Earlier this month news broke that Trading Standards was cracking down on the illegal sale of Valentus products in the UK.
Trading Standards are an enforcement regulator who, among other things, regulate health and safety regulation in the UK.
On or around late July or early August, Valentus affiliate Charlotte Thompson received a visit from Trading Standards at her home.
The agents purportedly informed Thompson that Valentus wasn’t registered as an MLM opportunity in the UK, making sale of their products illegal.
Valentus to date have no publicly commented on the matter. Privately however Valentus have been holding webinars for their affiliates.
In one leaked webinar a member of Valentus corporate advises affiliates to ignore Trading Standards and continue to market Valentus products illegally.
Terry Recknor identifies herself as Valentus’ Director of International Registration on her LinkedIn profile.
Recknor is based out of Canada and has held the position since January, 2017, in addition to being a Valentus affiliate since January, 2016.
In a recent webinar Recknor attempts to reframe Charlotte Thompson’s visit from Trading Standards as a spam problem.
[0:49] Charlotte Thompson got a visit because she sent four or five thousand emails out to people that she didn’t know.
In that email she put “weight loss coffee”.
So somebody, for all I know it could be a competitor in network marketing – (that) would be my guess, they got that email and dropped a dime on this woman.
And Trading Standards, that’s when it all started.
I couldn’t find anything on the Trading Standards website suggesting they regulate spam, however regulation of scams was quite prominent.
Whether Recknor has spoken with Trading Standards on behalf of Valentus is unclear.
Thompson’s personal account of her Trading Standards visit made no mention of spam.
Thompson made it very clear Trading Standards had a problem with Valentus not being registered for business in the UK, and that (and that alone) making the sale of Valentus products through the attached MLM opportunity illegal.
Logically this would mean how Valentus’ products were marketed irrelevant (spam or otherwise), as it’s the sale of them period that is currently illegal.
A fact which Recknor goes on to acknowledge, despite her re-framing of Thompson’s Trading Standards warning.
[2:14] What you need to understand is, the products technically are illegal because we’re not registered yet.
So when we say they’re illegal, they’re not for resale there.
It’s that simple. We’re not technically allowed to sell our products anywhere in Europe right now.
This acknowledgement raises a dilemma for Valentus, because an MLM company without retail sales is a pyramid scheme.
A few weeks ago, the UK was the third largest source of traffic to the Valentus website (15%).
They’ve since droped to fourth (9.8%) behind Spain (12.6%).
but the question remains: How are Valentus affiliates in the UK and Europe (Spain) running their business?
If Valentus affiliates are making retail sales, that means they’re doing so illegally.
If Valentus affiliates are on autoship and solely recruiting others who do the same, that means they’re participating in an illegal pyramid scheme.
Which one is it guys?
BehindMLM reviewed Valentus early last year and found its compensation plan favored affiliate autoship recruitment over retail sales.
The webinar referenced in this article was published to YouTube on August 20th by Natasha Shingles.
Shingles claims Valentus corporate have been telling UK affiliates
[1:32] they are OK to sell their weight loss coffee products.
They’re OK to continue to recruit, to continue to sell via their (Valentus) website link. It’s absolutely fine, it doesn’t matter.
As I write this Valentus have still made no public comment on the legal status of their MLM opportunity in the UK and Europe.