Amway responds to UK case dismissal

Amway Media Blog has a post up, A sufficient salutary lesson, as well as the following letter to Amway Global employees and Executive Diamonds and above –

To: Global Employees
Global EDC and above

From: Steve Van Andel and Doug DeVos
Subject: Amway wins in UK

We are pleased to share with you the news that the United Kingdom’s High Court has dismissed all government claims against Amway UK, validating the significant reforms we have made to the business model in that market.

We are happy for our UK colleagues and distributors, who have stood by us through an unimaginably difficult year of uncertainty and doubt. We owe them our gratitude – and our commitment to work hard to grow the UK market.

We are also gratified that the direct selling business model received validation from the court – as courts and regulators around the world have done for nearly 5 years.

But this is not a pop-the-champagne victory. This is a reminder that the marketplace and regulators hold us to the highest standards. We have an obligation to meet those standards – and we intend to do so.

There was good news: Support for the concept of multi-level marketing. Recognition of Amway’s efforts to message clearly in company materials.

Most important, the judge found our “radical changes” in the market to be “fully formulated, comprehensive, open and transparent, and capable of effective and ongoing implementation without the supervision of the Secretary of State or the Court.”

There is no mistaking that the changes Amway made impacted the judge’s decision.

Even though he dismissed all three claims against us, the judge also had harsh words for Amway. He was not pleased with the way some IBO organizations had misrepresented the opportunity in the UK, and held us responsible for failing to enforce our rules.

We took issue with the government’s numbers in the case, and we disagree with some of the judge’s conclusions. In particular, our commitment to reform, in the UK and elsewhere, preceded the initiation of the case.

But that does not mean we do not understand what the judge meant when he wrote:

“I consider a winding up order to be disproportionate. The Secretary of State’s investigation and the presentation of this petition are a sufficient salutary lesson to Amway and a clear warning to its peers that if the risks inherent in the multi-level model are not rigorously controlled then serious and expensive consequences follow.”

We hear the message.

We accept the challenge.

We look forward to working with all of you, employees and leaders, to meet that challenge.

Steve Van Andel and Doug DeVos

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