Cincinnati Enquirer Article on Vemma and the Promise of the Youth Market
Amber Hunt from the Cincinnati Enquirer has published a new article on Vemma, a multi-level marketing company that recruits younger, college-age people to hawk energy drinks. The report provides a good introduction to both Vemma and the MLM industry and solicits input and quotes from both critics and supporters.
While the article states that the emphasis on recruiting young adults is unique to Vemma, there are signs that other companies are shifting their focus to do the same. LIFE has its EDGE-series, which targets youths aged 12 and up1. MonaVie recently launched MonaVie Mynt which goes after those in the connected-generation, Generation C. In the late 1990’s, Amway changed its name to Quixtar in the attempt to distance itself from its controversial history and appeal to those growing up in the early years of the Internet.
This demographic is impressionable and ambitious, yet they lack wisdom and experience when it comes to identifying illegal pyramid schemes and dubious business opportunities. As a result, they may be more easily swayed by stories and promises of being financially free in three to five years. The statistics show that the majority of MLM participants do not make much money, let alone enough money to become financially set for life. What happens when these people find themselves years later in greater debt and with the emotional baggage that comes from participating in a business where they are led to believe that they are losers for quitting or that they didn’t succeed because they didn’t work hard enough?
If one has any experience the multi-level marketing companies, one might not detect anything terribly new in the two articles. Many of the quotes that were solicited about Vemma could apply to any number of MLM’s in existence today. Still, it’s important for MLM critics to urge news agencies to continue investigating and reporting on companies that are preying on consumers. An informed consumer is a smart consumer, one who will be less susceptible to the slick presentations and false promises given by many MLM participants.
Finally, contacting the Federal Trade Commission and your local attorney general about MLM’s in your area is another option that concerned consumers should consider. In recent years, a number of companies have been shut down by the government for being scams, pyramid or ponzi schemes, in part based on complaints filed by the public.
1 These kids can’t have a business until they are adults; that doesn’t stop LIFE from getting them hooked on to its products from an early age.