Published on September 15th, 20210
UPDATE 9/28/21: The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) announced today that it has referred earnings and health claims for Q Sciences to the FTC and Utah attorney general after it said the MLM failed to adequately respond to its inquiry. In addition to identifying several coronavirus-related health claims, the DSSRC cited some of the same earnings claims TINA.org alerted readers to in the following article, including claims that distributors can earn “full-time income” and that Q Sciences is part of a “Financial Freedom Movement.”
A reader recently alerted TINA.org to deceptive earnings claims made by Q Sciences, a Utah-based MLM that hawks a “[f]ull range of full spectrum hemp and nutritional supplements.”
At first glance, the “opportunity” that the company pitches on its website may seem enticing: a “side-gig” that can “replace your full-time income completely” and “help you pay off debt.” And what’s more, the company is led by founder and CEO Marc Wilson, a “former two-time Super Bowl champion with the Oakland Raiders,” who has “enjoyed over 30 years of successful real estate development.” Score!
But hang on – there are quite a few flags on the field here.
While Q Sciences claims it is part of a “Financial Freedom Movement,” according to the FTC, “Most people who join legitimate MLMs make little or no money.” In addition, when discussing the potential earnings of distributors, an MLM (and its distributors) cannot legally advertise just the unusual earnings of a few top distributors.
Then there’s the fact that Q Sciences’ own Policies and Procedures handbook prohibits distributors (or “Ambassadors” as the company calls them) from making the very income claims that the MLM itself makes on its website:
Because Q Sciences Ambassadors do not have the data necessary to comply with the legal requirements for making income claims, an Ambassador, when presenting or discussing the Q Sciences opportunity or Compensation Plan to a prospective Ambassador, may not make income projections, income claims, or disclose his or her Q Sciences income (including the showing of checks, copies of checks, bank statements, or tax records).
This same section – “Income Claims” – states that Q Sciences does not publish an income disclosure statement, potentially depriving recruits of information that could help them make a better educated decision whether or not to sign up with the company.
The bottom line: While Q Sciences claims its “recipe for success” is simple – one part willingness and two parts drive – making a significant amount of money in any MLM is a Hail Mary.
TINA.org reached out to Q Sciences for comment. Check back for updates.
Find more of TINA.org’s coverage on multilevel marketing here.
Multi-Level Marketing – a way of distributing products or services in which the distributors earn income from their own retail sales and from retail sales made by their direct and indirect recruits.