Each direct selling company has its own rules about what distributors can say and do on the internet. It is common for MLM companies to closely guard their trademark(s) and the company has the right to regulate the usage of all of their media, whether it appears in print or online.
The internet has opened up incredible opportunities for both MLM companies and distributors. However, at the same time, MLM companies often wrestle with these opportunities. For instance, some MLM companies will provide a location on their homepage for distributors; some will require a link from the distributors’ homepage to the company’s main website. And, in some cases, direct selling companies won’t allow distributors to promote the company’s product or opportunity (compensation plan) on the internet at all. There are two reasons for this. If the company name appears on each distributor’s homepage then search engine results will produce thousands of “hits” on distributors’ websites instead of the company’s homepage. Amid the thousands of searches, MLM companies may be concerned that people won’t be able to find the company’s homepage.
The other reason a MLM company may not want distributors advertising their marketing materials online is because direct selling companies are concerned about statements that are made about earnings claims (how much distributors are told they will earn) and unauthorized product claims (what distributors claim the company’s products can and cannot do). Earnings claims and unauthorized product claims that have been made by distributors in the past have threatened the MLM business, as well as both the MLM company and distributors. Many government agencies (FTC, FDA, etc.) hold the MLM company responsible for any statements made by its distributors. At the very least, MLM companies are expected to regulate the advertising being made by consultants.
This article is also available online at: http://mlmattorney.com/blog/2013/04/12/i-joined-a-mlm-company-as-a-mlm-distributor-what-can-i-say-about-the-company-in-my-online-marketingadvertising/
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