As an Internet lawyer, I originally considered titling this Federal Trade Commission-related post “How To Dupe Marketers Into Paying Capitol Hill Lobbyists” but thought I’d be kind.
For those who have been following the issue, the Federal Trade Commission promulgated a proposed business opportunity rule in April that would essentially destroy MLM/network marketing and curtail the online marketing of business opportunities in general because of draconian disclosure requirements. These disclosures would include earnings disclaimers, contact information for 10 purchasers, etc. If you’re a masochist, Internet lawyer, or have insomnia, here is a link to the proposed rule.
After receiving tens of thousands of hostile public comments, the FTC has made no decision.
However, some online marketers are panicking because they haven’t talked with their Internet lawyer…and the lobbyists are hyping the bogeyman to generate more work.
I telephoned one of the people handling the proposal at the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Division of Marketing Practices. No rule is imminent. There may never be a rule. There may be hearings. There may be workshops.
There may be a modified rule sometime in the future. That’s likely because the government prefers to control through a combination of taxes and regulation.
If an online marketer decides to pay for lobbying on the issue, make sure that the recipient isn’t the business of Redundant, Irrelevant & Redundancy. In plain English, make sure the money is actually being spent on something worthwhile instead of duplicating work already being done by others, such as the MLM/network marketing organizations. It is naive to think that the Amways, Primericas, and Mary Kays of the world are going to do nothing as they’re regulated out of business by the Federal Trade Commission. Because I’m an Internet lawyer, I’ll be following this issue closely and probably will post updates if something significant happens.