Late last year Norway’s TV 2 aired a segment on PM International on their Health Control program (Helsekontrollen).
After commissioning an independent university study, Health Control reported PM International’s products were made up of at least 50% sugar.
This saw Health Control report PM International were selling “sugar powder”, in addition to operating as a pyramid scheme.
PM International fired back with a lawsuit, demanding the Health Control report be suppressed.
Following a decision on Tuesday, PM International were denied an injunction and have been ordered to pay TV 2’s legal costs.
PM International losing the case is not surprising. Health Control’s sugar powder claim was based on commissioned analysis of PM International’s products.
The pyramid scheme claim was likely based on analysis of PM International’s compensation plan.
While we don’t have the means to commission studies into the products of MLM company’s review, BehindMLM did review PM International’s business model in October, 2017.
Based on the compensation plan, we found a strong focus on affiliate autoship recruitment. This typically comes at the cost of retail sales, lending itself to an MLM company operating as a pyramid scheme.
Health Control had the full backing of TV 2 going into the case. The broadcaster argued that the Health Control program was “critical journalism”.
In an interview with Dagens Naeringsliv, TV 2’s Program Editor Jarle Nakken stated;
PM International requested the right to censor TV 2 and to demand we remove critical journalism.
We are of course pleased that the Oslo City Police Department did not back PM International and that we have won this case completely.
If there is a claim for compensation, we will deal with it when that time comes, he writes.
Rather than accept the loss, PM International has doubled down and announced an appeal.
PM International is claiming 50 million NOK ($6.3 million USD) in damages as a result of Health Control’s 50% sugar powder and pyramid scheme claims.
For their part PM International appear uninterested in challenging Health Control’s sources or analysis.
Commenting on the loss, PM International Press Officer Alexander Plath’s framed Health Control’s report as “unexplained allegations”;
The decision of the court to reject the request for temporary suspension is a loss of the core values of journalism and weakens the fight against unexplained allegations.
Personally I thought content analysis and a compensation plan titled toward recruitment were pretty self-explanatory.
And it seems, at least for now, the Norwegian judicial system agrees.