The College of New Jersey’s (TCNJ) School of Business will host an international conference on multi-level marketing and consumer harm on June 10-11, 2022.
The conference will take place virtually and will once again be moderated by TCNJ Professor of Marketing William Keep, a critic and academic researcher of MLM for over 20 years.
The second annual conference, “Multilevel Marketing: The Consumer Protection Challenge 2022,” comes on the heels of the Federal Trade Commission’s advance notice of proposed rulemaking to regulate money-making and earnings claims, a rule that would directly impact the Direct Selling/MLM industry.
The conference brings together regulators, prosecutors, former MLM distributors, social media consumer advocates, researchers, educators, and journalists to increase and enrich awareness of the current state of consumer harm caused by the MLM industry both in the United States and abroad.
Participants from last year’s highly-successful MLM conference voiced a strong interest in continuing discussions and sharing more research about the MLM industry. “Feedback from last year indicated a strong interest in learning more about regulatory efforts and providing more opportunities to share research and actual experiences by MLM participants,” says Keep. “This year we will discuss the Federal Trade Commission’s “Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” (ANPR) on deceptive earnings claims, a new FTC initiative. A greater number of social media activists (i.e., #antimlm) will allow us to share and discuss the experiences of former MLM distributors.”
This year’s keynote speaker, Bonnie Patten, Executive Director and co-Founder of TINA.org, examines and documents the failure of industry “self-regulation,” contrary to much-touted MLM industry claims. Participants will discuss the often-misleading strategies used in retaining MLM participants; current industry trends, including MLM companies in the cryptocurrency space; new efforts to increase global awareness of consumer harm; and a recent study of micro-lending by an international non-profit to low-income women that (unsuccessfully) participated in MLM companies.
“We would hope attendees take away an increased awareness of the types of consumer harm caused by the industry, a clear-eyed view of the failure of industry self-regulation, a sense of the global scope of the problem, and some confidence in the evolving national and regulatory environment seeking to reduce consumer harm.”
Contact: Dr. William Keep, firstname.lastname@example.org