Herbalife In Belgium Convicted For Pyramid Selling

Mad Judge

The Belgium Newspaper HLN reported in his online Edition of Friday 16 december 2011 as follows:

Google Translation:

Vendor fatburners convicted of illegal pyramid selling

Consumer organization TestPurchase has won the legal battle against the American company Herbalife, which the company sued because of pyramid selling.
The commercial court in Brussels sentenced on November 23 Herbalife to end to such practices under penalty of a fine of 5,000 euros per infringement, with a maximum of 250,000 euros.
Herbalife is a major player in Belgium in terms of sales of slimming products and food supplements. The sales system revolves around the Herbalife distributors, the company sells never directly to consumers.
Hierarchical conceived
The company draws its income primarily from the expansion of the hierarchical network of independent sellers conceived. The widespread distribution network includes more than one million distributors in Europe, America and Asia. The main purpose of that system itself is to recruit new distributors, which in the hierarchy of the system can be climbed. Selling products to end users is not a criterion, according to Test Purchasing.
In 2004 the consumer went to court. Test Purchase indeed ruled that an illegal pyramid selling process and has received a legal battle after seven years of her right. The president of the Commercial Court in Brussels says that the Herbalife system is contrary to Articles 99 ° and 91.14 of the Law on Market Practices and Consumer Protection

Herbalife is now on appeal. The company reports that the sentence contains factual errors and is based on misinterpretations of the law and the sales model of the company. The company says still remaining true to the used sales system and trusts that, once clarified certain aspects of its activities, in line with Belgian law. (Belga / sam)




LOS ANGELES, Dec 16, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Herbalife plans to appeal a recent Belgian Commercial Court judgment in a case brought by local consumer organization Test-Aankoop in 2004. The ruling states that Herbalife's sales method violates current Belgian law on unfair commercial practices. It includes a maximum fine of 250,000 euros, should a court determine that any modifications the company makes to its business practices are inadequate to clarify compliance with the judgment.

While the Belgian market represents less than 0.65 percent of the company's worldwide net sales, Herbalife remains fully committed to supporting its Belgian independent distributors and the large customer base they have built over the many years Herbalife has been in Belgium. The company firmly believes its sales method is in compliance with all applicable Belgian laws.

Herbalife believes the judgment contains factual errors and is based on misinterpretations of the law and its direct-selling sales model. Herbalife remains committed to its multi-level direct-selling sales model and is confident that, with clarifications in certain aspects of its business, there will be no doubt as to its compliance with all applicable Belgian laws.

Herbalife has always been a strong campaigner and supporter for legislation to protect consumers against unscrupulous business practices wherever it does business. As part of its commitment to furthering industry best practice and safeguarding consumers around the world, Herbalife plays an active role in, and adheres to the Codes of Conduct of, a large number of industry trade organizations, including The World Federation of Direct Selling Associations, SELDIA — the European Direct Selling Association and more than 40 national Direct Selling Associations.

SOURCE: Herbalife Ltd.

Get more information, facts and figures about Herbalife, click here for the Herbalife overview.

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Comments (17)

  1. Where do you think this leaves the Herbalife distributor Ted? Only last year we saw Wealth Masters International deemed an illegal pyramid scheme in Norway and now Belgium has deemed Herbalife the same – is this a sign that Europe is having major issues with the MLM model in general or is it isolated (for now at least) to these companies and these individual cases?

  2. This is but a blip on the screen and has zero bearing on the inevitable tipping point of Network Marketing credibility. Isolated regulatory bodies will always take occasional pot shots at what we do and we should always take heed to do what we do BETTER, with more integrity, honor and credibility. We are the best option for personal wealth and financial freedom. This Power point may help…..


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  3. Hi Ted,
    Well this just more of the same….Ever since MLM spilled onto the scene in Europe there have either been clandestine insinuations or direct accusations of “pyramid selling” regarding virtually all companies……It all indicates a gross ignorance at high levels of society in general but in Belgium’s case I think its fairly well known that there is high level corruption on a systematic basis…..This leads to the likelihood that there are lobbies at work of a hidden and perverse nature….I hope that Herballife gets ’em between the eyes!…Belgium could do with it and so could the industry in Belgium!

  4. WoW ! Ted,
    What is happening? A cash greedy machine against MLM companies? I hate to see false claims like this come up against Herbal Life.
    I too hope Herbal Life smack them right between the eyes.
    I reccommend that Herbal Life becomes pro-active concerning legal issues like the company I’m with, which hired one of the top rated
    legal firms.
    I know Herbal Life will win in this case.
    Thanks for allowing me to comment.

  5. The coercive sector has anther victory at the expense of the productive sector. Hopefully justice will prevail and this nonsensical decision will be overturned.

    I thought Europe had enough problems than to be wasting public money on self serving witch hunts.

  6. Men sometimes judge in bad ways and law misinterpretation have happened in “trials ” where Human Life and Freedom have been placed at stake….In this case its not a product, its not tax evasion, its not an independent distributor…its the system. May the courts of Belgium rethink on what they have decided … The Industry has more than 40 year market presence, millions of tons of products transacted, and the principle that stands behind this, goes right down to the retailing of the car that the “Judge” drove to court that day !

    Have you thought about it …. I suggest we elaborate a sign up DOCUMENT to hand in at the “Court that ruled” and one at the European Parliament with a copy to the Committee that represents Brussels!

    In Support of the Independent Distribution of Products and services via MLM

    Paulo Figueiredo

  7. It’s time we start looking at MLM in a different light. The major players refuse to change their practices. I hope that soon in the US we will stop the practices of not only Herbalife (up to $2500.00 to start and products that cost at least 30% against competition), but Amway (again, at least 30% against competition), ACN ($500.00 to start), Wealth Masters ( I really doubt its product is really worth $20,000.00!!! ) and others like them, who under the pretense that it is “your business” pray on the naive. Napoleon Hill in his book “THINK & GROW RICH” makes it very clear you don’t need money to make money. Jim Rohn says he used to spend months looking for a person who would say “I don’t have any money to start”.
    When Amway got its start, big business would have killed it for taking away customers, so their strategy is understandable. Now that problem is no longer a problem thanks to so many of us involved in MLM. Why do they continue it?
    There so many biz concepts people can start with 0 $$, I am just hoping for the day here in America somebody sues these companies so I can join in the lawsuit against one of them.
    MLM is a beautiful concept, the faster we clean it of the bad guys, the better.

  8. Hi Ted,
    I’m sure we have not heard the last of this – Herbalife have been around long enough and are sufficiently well funded to be able to put some legal muscle behind an appeal.
    Regarding the initial investment required to give yourself both enough product and the will to actually get started, while it’s probably dificult to justify start up outlay of over £2500.00 it is equally important that the new entrant understands they are taking on a serious business and anything much under around £300.00 will probably leave sponsors with a high percentage of non – starters, which no one wants unless they only see recruiting as a short term money spinner.
    Best Regards,
    John S

  9. To all who read , I believe Fransico above is misinformed, I have been a Hebalife Distributor for almost 14 years full time in USA. I am fortunate to have achieved one of the top levels in the company(2 Diamond Presidents Team)That success has came from hard work and everyday working directly with the consumers who use our products to achieve great results. There is no magic pills , lotions or potions here. It is just good basic nutritional science at work. If a person was truly informed of the industry and HERBALIFE’S position in the Industry the 3 plus billion dollar growth over the last 7 years has come from daily consumption model, people coming into our offices and drinking a shake at a time every day and using the products. The cost to join Herbalife is $67 USD or the equivalent in other countries. There are always rogue distributors in any company that are more focused on their own money and will manipulate any situation. But as a philosophy fom Mark Hughes and now Michael Johnson, build a customer base and then teach others how to build a customer base thus
    building a solid business that will endur a lifetime , and can be passed on to our children. Thanks for hearing me out!

  10. Contrary to what people might believe, you can start with Herbalife for around ?100,- you invest in a International Business Pack and can start selling product. In my opinion Herbalife is a true direct selling company where every distributor needs to have around 50 customers to create the needed 2500VP to be qualified for royality checks from sponsored reps. After this news I started to look for the HBL marketingplan and I discovered they changed a lot in favour of the distributor. As a true direct selling company a distributor needs around 100 supervisors who each have about 50 clients to create 2500VP each month to get to the Presidents team (a total VP of 250000 is needed for this). So to become successful with HBL I believe a distributor needs 1) to be a great salesmen and 2) to be able to recruit other (100) active salesmen. As you can see in the above plan, one does not need “a lot” of distributors in the team to reach success with Herbalife but the keypoint being they really should be GOOD salespeople who keep customers.

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