Are you interested in learning more about the multi-level marketing industry? Find out how you can join a free online MLM conference this month.
We’ve been researching the MLM industry for almost four years now (you can read our MLM articles here). In that time we’ve met the Director General of the DSA, spent hundreds of hours poring through research (like this document published by the FTC) and income disclosure statements, and spoken to global experts on the industry.
And our opinion on the industry after all this research? It’s pretty much a legal scam, barely differentiated from ‘illegal’ pyramid schemes. If you’re new to learning about MLMs, we recommend watching John Oliver’s excellent summary of the industry here:
If you’re already interested in the industry and would like to deepen your knowledge, then we recommend signing up to the world’s first free, global Conference, taking place online on 30 April and 1 May.
This virtual conference brings together expertise from among regulators, prosecutors, former MLM distributors, social media consumer advocates, researchers, educators, and journalists to discuss ways to improve consumer protection and reduce consumer harm within the multi-level marketing (MLM) industry.
The conference has been organised by a highly experienced steering committee of MLM researchers and critics, including our own founder Hannah Martin.
The MLM conference schedule for 30 April
Here is the schedule for 30 April:
9:00 – 9:30: Keynote: FTC Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips
9:30 – 11:00: Regulatory Perspectives: An International Panel
- Moderator: William Keep, PhD (Professor of Marketing, TCNJ)
- Andrew Smith (United States, former Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection, FTC)
- Gabriella Muscolo (Italy, Commissioner, Competition Authority)
- Paul Hanna (Ireland, Deputy Director, Competition and Consumer Protection Commission)
- Russell Jutlah (Canada, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Competition Bureau)
11:10 – 12:30: Federal and State Enforcement Perspectives
- Moderator: Douglas M. Brooks (attorney)
- Peter Vander Nat (FTC, retired)
- Kathleen “Kati” Daffan (FTC)
- Joseph Kanada (Office of the Attorney General, State of Washington)
- Ben Brysacz (Office of the Attorney General, State of Washington)
- Jacob Gilbert (Office of the Attorney General, State of Illinois)
1:00 – 2:20: Academic Panel: MLM Research
- Moderator, Máire O Sullivan, PhD (Munster Technological University)
- Stacie Bosley, PhD (Hamline University)
- Claudia Groß, PhD (Radboud Universiteit)
- Heidi Liu, PhD (Pennsylvania State University)
- Andrew Stivers, PhD (FTC)
2:30 – 3:50: Journalist and Social Media Content Creators
- Moderator, Sarah Casteel (social media and law student)
- Casey Bond (Huffington Post)
- Jane Marie (The Dream podcast; formerly National Public Radio)
- Liz Day (The New York Times; formerly with HBO’s Last Week Tonight)
- Lisette Voytko (Forbes)
The MLM conference schedule for 1 May
And here is the schedule for 1 May:
9:05 – 10:30: What is MLM?
- Moderator, Peter Vander Nat (FTC, retired)
- Robert Fitzpatrick (author and consumer advocate)
- Bruce Craig (Office of the Attorney General, Wisconsin, retired)
- D. Anthony Miles, PhD. (author and marketing consultant)
10:40 – 12:05: How do MLMs recruit and retain participants?
- Moderator, Douglas M. Brooks (attorney)
- Steven Hassan, PhD. (consultant and author)
- Eric Scheibeler (author, former Amway Emerald distributor)
- Elizabeth Villagomez, PhD (consultant and researcher)
- Máire O Sullivan, PhD (Munster Technological University
12:35 – 2:00: How do MLMs silence critics?
- Moderator, William Keep, PhD (The College of New Jersey)
- Peter Skolnik (attorney)
- Joshua Koltun (attorney)
- Alanda Carter (social media content creator)
- Joe Mullin (Electronic Frontier Foundation)
2:10 – 3:35: Product and Earning claims and the true number
- Moderator, Robert Fitzpatrick (author and consumer advocate)
- Hannah Martin (writer, Talented Ladies Club)
- Laura Smith (general counsel, Truth in Advertising)
- Stephen Barrett, MD (consumer advocate, Quackwatch)
Watch a recording of the MLM conference
All times are EST. If you are unable to make any sessions, don’t worry – the conference will be recorded and links to the recordings will be made available to registrants afterwards.
This conference is a must-watch for anyone who has an interest in the industry, whether you are a researcher, journalist, regulator, or simply concerned about the impact on you, your friends or society at large.
Book your place now to secure your virtual seat.
Photo by Jonathan Cosens
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