Herbalife Makes Good With HACR While Ignoring Latino Exploitation
The exchange ignores the global nutrition company's dark past with Latino distributors.
According to Business Wire, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) recently commended Herbalife for promoting diversity.
“On behalf of HACR’s Board of Directors, we congratulate Herbalife for keeping Hispanic inclusion top of mind,” Senior Vice President and COO Dr. Lisette Garcia said of the global nutrition company. “By adopting Hispanic inclusiveness, companies such as Herbalife are cultivating a corporate culture that promotes forward thinking which sustains their competitive edge to outpace competitors.”
Corren Turner, senior director of Talent Acquisition and Diversity and Inclusion at Herbalife, naturally agreed. “Our commitment to ensuring a diverse workforce is simply who we are; it is part of our DNA,” he said. "We appreciate HACR’s recognition of our work and look forward to working with HACR and other organizations to ensure that we provide meaningful opportunities for all populations.”
What's ironic about the exchange is Herbalife's history of wrecking the financial aspirations of its Latino distributors, who make up an estimated 60 percent of the company's recruits, according to Latin Times. Acclaimed filmmaker Ted Braun took on pyramid scheme allegations in feature documentary Betting on Zero, which revealed individual Latino families have lost anywhere between $8,000 to $80,000 through the business' emphasis on recruitment rather than selling products.
After the Federal Trade Commission backed claims that making money as a Herbalife distributor is a "virtually impossible" feat, the weight management company agreed to pay $200 million through a settlement in July. "The order requires Herbalife to drop its current system of rewarding distributors primarily for recruiting a 'downline' of people who will buy the product at wholesale, without regard to whether there are customers out there who really want the merchandise," an FTC statement reads. "Under the new compensation structure, success in the Herbalife marketing program must depend on whether participants sell products, not on whether they can recruit additional distributors to buy products."
Back in November, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver slammed Herbalife CEO Michael Johnson for characterizing the settlement as a victory while skirting responsibility for preying on the lives of Latinos through multi-level marketing schemes here: