Introduction to Omnitrition MLM Compensation Plan
As soon as I when to the Omnitrition website and started reading the lists of ingredients in Omnitrition products, I could tell that my Omnitrition review was going to be one of my more interesting reviews. First, a bit of background. My name is Brad, and I live in the Midwest, where it tends to be very cold in the winter, so cold, in fact, that the best course of action is to stay inside and sit on your keister until spring. For the last eight years, I have been dedicated to being my own boss and running a successful business, so I spend a lot of my free time doing research, anyway. This winter, though, I got inspired. I went to see the movie The Big Short in the theater with my family, and I got the idea for my current project. See, in my quest to run my own business, I have tried a lot of different business ideas, including multilevel marketing (MLM). If you live in a landlocked state or one where reptiles thrive then you probably have, too. I decided to make it my project for the winter to review all the MLM companies that are out there, but the project ended up growing a lot bigger than I expected. So here we are. Spring is already here, and I am still reviewing.
A lot of MLM companies are built around the sale of nutritional supplements, and almost without exception, I have nothing good to say about such companies. I was a distributor for a nutraceutical MLM for about a year, and all it got me was a maxed out credit card and a basement full of coffee fortified with some kind of nutritional fungus, but that is a story for another day. What concerns us now is my ways of making the time pass quickly while reviewing nutraceutical MLMs. The thing that makes my nutraceutical MLM reviews is to find out which ingredient in the supplements the MLM trumpets about the most, if not outright uses as its mascot, and then devote part of my review to telling readers something they didn’t know about that ingredient, something other than the usual MLM hype about how this or that ingredient cures cancer or ADHD. (To give a few examples of the namesake ingredients of MLM nutritional supplements, Morinda is an MLM company named after the genus of its flagship ingredient, which is more commonly known as noni or cheese fruit. Gano Excel and Organo Gold have both hidden part of the name of the Ganoderma fungus in their names.) It is kind of fun to think of it as a competition of sorts among superfoods, a superfood beauty contest if you will. Everybody knows that pomegranates are gorgeous, and there is a whole subset of MLM companies that market their products in such a way as to make them sound like they are directly competing with the pomegranate, trying to be the next dark red antioxidant-rich fruit in the spotlight. And then there are the ingredients that are not the slightest bit glamorous and aren’t even fruits, such as bee pollen, the aforementioned fungus, magnets, holograms, and (I kid you not) plankton.
So when I read the ingredients of Omnitrition products, I felt like a kid in a candy store, or at least like a health nut in a health food store. Which one would I choose? The kola nut? Let’s see. The kola nut was an ingredient in the original formula of Coca-Cola. It comes from West Africa and is mentioned in the novel Things Fall Apart. Spirulina? It’s gorgeous, even when it’s in nutritional supplement form. It is a deep bluish green hue that used to be called Kelley Green in the 80s, when teenaged girls bought puff paint of said color to write their names on their T-shirts and then wear said personalized T-shirts at the skating rink. If the nutritional supplement industry really were a beauty contest, Spirulina would win, or at least take runner-up to the lovely Miss Mangosteen. Scientists used to refer to the category of organisms that includes Spirulina as blue-green algae, but it was later discovered that they are more closely related to bacteria, and the category was renamed Cyanobacteria. (According to Wikipedia, that re-categorization took place in 1962, but when I was in middle school in the 1990s, my science textbook definitely still used the term “blue-green algae”.) Spirulina thrives in Lake Chad, and it is an ingredient in the cuisines of some of the areas near the lake. So nutritious is Spirulina that the United Nations and the World Health Organization have approved its use in foods and supplements used to combat malnutrition, and it has also been used as an ingredient in chicken feed and fish food. (Now I’m thinking back to when I used to feed the fish in our aquarium in science class. Maybe the spirulina was what accounted for the dark green specks in the fish food.)
And then I read about the Omnitrition products that contain HCG. I didn’t know what it was, and I looked it up online. Apparently, it is a pregnancy hormone, and there is a diet that involves taking HCG to lose weight, but all the people on the discussion boards were complaining about how they gained the weight back after they stopped taking the HCG. I was at my parents’ house for Easter, and I mentioned this HCG diet thing to my mom. She seemed incredulous that I had never heard of HCG, and then she told me some things I can never un-hear. She said it was important for people to know. I am all for informing people about things they don’t know, so I told her that she could email me this information and I would copy it and paste it into my Omnitrition review. You can read it while I wash my ears.
(Mom’s soapbox) Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone produced by the placenta during pregnancy. It is what home pregnancy tests detect in order to give a positive reading. Women who have had fertility treatments or who have been diagnosed with a higher than normal risk of early miscarriage also have a series of blood tests to measure their HCG, since, in a normal pregnancy, HCG levels increase quickly during the first trimester. Injections of HCG are also used in fertility treatments to induce ovulation. The HCG injection is typically given 36 hours before an intrauterine insemination (IUI) or before egg retrieval for in vitro fertilization (IVF). I don’t know why Brad is being so squeamish about this. If not for HCG, Brad and his brothers would not be here, and neither would you. This is the first I have heard of HCG being used as a diet drug. It sounds like a terrible idea. (end of soapbox)
Moving right along.
Omnitrition: The Company and Its Products
Omnitrition was founded in 1989 by Roger and Barbara Daley, who were not newcomers to the MLM industry. I believe they had worked for Herbalife, and I think OmniLife may have even been a working title for Omnitrition. Omnitrition products are listed on the Omnitrition website in four different categories: Complete Liquid Nutrition, Weight Management, Energy and Vitality, and Specialty Products, all of which designations make me a little bit suspicious. I have reviewed numerous other MLM companies that promise all of those things, and it almost never amounts to anything but big debts and a basement full of vitamin supplements. Puzzlingly, when you click on “complete liquid nutrition” or any of the other categories of products on the Omnitrition website, the site just takes you to an order form where you can shop for a distributor near you. I was hoping to see with my own eyes that those HCG drops that all those Omnitrition reviewers keep bellyaching about online are really still available on the Omnitrition website, but no such luck, I guess. And in case pregnancy hormones are not a strong enough nausea trigger for you, the Omnitrition website clearly advertises an MLM self-help book, What You Don’t Know Will Hurt You: Exploding the Multilevel Marketing Myth by Mr. Omnitrition himself, Roger Daley.
Another thing I found out while researching my Omnitrition review is that there was an Omnitrition lawsuit in 1996 that got a fair amount of publicity. One source I read said that the suit set a legal precedent for not giving all MLM companies a free pass in the not being a pyramid scheme department just because they sell products. (It seems that, after a court ruled in 1994 that Amway was more about the products and less about the pyramid, it set off a bunch of copycat lawsuits that aimed to get the opposite ruling about other MLM companies.) It is a hallmark of MLMs where the products are just a front that distributors are often pressured to buy much more merchandise than they can consume or sell just to stay active in the business opportunity. Omnitrition’s defense was that Omnitrition distributors are required to sell at least 70% of the merchandise they have already bought before they can order new merchandise. Of course, at least one Omnitrition review indicated that a lot of the merchandise gets sold to downline distributors.
The Omnitrition Compensation Plan
The Omnitrition compensation plan is not publicly visible on the Omnitrition website. In fact, when you click on “opportunity”, which is how you find the compensation plan documents on most MLM websites, you are met with yet another online form, through which you must identify the sponsor who recruited you before the Omnitrition compensation plan can become visible to you. Furthermore, when I clicked on “legal”, I was met with a warning about not photocopying or otherwise reproducing any of the material on the Omnitrition website, which I suppose includes the Omnitrition compensation plan. An Omnitrition review I read did, however, indicate that there are leadership levels called Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- I wish I had seen a picture of Spirulina when I was younger. (There was no picture of it in my science textbook. It was just mentioned in passing in a paragraph about different types of algae.) If I had known how awesome that color is, I would have insisted on painting the walls of my bedroom the color of Spirulina. I hope that, next year, all the stars wear Spirulina colored dresses on the red carpet.
- I’m not sure if HCG supplements are legal or if they are still available, but I can think of some uses for them. For example, if your teen daughter insists that she wants to have a baby before she turns 20, you can let her take HCG supplements for a few weeks so she can find out how miserable she would feel if she were actually pregnant. Likewise, if you are pregnant and your husband gives you a hard time for lying around the house all day, you can let him take some HCG drops so he can find out just how hard it is to do anything except lie around when your bloodstream is full of HCG.
- If there is anything worse than nutritional supplements, it is MLM self-help books. On the Omnitrition website you see evidence of the existence of both of those things and absolutely no useful information.
- If my science textbook is correct and Spirulina actually is a type of algae, then if I joined the Omnitrition business opportunity and ordered Omnitrition products that contain Spirulina, then the combination of Spirulina tablets and fungus coffee would make my basement into the closest thing a basement can be to a lichen.
Spirulina is beautiful indeed, but the MLM industry is ugly, and I recommend that you stay far away from the Omnitrition business opportunity and any other MLM business opportunity that involves nutraceuticals.
Want to find out how I recovered financially from the fungus coffee incident? Schedule a call with me.