The Body Shop is an MLM (But That’s Not Even the Worst Part)

(rhythmic music) – [Blair] hello everybody andwelcome back to the channel. My name is Blair or the Illuminaughtii and today we’re diving intoanother MLM here on the channel. And this is one you guyshave been requesting for a while now. And so I’m pleased tosay it’s finally here, although I really don’t knowwhat’s taken me so long, but today we’re going to betalking about The Body Shop, An MLM that’s headquartered in London. The Body Shop is one of those MLMs that does actually havebrick and mortar stores, so they can be soldwith or without hunbots.While they may appearmore legitimate this way, they’re still ultimately usingpeople for their downline, and they do still have that MLM aspect. You guys already know that’s not a company model I can support. But naturally, and as per usual, I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself. So let’s start from the beginning. Who is The Body Shop in the first place? Let’s get into it.(gentle piano music) According to The Body Shop website, “The Body Shop at Home “was created by our founder, Anita Roddick “as a fun and flexible earning opportunity “to empower women tohave rewarding careers “that would fit aroundtheir family commitments. “Today, we have asuccessful global community “of passionate, diverse individuals “who turn their passionfor beauty into profit, “with the backing and support “of a globally recognizedand ethical brand.” There’s The Body Shop, what we see sold in Ulta Beauty or the names of their physical stores. And there’s The Body Shop at Home, which is their name forthe MLM side of things. Frustratingly enough, like with many MLMs, The Body Shop didn’t alwayshave this MLM side of them. They were actually founded in 1976, with a radically differentapproach to beauty, to be ethically sourcedwith natural ingredients. And as you guys know, that’s most certainly somethingI would want to get behind. When The Body Shop first started, the beauty industry had pretty set ideas on what girls and women should look like, but Anita had her own ideas too.She believed that beauty was a person’s source of joy,comfort, and self-esteem. It was what you liked about yourself and what made you feel good. Her beauty products, she believed, were more of a daily ritual of self-love instead of a false promisingof slimming and anti-aging that the industry peddled. She didn’t want to create products to make women look a certain way, but to help them be thebest versions of themselves.”I think all business practiceswould improve immeasurably “if they were guided byfeminine principles.” Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop. So there are a couple issuesI have with their history. The first of course being is why does every MLM out there act as if they’re the ones redefining beauty or that there’s something revolutionary? I know plenty of othercompanies that do this. I’m just saying it’s especially true of almost every MLM I’ve researched. And of course, you know can’t forget to have empowering somewherein your mission statement. Like, I hate to break it to you, but the reality hereBody Shop is that like, you’re not really unique. Arbonne, another MLM wasfounded a decade earlier and says their revolutionaryholistic approach is an innovative way to see beauty. Mary Kay, Avon, Oriflame, they’re all MLMs that havebeen around just as long if not longer than The Body Shop. So if Body Shop and countless other MLMs could stop pretending likethey’re special pioneers that redefined beauty,that would be great. Also considering that they boast how their founder Anitaworked with Greenpeace, I hardly doubt their activismwas actually as successful as The Body Shop would make you believe.Now, Greenpeace is something that I know I’ve been getting comments for that you guys want me to cover, and I promise that is on its way. It is an entirely separatevideo and monster. We just don’t have timeto get into that today. And I can’t rememberwhere I saw it exactly, but it was on one of my PETA videos where there was a comment that said that it was like the environment’s PETA. So if you can picture whatthat dumpster fire looks like, well, can you wonderwhy I have some doubts? And look, I’ll give Body Shopsome credit where it’s due, in the late 90s they ran an ad print with a doll called Ruby who’s sort of like aplus sized Barbie doll, and as the company said, she was a friend of the average woman.Now, personally, I would rather see women of all shapes and sizes andraces if that were the case, because there is no one average woman, but that was a big ask in 1998. So that was at least a step in the right direction for that time. So as good as it is thattheir website is filled with their activism andhow outspoken they are against animal testing and all of that, I’m not quite sure The Body Shop deserves a giant pat on the back forsimply not testing on animals, especially when that’s something basic that I think we shouldall be able to expect and start requiring of beauty brands. Plus, as a little side note here, Body Shop’s website pushes the narrative that they had no nonsense packaging and green walls to associatewith environmental activism. When personally I find one source that says the truth isfar more interesting. According to,their founder Anita painted the walls darkgreen to hide cracks rather than to suggestrespect for the environment.And the award-winningclear plastic bottles were actually urine sample containers purchased from a local hospital. When Anita’s originalsupply of bottles ran out, she did not have enough money to buy more. So The Body Shop’s famousrefill policy was born. Other hallmarks of the company were born during this frugal period. Handwritten labels filledwith product information established The BodyShop’s candid approach to customer relations. For example, one of the first products a henna hair treatmentsported a label explaining that the product smelled like manure but was great for the hair. Also during this time, Roddick developed anaversion to advertising, not wanting to spend thetime or money on advertising.She instead relied on press coverage to spread the word aboutthe fledgling company. And I’m not saying thatThe Body Shop didn’t care about appearing customer friendly or that they had no respectfor the environment, but I do find it funnyhow Body Shop’s website makes this sound intentionalwhen it really wasn’t. And for the record, there’snothing wrong with that either. I’m just saying represent it as it was. So yes, absolutely, handwrittenlabels were cheaper, and dark green covered cracks in the wall. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I would find it morecompelling for the company history to be like real and honest. Be like, yeah, we struggled, and we had to innovatethrough our struggles, versus we had this idea rightfrom the get go, sister. Anyway, now that we knowwho The Body Shop is to a certain extent, let’s move on to their products. (rhythmic synth music) At first glance, I’veactually got some high hopes. Their tea tree oil cleanseris $6 for two ounces.And you can actually viewthe full ingredient list, which you guys know how I feel when I can actually seethe ingredient list. That’s a very good start. It requires an extra coupleclicks under ingredients, then full ingredientlist, but it is there, which of course is more than I can say of like, you know, Mary Kay. As for the ingredients themselves though, we’ve got stuff like this. And like, yes, thereis tea tree oil in it, but like with so many greenor natural MLMs out there, they’re pushing the whole natural, good for you product line, when it looks like their ingredients are pretty typical standard with a few like natural oils thrown in. For example, Lush has a tea tree toner that is a similar price range, and it’s got tea treewater, grapefruit water, Juniper Berry water, Limonene, fragrance, and a methylparaben. I’m not saying their ingredients make the most superior product, and Lush can absolutely be pretty pricey, even more so than The Body Shop. My issue with The Body Shophere comes from greenwashing, which is something we covered in the “What Does Natural Mean?” videoa while back on the channel.The Body Shop says they are unapologetically real on their homepage and their makeup remover line is their chamomile line, even when they have itcalled Anthemis Nobilis water and it’s seventh on the ingredient list. And I mean, no, this isn’t agigantic problem or anything, because this level of greenwashing is pretty minimal, and pretty common, compared to what we’re used to seeing here on the channel anyway. But as per usual, with my videos, you guys know that we arejust setting the stage. So now that we have set it, it is time to get into the real dirt.(chill music) In 1993 one of theirfirst major issues rose as its reputation as asocially responsible company was repeatedly challenged. According to one source, “the first attack came froma British television program, “entitled ‘Body Search’, “which accused The BodyShop of misleading customers “with its against animaltesting product label. “The Body Shop’s policydesigned as an incentive “for companies to eliminatetheir animal testing, “rejected ingredients thathad been tested on animals “in the previous five years. “The television program, however, “charged the companywith using ingredients “that had been tested on animals. “The Body Shop broughtsuit in the summer of 1993 “and one 276,000 pounds in damages. “Questions about thecompany’s integrity continued “in the summer of 1994, “when it was reported that theU.S.Federal trade commission “was investigating The BodyShop for exaggerated claims “of helping developing nations “and for alleged pollutionfrom a New Jersey warehouse. The investigation combined withthe company’s slowing growth “led Franklin Research and Development, “an investment fund that dealt “only with socially responsible companies “to sell 50,000 shares. “That in turn led to a stock price drop “of 11% in the next two weeks. “Although the stock pricestabilized soon thereafter, “the company remained ina defensive position.” This source, however, neglects to mention another massive controversyI found in my research. In fact, the first realbig blow to The Body Shop arrived around the same time that The Body Shop added their little Body Shop at home MLMbranch to the company, which if you ask me is no coincidence. In 1994 an investigativearticle by John Entine was published in Business Ethics Magazine, and Holy shit. What he found was absolutely eye opening. The article was cited witha national press club award for consumer journalism. That’s how intense this article was. And the company’s stock eventemporarily dropped 50%.I managed to find this apparentlydamning article online. However, I needed asubscription to view it. When I tried to find it elsewhere, I realized that John Entine the author has that particular article copyrighted and the information in a book of his. So instead, I’m taking a look at yet another article of this, where he gives people permissionto quote the so-called “Social EnvironmentAudit of The Body Shop. “Anita Roddick and theQuestion of Character.” This has the sameinformation in it and more, it was produced in 1996.Loyal viewers and fellowanti-MLMers settle down because I have found themotherload of articles against this place. John Entine seems to have a serious and well-researcheddislike for The Body Shop, which I can absolutely commend. And as an anti-MLMer, I can appreciate. In this article, he sayshis sources include more than 150 current and formeremployees and franchisees, associates of the Roddick’senvironmental groups, scientists, trade organizations, and government investigators,more than 50 on tape. A very partial list ofinside sources include, two former CFOs, former general counsel, three former directors of communications, four former quality control managers, former director ofenvironmental affairs U.S., former director of social inventions UK, The Body Shop PR director in 1978 to 1986, chief cosmetic scientist, 1976 to 1987.Roddick’s best friend firstfranchisee from the 1970s, current and former franchiseesin the US, UK, France, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Canada. These unfortunately don’t exactly have many good things to sayabout The Body Shop either. “The company stinks to high heaven. “I hope people we’ll speakup and with attribution, “I am quite frankly afraid of them. “I feel like I was dealingwith the Gambino family.” said a Body Shop franchisee. “It’s a lot worse whenyou find out the robber “who’s been stealing fromyou is the local cop.” From one of the former systems managers.Two former managers stated, “I have two kids and I won’tlet them use the products. “I’ve seen their internal tests. “They use the cheapestingredients with so many chemicals “that it irritates your skin. “I feel so good about being finally able “to tell somebody on theoutside what’s really going on.” And, “It felt like swimming was sharks. “They treat their own staff horribly “and they’re not truthfulabout what they say. “They irradiate some of their products. “They buy the cheapestingredients and containers. “Many of their products are from animals. “They seem to have nohesitation about buying “from repressive countries like China.” And lastly, a former us franchisee said, “I don’t usually usethis kind of language, “but there’s no other way to say it. “They fuck over their franchisees. “Fewer than a third aremaking any money at all. “And most of them are barely making it.”The only way to save thecompany is to get rid of Anita. She’s a lunatic. “And I’m one of the few who likes her.” This could be seen as disgruntledformer employees, sure. Maybe these employees were exaggerating, but there’s many, many more. So either dozens of people are lying, despite evidence to back up those claims, or The Body Shop is far worsethan they let anyone believe, despite what the outside image looks like.So let’s look at the company’s origins. Remember how I said the real origin story was far more compelling and impressive than the one that they tell about being a pioneer going green? Well, it turns out neither are true. Their entire history is a fucking scam. So, yay. “The Body Shop originatednot in Brighton in 1976, “but in the Bay area ofSan Francisco in 1970. “Sisters-in-law, JaneSaunders and Peggy Short “opened a tiny shop housed in CJ’s, “a converted auto garageon Telegraph Avenue, “selling cosmetics withnatural sounding names, “in simple plasticbottles of varying sizes.”They called it The Body Shop. “It was an overnight success. “People would stop by as Peggy and Jane “cut and wrapped freshly made soaps, “and poured a hand-labeledindividual bottles “of lotions and perfume oil. “Within months, they openedanother store in Berkeley, “and a third in SanFrancisco at Union Square. “In 1970, young Anitatraveled to San Francisco “with then boyfriend Gordon “to visit his best friend, David Edward. “Edward’s former wifeAlma, now Dunstan-McDaniel “remembers draggingAnita to a favorite shop, “filled with tie dye decorations “and redolent with incense. “‘That was the place “‘to buy shampoo andbody cream,'” Alma says, “she recalls Anita buyingarmfuls of hand cut soaps, “loofah sponges and cosmetics “and small plastic bottleswith handwritten labels.”This story has been confirmed “by more than half dozenindependent sources, “among them, Roddick’sbest friend at the time, “Audrey Vaillancourt, whobecame the first franchisee “and board member. “Her first cosmeticadvisor, Mark Constantine, “and her long-time PRdirector, Janice Raven. “The Body Shop’s name,store look, product line, “marketing concept were exactly copied “directly from the Berkeley Body Shop. “Vaillancourt recalls excitingly pouring “over early Berkeley catalogswith Roddick in 1975, “a year before Roddick opened her shop. “Roddick’s early catalogsissued in the late 70s “with hand drawn illustrations of plants “and advice on how to use the products “are almost an exact copy “of the Berkeley TheBody Shop’s price list “and mail order catalogsfrom 1970 to 1976. “Roddick made the plagiaristmost telling mistake, “when she copied theBerkeley’s Body Shop catalog.”Many times word for word, “she even copied the originalcatalogs grammatical errors. “The Berkeley catalog says “‘we have set prices at reasonable levels “‘by avoiding expensive,gimmicky advertising “‘and by presenting products “‘in modest, attractive packages.’ “Roddick’s BSI, Body ShopInternational says it will sell “‘moderately priced products “‘with no hyper advertisingand minimal packaging.’ “The Berkeley The Body Shop says, “‘all our products are biodegradable “‘and made to our specifications. “‘bottles 20 cents or bring your own.’ “Anita wrote ‘all ourproducts are biologically soft “‘and made to our specifications. “‘Bottles 12p, or bring your own.’ “Even the product categorylistings are largely identical. “‘For the hair, for thebath, creams, lotions, oils.’ “And even the categoryspecial items were featured “in the Berkeley catalog six years “before Roger came outwith her copycat version.” So can The Body Shop havesimilar products? Of course.The question here isn’tif Anita was inspired by this Berkeley BodyShop, she just copied them. If she made it her own version,I wouldn’t be bothered. There’s plenty of similarcompanies out there. But she took her own name,their catalog, their products and the story of stealingtheir shit company had been vouched for, this is theft and there’sno doubt about it. She didn’t pioneer jack shit, she took someone else’smillion-dollar idea, and she didn’t start therecycling movement either. The Berkeley Body Shop said in its original brochure in 1971, that if someone brought anempty bottle of their product they’d get a price reduction. Now, as odd as I feelabout bad mouthing the dead because they can’t defend themselves, Ana Roddick did defend herself against these comments already so, I guess I don’t feel that guilty about it, but we’ll get to that in just a moment. Well, we’ll actually get there in a little, little longer than that, because there is a lotmore to still cover here, because kudos to John Entine, because he covered fucking everything.So first let’s note afew more similarities between these two shops incase you’re still not convinced that The Body Shop MLM is a sham. “Over the years, Roddick cameout with many new products, “first introduced in Berkeley. “They both offered handlettered plastic bottles, “filled with lotions withexotic, natural-sounding names. “Avocado cream, glycerinand rosewater lotion “with vitamin E, “scented glycerin soaps and perfume oils, “and uniquely specialty items “such as loofah naturalvegetables sponges. “The Berkeley store offeredFour O’clock Astringent lotion, “Anita’s store sold five o’clock lotion. “Over the years there weredozens of similarities. “A particularly telling knockoff “is Roddick’s Japanese washing grains “made with ground adzuki beans.”The product was actually created “by the Berkeley The Body Shop. “The Korean woman who made the kimonos “that were sold in the shop “shared with Jane andPeggy a family recipe “utilizing its adzukigrounds as a facial scrub. “The Berkeley The BodyShop developed the product “with her advice. “Roddick did not, as she claimed, “come up with the productin a visit to Japan. “In fact, the proprietorof a natural food store “across the street fromRoddick’s first store “said she used to buy the adzuki beans “for her product from him. “BSI delayed moving intothe US, Japan and Israel “for many years because the Berkeley store “owned the rights to the name.”By 1987, Peggy and Janestill own their modest “but very successful chain of shops. “Then numbering six. “For years, Short andSaunders remained unaware “of the brazen heist. “As a result, when the Roddick’sapproached them in 1987 “to buy the rights to TheBody Shop name for 3.5 million “for the rights to The Body Shop trademark “in the US Japan and Israel, they jumped. “They renamed their shops Body Time “and agreed to a gag agreement, “which carried the threat of legal action. “Only later, did they stumbleupon the copycat brochures. “The Berkeley women’s sold the trademark “because they didn’twant to face an expensive “and protracted legal battle “over a company with deep pockets. “The original The Body Shopis now called Body Time.”‘What got them angry,'” says a colleague of the Berkeley sisters “‘was the ongoing deception Anita’s lie “‘that she originated the idea, “‘the green color scheme, the products, “‘all the things that gave thecompany its unique identity. “‘Never in our wildest imagination “‘did we think that Roddick, “‘with all her claimsabout being so honest “‘would keep this fabrication going.'” And this is some scum-baggy,bullshit thing to do. Like, are you kidding me? Not only did they rip this company off, but they then silenced them.Body Time and the Berkeleysisters, I am so sorry for any of the bullshitthat you had to endure. They ended up closing their doors in 2018 and it’s honestly devastating. I didn’t know the shop, I didn’t know the sisters. but they clearly had an idea that worked. And it made Roddick’sand their MLM millions. But back to this audit by Entine. It’s about 50 pages, single-spaced, in Times New Roman 11 font, so I won’t be able to coverevery single topic that he does, but bear with me. We’re going to go over a fewmore highlights before we get into what The Body Shop hasto say about this whole thing. In a portion called “Theproducts of The Body Shop, “Natural cosmetics?” question mark Entine says “The Body Shopclaims natural ingredients “are the heart of every product.”It’s true that TheBody Shop is considered “the pioneer natural cosmetics company. “Teenage girls and young women, “even princess Diana who madea highly publicized visit “at the opening of theBSI manufacturing plant, “buy its productsbecause they are natural. “Yet, they are not, at leastby any reasonable measure. “As one noted cosmetologists said, “‘If you call the BodyShop The Shoddy Bop, “‘you’d get a better idea “‘of its product quality and reputation.'” “The cosmetic industryrefers to Body Shop products “and lines by Bath and Body Works, “Nature’s Element, andsimilar mass merchandisers “as alibi formulations: “synthetic compounds combined chemically “with a tiny sprinklingof natural ingredients.” He then explains the problem with their use of the word natural, as we’ve gone over before and ads, “One of America’s leading “natural ingredientsexpert Debra Lynn Dadd “has written six books including, “‘Non-toxic, Natural and Earthwise.'” She says BSIs productsare not natural enough to be included in her book.”They use outdated andunnecessary chemicals “and deceptive brochuresand product names. “Consumers can easily findmore natural shampoos, “soaps and lotions that aresafer and less expensive.” So that’s how their company was founded and their natural products. And just a reminder here, we haven’t even begun tomention them being an MLM yet. Even if these shenanigans are what got me to look into this mess, there are so, so many otherproblems with this company that I can’t really anticipatethe MLM aspect of it all. And in a weird way, it almost feels like it’sthe least of my concerns with how bad this shit is. So let’s keep going. John Entine writes that”The Body Shop claims “they have state-of-the-arttesting facilities “and a commitment to the highestquality control standards. “It says in it’s corporate training video, “‘all raw materials aremicro biologically tested “‘and subjected to our latestanalytical techniques.'” And I mean, of course BodyShop would claim that, what beauty company wouldn’t, to be fair? However, “despite the impressionthat it has cultivated, “The Body Shop has spent very little money “on quality control, “especially when comparedto its competitors.”BSI, Body Shop International, “evolved as a classic bathtub firm “with little product research or testing. “Industry scientists includingBSIs Mark Constantine “says ‘it still uses formulations “‘that have been phased outby more innovative companies. “BSI is renowned in the cosmetics industry “for its use of outdatedindustrial off-the-shelf recipes “filled with unnecessary petrochemicals, “despite claims it will neveruse nonrenewable sources “when renewablealternatives are available.”I could find no expert “who described itscosmetics as anything more “than overpriced drugstorequality products. “One favorite industry nickname “for The Body Shop is The Shoddy Bop.” And the list goes on and I’monly on page 12 out of 50. So we’re barely through a fifth of the way of John’s research and I seriously have to give kudos to him because it’s all incredibly well done and I think we can all appreciate some serious research on this channel. He covers every singleaspect of The Body Shop, from the minute they were founded to the minute this was completed. He mentions the procedures theFDA took issue with in 1993. and at one point mentions that one of their sample shampoos had 400% more bacteria in itthan allowed by FDA standard.Apparently they didn’t recall it and kept sending samples out, hoping that one would be approved. They violate GMP, goodmanufacturing practice by skipping swab tests thatmeasure bacteria counts, their facial oils regularly turn rancid, the FDA received 167 complaint letters for their eye gel in 1992, potentially because themolds found president in 1990 were ignored, butthat’s another gross story. OKO Test, a respected Germangreen consumer magazine found formaldehyde in at leastfor BSI products and tests from 1991 to 1994.German scientists DieterWundram, who conducted the tests and later became a BSI consultant, says he believes it is a by-product of using large quantities of preservatives to mask bacteria problems. “Their products are filledwith bugs,” says Wundram. “There is no one there I can talk to, “they don’t have a head scientist. “They take none of my advice. They claim to be againstanimal testing from the start. And yet none of the earlyliterature mentions it. Roddick has even been quoted as saying we do need this silly label. The only people who care about this issue are burned out ex hippies. When Mark Constantine,one of John’s sources suggested they put a not tested on animals slogan on their products. It seems she only liked the idea of promoting cruelty-free products when it suited her narrative, or more favorably, whenit suited her wallet. Roddick apparently backedmultiple non-profits into a corner to sell products to her at a cheaper rate.In 1995, she was featuredin People Magazine in Ghana for touring a trade, not aid project. Yet those villages she’svisiting with a happy smile aren’t seeing ordersfrom her company anymore. Even when the villages kept processing, going to meet The Body Shop’spromise of future orders. In a similar case, The BodyShop’s poster campaign promotion for the Pueblo’s blue corn line featured a Hopi Indianwoman wearing Zuni jewelry with Mayans in the background. BSI has purchased only a fewthousand dollars of blue corn since the project’s inception. In its first two years, the project has broughtthe pueblos around $15,000. BSI claims to have providedthe Indians a mill. The mill turned out to be a mill machine. BSI loaned the Indians $2,000, which was paid backagainst gross receipts. Brook Industries hydrolyzesthe blue corn powder for use in a face mask product. It’s president Jeffrey Brooks says “the ingredient isused at such small amounts “that it has no efficacy.”It’s all for show and publicrelations.” Brook says. BSI turned him down when he wanted to sellthe hydrolyzed blue corn to other companies that could expand thecustomer base for the Indians, so it could be a genuinelysustainable project. Brook calls Roddick “a modern day colonist “who exploits native cultures.” They’ve also lied about being the first feminist organization. Again, probably just for profit sake when it suits their wallets, they change their stores, seem to lie about profits they make, quality control is aconsistent problem for them. And well, I don’t know if I keep going, the script is just going toturn into a two-part video and I’ll just take one morething from Entine’s research before I move on with this quote: “I visited the plant a few years ago,” wrote one former auditor whoasked to remain anonymous.”It was weird to see these trulygigantic extrusion machines “each the size of a family house, “pumping out millions of plastic bottles, “while 18 wheelers drove by outside “painted with politicallycorrect slogans.” I know I’ve been stuck onpaper for quite some time now, but it is really rare thatI find something like this when I’m talking about MLMs, and given the endless alarming examples, I had to detail a few.Now, then let’s move on and let’s talk about what thisall meant for The Body Shop. Now as for what they had to say, because obviously they had to respond, they just said that this research was an expose piece thrown at them and unsurprisingly, they were infuriated. And according to the New York Times, began reviewing their legal options. I mean, look, even if the FTCinvestigation was routine, as they claim, which it wasn’t by the way. And even if some of their critics have only been motivatedby the company’s growth, which I don’t think they have been, The Body Shop gained a reputation for throwing a fit and legal action at anyone who questions them. According to the 1994New York times article, “the company’s do-good image “has been challenged from time to time.”And the company has a reputation “for responding aggressively. “After a critical documentaryby Britain’s channel 4, “The Body Shop fileda libel suit in London “and won a $425,000 judgment. “Last weekend, The Body Shop distributed “a six-page dossier on Mr. Entine, “raising questions abouthis reporting techniques “and saying he was conductinga single-minded campaign “of vilification against the company. “Earlier this year, “the company threatened tosue Vanity Fair Magazine, “which was then consideringprinting a version “of Mr. Entine’s article. “Vanity Fair later rejected the article “and people said thedecision was not determined “by The Body Shop’s threats.”In its statement today, “The Body Shop says it wasreviewing its legal options “in response to thebusiness ethics article. “‘The Body Shop’s goalhere is to isolate this “‘as a story between me and them.'” Mr. Entine said, in an interview. A company can do somegood and massive bad. And that’s the point I want to make here. Body shop has done somegood believe it or not. And the New York Times article does list some of that as well. Like for example, when the company started a newspaper produced and run by homelesspeople called the Big Issue. The Body Shop, despite their connectionwith Greenpeace, gag, has done some good things, absolutely. But that wasn’t at all whatJohn Entine wanted to discuss, because God knows The Body Shop talks about it enough themselves and insists they’re a fantasticcompany because of it. But no matter what goodthey may have done, that doesn’t mean they can’t be questioned and everyone has to turn a blind eye to the other countless scummy things that they try to sweep under the rug.I really did find Entine’sarticle compelling, even if it was from 25 years ago. And a lot of what he said seemsto stand true to this day. Even the good that they have already done seems to have ill intention behind it or little follow-through. Already, I know I could never purchase anything from a company with this history. As horrible as the 1994articles shattered was, the societal and environmentalaudit on his page is even longer, more detailed and so many levels of fucked up that I haven’t even beenable to summarize it in length of a normal idea. We’re like, well past that already. But for now, let’s move on to some more of the recent controversies and more recent questionable ethics. So before I deal with thisincident we’re about to get into, I want to ask you guys something.You know how when yousee a hunbot on Facebook and it has their work history and how disturbingly often those huns work for multiple MLMs, let’s say like Youniqueand then Young Living and Tupperware or some bullshit like that? Well, apparently The BodyShop doesn’t tolerate that. While still employed by TheBody Shop as a direct seller, Ms. Nicole suckling entered into an independent consultingagreement with Party Light which sells candles toindependent consultants, such as Ms.Suckling, who then on-sell to consumers at parties and other functions. The Body Shop consider this contravened her contractual obligations to it. The Body Shop pointed toher contract of employment which said “it is considered an employee, “cannot be totallycommitted to The Body Shop “if working for a competitor. “Thus whilst working for The Body Shop, “employees can not simultaneously work “for any other enterprise “this company considersa marketplace competitor.”To do so is considered misconduct “and may lead totermination of employment.” “In subsequent correspondence “with Ms. Sucklings legal representatives, “the Body Shop also referred “to certain confidential information, “which Ms. Sucklinghad access in her role, “including consultant payment information, “consultant details, and upcomingpromotions and incentives. “This, it contended, could be advantageous “to a competitor such as Party Light. “Following further correspondence “between the parties in which Ms. Suckling “refused to resign from Party Light, “despite being directed to do so.”The Body Shop terminatedMs. Suckling’s employment “effective April 30th, 2013.” Now ultimately The Body Shop won out here, even if Nicole fought against this, and said that what they did was illegal. And personally I’ve got littlesympathy for either of them, but I have far more forNicole than The Body Shop in this situation. Candles are not competitionwith Body Shop products, and even if they were, we know hunbots buyfrom MLMs all the time, so honestly it probably wouldhave been just like easier to just find more hunbotsand expand, right? It’s just yet another stupid problem from an infuriating company.Now for a while, this wasn’tjust Body Shop’s problem, but L’Oreal’s problem too. You see L’Oreal actuallypurchased the company in 2006 and held onto it until 2017. When Natura bought it fromthem for 877 million pounds. Funnily enough, these years seems to be their least controversial and it was really in the 90s when The Body Shop had the most issues. As for recent problems, they’vemostly flown under the radar and there’s not much to look at. But of course, before weclose out today’s video, we have to talk about theirBody Shop at home aspect, which is the MLM side of things. And the whole reason Ioriginally made today’s video. Even though we got farmore than we bargained for, thanks to John Entine’s research. Personally, I am inclined to believe what I read in thatreport, given the sources, but for the sake of completeand utter transparency, I did research John Entine as well to see how credible he actually is. In recent years, and bythat, I mean 2012 and onward, aren’t a hundred percentspotless on his record.He and the Genetic LiteracyProject reportedly partnered with a Monsanto backed group and well, Monsanto, you know, that’s another video in of itself. There has been some murky funding trails in his past, it seems, but those were all between 2009 to 2014 and I’ve found no evidence of his Body Shop controversy being biased. His reporting on Body Shop hasactually become the subject of business and management ethics studies. As in it’s been used as an example of why not to followin Roddick’s footsteps. He has also come clean abouthis Monsanto relationships. So I didn’t feel uncomfortableusing him as a source, given all of his own sources and the in-depth data hehad to back everything up. But then again, for the sake of beingunbiased as humanly possible, take that as you will. Now onto the MLM stuff.(chill music) The Body shop has beendependent on their direct sales during COVID times, but as is the case with many MLMs, their hunbots, beauty consultants, or direct sellers, regardlessof what you call them are not benefiting from itthe way the company does. The Body Shop saw directsales in the UK soar in the COVID-19 outbreak, rising to 30% of revenuesfrom 20% previously. MLM firms have a complex structure, in which existing salesreps are encouraged, not just to sell the company’s product, but to recruit morepeople underneath them. For every rung of the ladder people climb, they get paid a higherpercentage of sales profits. The person who recruitsyou is your upline, and your recruit is your downline. “Frequently,” admits Catherine, “women are recruited with lies.” “I’d say I was making 1500 pounds a month “when I was lucky tobe earning 500 pounds.”I felt bad, but I was told by my upline “to fake it til you make it.” And yes, fake it till you make it. That’s not really somethingyou should be hearing from your upline, your boss, your job, any decent place of employment, really. Like maybe except for acting, I suppose. I don’t know. But in this context, Idon’t even understand what they want their downline to fake, like their earnings? Like lie about how fantastic their job is just to recruit more people? Like that’s really misleadingand it’s manipulative, and the FTC doesn’texactly like that either. If lying is the onlyway to earn a downline, and then the only way toearn a living through that, how do you live with yourself? Like how can someone look in the mirror knowing that they’re surviving off of other people’sstruggles in that way? That is something I’ll never understand.But Catherine, of course, is far from the only one with this issue. “Recruited in October, 2018, “Claire spent 49 pounds on a starter kit, “but she says the onlyselling party she threw “was a flop that led tofractured friendships. “‘I invited 20 people, “‘but only two friendsshowed up,'” says Claire. “‘On Facebook, she andother Body Shop consultants “‘would rave about productsto drum up business. “‘It was a con really'” says Claire, “married to Rob 39, a civil servant. “‘And because there were so many of us “‘it was hard to sell anything.'” “Claire says, if she did placean order for 20% commission, “she’d be urged to spend more on products.”‘If I spent 70 pounds, for example, “‘Body Shop would offerme a 15 pound hand cream “‘for 10 pounds. “‘So I ended up with a lot ofproducts I couldn’t sell.'” “As spokesperson says, “‘The Body Shop at homeoffers a flexible opportunity “‘to earn from the sales of products, “‘as well as building a team of recruits “‘to allow for more widespreadsales growth opportunity “‘if they choose.'” And I think that’s just like a phrase that every MLM uses now, like flexible opportunity if they choose to be successful. Like sure, it initially sounds appealing, but the reality is all too grim. Unfortunately, I wasn’t actually able to find The Body Shop income disclosures, so I’m guessing because they have more than just an MLM component,they’re able to hide it better if they have to release it at all.But with typical despicable MLM behavior, like area managers ignoring direct sales when their parents arediagnosed with terminal cancer, do I really need to say moreabout this horrible company? Their founder, Anita, quite frankly sounded like a horrible person. Body Shop wasn’t an isn’t green, they’ve jumped on politicallycorrect bandwagons and advocated for whatwill earn them money, whether or not they’ve put theirmoney where their mouth is. The entire foundation of thiscompany was built on a scam, copying someone else andbuying out their good name and silencing them before theycould realize what happened. I think that’s more than enough reason to hate The Body Shop,not just as being an MLM, but the entire companyfor what they really are and what they actually stand for.So with this massivevideo coming to a close, I hope you were able to learnsomething from today’s video because that’s where I’mgoing to end it for now. If you enjoyed the video,make sure to like it. If you’re new to the channel,make sure to subscribe. If you want more content from me, including all the sourcesI used for today’s video, my social media, links to other channels and projects I’m associated with, links for everything will be in the description box down below. So again, thank you so muchfor making it to today’s video. I love you guys and I’llsee you in the next one. Bye! (upbeat music).


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