the individual IBO, the following points are probably what matters most. Amway has undertaken to –
- Prohibiting business support materials that are not authorized and distributed by Amway.
- Prohibiting meetings where an entry fee is charged, unless Amway has approved the meeting and its content.
- Imposing a moratorium on the registration of new IBOs for 12 days, then introducing a revised registration policy.
- Providing the DTI 21 days’ notice before restarting the registration of IBOs.
- Amway will not implement any policy that requires payment of a registration fee prior to the hearing of the petition.
- Amway has also volunteered to inform the DTI of any violations of the corrective measures, and the action that Amway will take in response to the violations.
Quite obviously this dramatically changes the "independence" of IBOs, especially given the extremely broad definition of Business Support Materials.
The definition of Business Support Materials 'BSMs') is intended to be interpreted broadly and includes, by way of example:
printed materials, audio-video and multimedia productions, internet-based products and services, extra Amway recognition and award systems, meetings and other events, and other materials or equipment used to support information or sale of Amway products or services, as ell as coupons, vouchers, tickets or standing order/subscription programs relating to any of the foregoing.
Over on mlmleads.eu, Demetrius has an update on a letter from Amway UK -
From: InfoCenter-UK@amway.com [mailto:InfoCenter-UK@amway.com]
Sent: 22 May 27 11:52
Subject: Cancellation of Open Meetings/Seminars and Events
Please note this communication has been sent in the following order to all Diamonds, Emeralds and Platinums.
Re: Cancellation of Open Meetings/Seminars and Events
Further to Amway’s recent communications issued on the 4th May 27, we kindly request that you provide us with the following information:
· A list of all Open Meetings, Seminars and any other form of meeting that have been scheduled and/or cancelled.
· Time, location and date of past, present and future Open Meetings, Seminars and any other form of meeting that has been scheduled.
· Confirmation in writing that all scheduled future meetings have been cancelled and all money has been refunded.
Further to the above we are aware that some IBOs wish to hold product training events in replace of Open Meetings. Please be advised that such an event must be authorized prior to being carried out. In compliance with Amway’s current ban on Prospecting and Promotion, Sale and Distribution of BSM we confirm that under no circumstances can non-IBOs attend this event, nor can you show or make any reference to the Amway Sales and Marketing Plan or Promote, Sell or Distribute BSM. Also no entry fee or other form of attendance charge can be made.
Should you wish to carry out a Product Training Event please email firstname.lastname@example.org with all relevant information in connection with the proposed event. The above information will allow us to speed up the authorization process in the future.
We expect your response to this request no later than Monday 28th May 27.
Business Conduct Co-ordinator
European Business Conduct
Aside from the sponsoring moratorium being extended to 4 months, this means an IBO can't even recommend a good business book to their group, or hold a meeting somewhere and just share the costs with their downline. All would be "illegal" according to the new Amway rules. This isn't just a UK issue, similar strict policies are being implemented elsewhere.
This is not the Amway I signed up for.
Now, there are things that I think need to be changed, and I've been working on some suggestions which I think would be relatively simple to implement but would make a dramatic difference to how our business is perceived, in particular in regards to IBO profitability, apparently the major concern of the DTI. After nearly a decade of discussing, analyzing, researching, and debating the business on the 'net, I think I have a pretty good understanding of what's right and wrong with what we do. That, and the promised comments from "System Balance" coming soon. There's so much going on it's hard to know what to focus on!
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