What's some good media about Amway?
March 25, 2022 10:06 AM   Subscribe

This is probably a bit of an “I don’t know how to Google” question. Since imbibing a few podcasts and shows about MLMs, I’ve become interested in Amway, the MLM that seems to have really broken big and gotten the system to ignore such pyramid schemes. Is there a good book / film / podcast / radio show / anything about the history of Amway?
posted by Going To Maine to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Behind the Bastards did a good two-part episode on Amway. Part one / part two
posted by dudekiller at 10:16 AM on March 25, 2022 [4 favorites]

Depends on which part you want to learn. For how it blazed the way for MLM you can look up "Amway safeguard rules", which was the compromise it reached with the FTC.

As for how it's founded, you need to look up history of "Nutrilite", which was founded by Carl Rehnborg.

The actual founders of Amway, Jay Van Andel and Rich DeVos didn't join the story until 1949, when they started selling vitamins for Nutrilite. In 1950's the company got into trouble and Van Andel / DeVos decided to diversify and started "American Way" (they used to be US Air Force) with a cleaning solution. This evolved into Amway, and they later acquired Nutrilite in 1994.
posted by kschang at 10:20 AM on March 25, 2022 [2 favorites]

For an absolutely gripping account of an Amway distributor who eventually rose high enough in Amway to see behind the curtain, check out Merchants of Deception, by Eric Scheibeler.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 10:51 AM on March 25, 2022 [4 favorites]

If you haven't listened to the first season of The Dream yet, you must. It's SO good.
posted by doift at 6:27 PM on March 25, 2022 [2 favorites]

The YouTuber Illuminaughtii, who covers MLMs a lot, did a couple of episodes on Amway: part one. Part two. It most definitely has a snarky tone (she's not neutral, it's explicitly anti-MLM), but I think she researches pretty well, and she goes way back to the precursors of the company in the 40s.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 5:51 PM on March 30, 2022

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