Multi-level marketing (MLM), also called pyramid selling, network marketing, and referral marketing, is a controversial marketing strategy where profit is derived by a participating salesperson from a sales force which is compensated not solely by the direct sales (although insignificant) generated by the salesperson.
Now, “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver on Sunday shined a spotlight on the predatory infrastructure of multilevel marketing (MLM) schemes like nutrition supplement company Herbalife.
Referring to the claims of some distributors of MLM companies like Herbalife who overinflate the health benefits of the products they sell – even claiming that it allowed some consumers to become pregnant for the first time at age 40 – Oliver responded, “Well, that is obviously bullshit!”
“Nutritional shakes cannot help you get pregnant. There are only 3 liquids that can do that: a glass of merlot, the honey-smooth music of Sade, and good old fashioned jizz.”
“From the outside, these companies do have the trappings of legitimacy…Many have high-profile celebrity endorsers,” he noted.