Don't Forget About The FTC
I'm no longer in network marketing but from time to time I'm visiting websites of leaders there to update myself of what's going on over there. Few days ago, I went to Ray Higdon's site and got reminded of the FTC.
This COVID-19 pandemic have caused adrenaline to rush even more in our promotions of our online business that we sometimes get too excited in sharing our business to others forgeting about the rules set by the government in mentioning income or success stories.
I know that here in WA, we are cautioned by the leadership here to be always truthful in what we say in our blogs when it comes to sharing success stories and earnings. And even here inside WA community, I hope everyone is aware of the wishes of the FTC.
What is FTC?
For people outside the United States who doesn't know about this organization, it's the Federal Trade Commission tasked of protecting the consumers in the U.S.. And since the U.S. is the biggest market for most companies, if you're axed in the U.S., then a big portion of you is axed.
For companies to operate without problems, it pays to abide by the rules set by this organization. Be truthful in claims whether it be claims on the products, or claims on the earning opportunity.
In the recent years, several companies have been closed by this organization for violation of the rules. To name a few, there's Empower Network, Digital Altitude, Vemma, and MOBE or My Online Business Empire.
What Wrong They Have Committed?
It would be too long to state here what are their wrong doings that prompted the FTC to shut them down by the most obvious of them all is the misrepresentation of the earning potential.
If someone in the organization made a thousand dollars this week ($1,000) and the upline leader goes to Facebook to congratulate the new achiever to inspire the rest of the team to do the same, they may get in trouble with the FTC.
For the people involved in the opportunity, the gesture is good, but in the eyes of the FTC, that's foul. When you say something like that, it's like you're claiming anybody can do it. But for the FTC, that's deceptive and misleading because not anybody can do it.
In the interview by Ray Higdon with a lawyer who happens to be a marketer, too, it was cleared that to avoid problems with the FTC, we need to be truthful with what we say especially on the income side.
We must always state our income disclaimer.
What is an Income Disclaimer?
In my wordpress website, I see to it that the disclaimer is displayed right there on the top of every page containing mentions of the income opportunities.
I always state that income or success mentioned in my site is achieved based on efforts and commitment. We do not guarantee earnings by merely joining the business opportunity.
In most success stories shared inside WA, I noticed that although there is no visible disclaimer in posts, along the blog post it is always mentioned what it takes to get there, what it takes to earn the same and that's great.
When I was just new here, I complained about the lack of success stories published here and rarity of earnings screenshot especially the most recent ones. But now, I understand why it is not that important and that the understanding of how our system here works is rather encouraged.
There's no problem with our more senior members here for they may already have known about this principle, but for the new comers, I hope this serve as a reminder that, just as our content is easily ranked in Google, what we say here is visible to the regulatory eyes of the FTC.
They're not limited to regulating MLMs, they can regulate us as well.