The FTC Is Shutting Down Vemma For Being A Pyramid Scheme, So LOL If You Thought You Were Going To Get Rich

If you’re a college-age Bro in your late-teens or early 20s, you’re probably familiar with Vemma, a company that aspires to “make a positive difference starts with people helping people.” If that vague, meaningless mission statement sounds like bullshit to you, you’re right! It is!

Vemma makes nutritional supplements, weight loss drinks, and energy drinks that it proclaims are revolutionary. Notably, its Bod-e and Verve drinks. But the reality is that it’s a classic multi-level marketing pyramid scheme that the FTC says has generated $200 million in annual sales. It targets impressionable college-age men (like the Bro in the pic above) who want to get rich fast and retire at the age of 24 with a Ferrari and four vacation condos. Maybe you know a meathead on your Facebook or Insta or Twitter feed who drank Vemma’s Kool-Aid and bought into the scheme — A lot of college-aged Bros do. They’re usually super obnoxious about it.

Yesterday the Federal Trade Commission shut Vemma down and seized the company’s assets, ruling that it’s an illegal pyramid scheme. Via CNBC:

The consumer protection agency said that Vemma told recruits that they could make as much as $50,000 per week selling its nutritional beverage Vemma, energy drink Verge or protein shake Bod-e. An initial investment of $600 was paid for products and business tools and $150 in Vemma products had to be bought each month to receive bonuses. The FTC said Vemma provided little help on how to sell its products and instead rewarded them for recruiting more people.

Vemma earned $200 million a year in 2013 and 2014, according to the FTC.

A federal court in Arizona temporarily seized the company’s assets. Products on Vemma’s website could not be bought Wednesday. The website said that products were “temporarily unavailable at this time.”

In the complaint, the FTC said Vemma employees visited college campuses and told students that selling the beverages was an alternative to a regular job. Its marketing materials features young people in luxury vehicles, jets and yachts, the FTC said.

 

Vemma was then collecting that money from their “distributors” who were busy pushing meaningless products on their friends. Eventually, over 170 complaints to the FTC were made against the company.

Apparently Vemma’s messaging had some appeal to college-age douchebags. Rolling Stone did a decent profile on the type of young, impressionable Bros who bought into the Vemma way of business. And people like this guy flooded their Facebook and Twitter feeds with moronic (and relatively hollow) inspirational and aspirational messages like this:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsWonder how his retirement plan is doing today. And this sucker:

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Meanwhile, the head of the company is convinced he has a fighting chance. Here’s the B.S. he rattled off on Instagram:

Our own Tanner Blaze had a really good Twitter rant about Vemma last night. It’s worth your time.

And the @YPRbroYPR Twitter account has been making fun of the douchebags who talk about Vemma like it’s the greatest shit ever for years. Here are some of my favorites:

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And especially this one from today:

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Sorry if you thought you were going to get rich, Bros. Better luck next time.

Brandon Wenerd avatar
BroBible's publisher and a founding partner, circa 2009. Brandon is based in Los Angeles, where he oversees BroBible's partnership team and other business development activities. He still loves to write and create content, including subjects related to internet culture, food, live music, Phish, the Grateful Dead, Philly sports, and adventures of all kinds. Email: brandon@brobible.com