Summary of Action
TINA.org investigated Market America, Inc., a North Carolina-based multi-level marketing company founded in 1992 by former Amway distributor James “JR” Ridinger. The company describes itself as a “Product Brokerage and Internet Marketing Company” that offers “over 35 million products and services.” Those products and services include cosmetics, dietary supplements, jewelry, household products, and internet and financial services, among others. But the company’s number one product is its business opportunity, which it calls its UnFranchise Business, “a proven plan for your financial success” that can, according to the company, provide distributors – or UnFranchise Owners (UFOs), as they are called – with time and financial freedom, an ongoing residual income, a six-figure income, early retirement, and debt reduction, among other things.
TINA.org’s investigation – which resulted in a sampling of more than 750 deceptive income claims – focused exclusively on the company’s marketing of its business opportunity on its own platforms (e.g., its website and social media pages), as well as platforms controlled by the company’s founder and CEO JR Ridinger. More than 450 of the examples were published in 2020.
As a result of these findings, TINA.org sent a warning letter to Market America on October 8, 2020 notifying it of TINA.org’s findings and asking that the company remedy the deceptive marketing immediately. Within one week, the vast majority of the claims in TINA.org’s database had been removed from publication.
Due to the company’s corrective actions, TINA.org has not elevated its investigation by filing a complaint with federal, state, or self-regulatory authorities at this time. However, TINA.org will continue to monitor Market America, its progress, and future marketing materials to determine if further action is needed.