Thursday, January 2, 2020

FTC Goes After MLM Neora, Formerly Nerium, for Illegal Pyramid Scheme

Two Nerium containers back when I tried it circa 2014.

Nerium has always had a questionable reputation. I have to assume that was one reason--perhaps the main reason--the company changed its name to "Neora." Apparently, watchdog group Truth In Advertising shares that opinion.

As someone who writes skincare articles and has written them for sites like Yahoo and Examiner, I was contacted during Nerium's early boom and offered a free trial. I tried it and it burned my skin. Not only that, but the product was held in small containers hidden inside much larger plastic containers.

This prompted me to do a great deal of research into the product and discover it was the brainchild of a serial MLM marketer Jeff Olson who used dubious claims and faulty science as well as fake endorsements to hawk his latest MLM product.

His early claims tried to tie the company's research into MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas. The cancer center was forced to respond with this article: 
Setting the record straight about MD Anderson and Nerium
Actor Ray Liotta sued the company for using his images in a fake before and after photo for Nerium AKA Neora. 
Ray Liotta Claims Skincare Company Faked His Endorsement

A search for Nerium burn turns up page after page of people complaining and even suing the company over chemical burns caused by the product. I experienced a Nerium chemical burn first hand, and it was painful and disfiguring until it cleared up after I used a product called Soothe to heal the burn. 

In 2017, Nerium's Jeff Olson was accused of massive, multi-million dollar fraud by Nerium SkinCare (NSC) and Nerium Biotechnology (NBI), partners of Nerium International. The Nerium partners asked in the lawsuit for inspection of the books. 
Nerium Under Fire for Fraud 

Now Neora has moved beyond Nerium's bad skin care into dangerous new ground,  and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is not pleased. The Federal Trade Commission has sued the multi-level marketer Neora, and its Chief Executive Officer, Jeffrey Olson, alleging that the company is basically an illegal pyramid scheme that falsely promises its recruits they will achieve financial independence if they join the scheme. 

That's bad enough, but the lawsuit also alleges that Neora and Olsen deceptively promote “EHT” supplements "as an antidote to concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy caused by repetitive brain trauma, as well as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease."

According to the FTC website, the FTC is seeking to permanently stop the Neora defendants’ deceptive practices and return money to consumers.

FTC Sues Multi-Level Marketer Neora, formerly known as Nerium, Alleging it Operates as an Illegal Pyramid Scheme

It pays to do your due diligence before trying skin care products or becoming a rep for any company. Never just read the company's literature. Google it. 

Many MLMs are run ethically and provide good products that benefit consumers like legacy companies Mary Kay, Avon and Rodan + Fields. The term MLM is not a bad word, but companies like Nerium/Neora give it a bad reputation.

Also see:
Have you heard of Nerium Skincare?

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