TCNJ’s School of Business will host an international conference on multi-level marketing, bringing together a group of the most influential experts in the industry. The conference will take place virtually from April 30 through May 1.
The event will offer expertise from regulators, prosecutors, former MLM distributors, social media consumer advocates, researchers, educators, and journalists to discuss ways to improve consumer protection and reduce consumer harm within the multi-level marketing industry.
TCNJ Professor of Marketing William Keep, who has been a critic and academic researcher of MLM for over 20 years, will serve as moderator for the conference that will welcome over 700 attendees from 35 countries around the world.
“There has never been an international conference of this nature — bringing together voices from across many disciplines to discuss the MLM industry,” says Keep. “The overall goal is to foster additional discussions, inquiries, and analysis into an industry that we know from evidence harms consumers and needs more transparency.”
The attendees will come to the conference with a range of perspectives, Keep says. Some may be disillusioned or critical of the industry while others may feel that more regulations and oversight is needed.
“A groundswell of grassroots consumer advocates, often driven by former MLM participants, illustrates consumer frustration with the continued victimization of friends and family,” says Keep.
Among the discussion topics will be how regulators in the United States and around the globe continue to prosecute allegedly legal MLM companies for operating illegal pyramid schemes or making deceptive and fraudulent earnings claims.
The keynote address will be delivered by FTC Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips.
“Working hard to provide for one’s family and to ensure a secure future is something very important to many American consumers, especially now,” Phillips says. “Before investing time and money into a business opportunity, including an MLM, it is critical that folks have truthful information about their chances of success. I am glad that TCNJ is convening people from around the world to consider the consumer protection issues that MLMs may present, and pleased to speak about the crucial work that the Federal Trade Commission is doing in this area.”
Other presenters include Gabriella Muscolo, commissioner of the Italian Competition Authority, and Andrew Smith, a partner in the law firm of Covington & Burling, and former director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
For more information or to register for the conference please visit MLMconference.com.