Investigation by truthinadvertising.org Reveals Eight Things You Should Know About Vemma

Marketwired

MADISON, CT--(Marketwired - Jul 10, 2013) - Vemma Nutrition Company promises it will "transform lives through ultra premium products and a generous compensation plan." The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company, which touts that its Verve is the official energy drink of the Phoenix Suns, offers a variety of energy drinks and weight-loss products, as well as the chance to obtain "financial freedom" by becoming a company "brand partner." But is the company running a legitimate MLM business or an illegal pyramid scheme? Truthinadvertising.org (TINA) investigated and found eight things about the company the public should know:

  • The FTC has received at least 40 complaints about Vemma and its products, according to results of a Freedom of Information Act request filed by TINA. Complaints range from allegations that the company is a pyramid scheme that preys on college and high-school students to customers saying their credit cards were repeatedly charged for Vemma products they didn't want. Link to FTC complaints: https://www.truthinadvertising.org/vemma-complaints-by-the-numbers/

  • In order to become a brand partner and make money with Vemma, you must enroll in a negative option offer and recruit other "brand partners" in the negative option offer as well. This "offer" allows your credit card to be charged automatically each month for products and can be hard to get out of, according to complaints from consumers. Link to charges: https://www.truthinadvertising.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/vemma-charges.pdf

  • Contrary to what Boreyko says to parents in a YouTube video, Vemma does not currently have an A+ rating from the BBB. In fact, Vemma is not even BBB accredited. The BBB has also received at least 28 complaints about the company according to the FTC, and the BBB website says it's currently evaluating its rating of the company. Link to BBB: http://www.bbb.org/phoenix/Business-Reviews/vitamins-and-food-supplements/vemma-nutrition-company-in-scottsdale-az-97004349/

  • Boreyko has been in hot water with the FTC in the past. In 1999, the FTC went after him for a previous business, New Vision International, Inc., for making claims that its dietary supplement, "God's Recipe," could cure, prevent, or treat ADD and ADHD. As a result of the action, Boreyko agreed to an order banning him from making any claims about the safety or efficacy of supplements without reliable scientific evidence to back them up. That agreement is in effect until 2019. Link to FTC decision: https://www.truthinadvertising.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/FTCNewVisionDecision.pdf

  • The Environmental Research Center Inc., a nonprofit based in Calif., sued Vemma for products offered under the New Vision line that the center claimed exposed consumers to lead, a chemical listed as a carcinogen and reproductive toxin under the state's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, without proper warning labels. As a result of the suit, the company agreed to submit its products to lead testing and put a warning label on them if they contained more than 0.5 micrograms of lead. Link to agreement: https://www.truthinadvertising.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/NewVisionSettlementWithERC.pdf

  • Boreyko touts that Dr. Oz called the Vemma formula his "favorite fatigue fighter." Oz, who announced he is going after phony endorsements using his name, does indeed list Verve on his website as a "surefire way to get a jolt of energy." It's one of the few products listed by name on Oz's site. This is not an endorsement, his spokesperson insists. Boreyko is an advisory board member of Oz's charity, HealthCorps, and Vemma has been very supportive, contributing $650,000 in donations to the charity. "I'm sure Vemma is a favorite company of Dr. Oz because of its generosity," said Oz spokesman Tim Sullivan. Link to Boreyko video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIrk6Sq9kQI Link to Vemma announcement of donation: http://news.vemma.com/2012/01/17/healthcorps-donor-of-the-month-bk-boreyko/

  • The FDA cited Vemma after a November 2012 inspection of its Scottsdale headquarters for not having a system in place to conduct investigations into customer complaints or pursue follow-up action. "Conducting a review and investigation is critical to the health and safety of the consumers," the report stated. Complaints from consumers ranged from allergic reactions to the product to gastrointestinal problems after drinking the beverages. The company responded to the FDA report in December 2012 saying it had provided the FDA inspector with the customer complaint procedures it uses. Link to inspection report: https://www.truthinadvertising.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/VemmaInspectionReport.pdf

  • It appears that Vemma members' compensation is based primarily on getting others to join their "team" and not on how many individual cans of Verve or other Vemma products they sell to actual customers -- which sounds a lot like an illegal pyramid scheme. Link to compensation plan: https://vemma.com/backoffice/pdf/compensationPlan.pdf Link to definition of pyramid: https://www.truthinadvertising.org/multi-level-marketing-schemes/

To see TINA's original article, click here: https://www.truthinadvertising.org/eight-things-you-should-know-about-vemma/

For an infographic breakdown of the complaints received by the FTC regarding Vemma, plus the verbatim complaints, click here: https://www.truthinadvertising.org/vemma-complaints-by-the-numbers/

TINA is a non-profit organization based in Madison, Conn., whose mission is to be the go-to online resource dedicated to empowering consumers to protect themselves and one another against false advertising and deceptive marketing. Its aim is to achieve that mission through investigative journalism, education, advocacy, and the promotion of truth in advertising. TINA is independently funded and does not accept any advertising dollars to support its work.

Subscribe to TINA's free newsletter via the quick form at the bottom of the website home page: https://www.truthinadvertising.org/. You can also follow TINA on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TruthinAd and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/truthinad

Contact:

Ray Pellecchia
845.245.8138
ray@zitopartners.com

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