One of the biggest diet trends to happen in a while is Body by Vi, a meal replacement shake weight loss plan that thrives because of its multi-level marketing (MLM) business model (aka pyramid scheme). The brand has a huge following, and this week sounded like it was poised to gain even more with news of a Biggest Loser tie-in.
When the most popular reality show on TV syncs with a wildly popular diet brand, you’d think it would be a perfect marketing marriage. But that’s not the case. Rumors have been swirling that the two brands were partnering, so we had to look in to it. Turns out, the news is just a misunderstood rumor.
“There is no partnership between the show and this company,” the press representative for Biggest Loser at NBC told us this evening.
A former Loser let us know that ViSalus Sciences and Biggest Loser had “combined forces,” and that “they’re doing a 90 day challenge.” They even said they’ll be a promoter for the upcoming Showdown Challenge.
As well, Jim Germanakos, the Biggest Loser 4 at-home winner, posted this on his Facebook page this week:
“I just got back from Miami and the ‘Visalus’ National ‘Vitality’ event which was held at the American Airlines Arena where 18,000 screaming Visalus promoters learned that Ben Silverman, the creator of ‘The Biggest Loser’ just joined forces with Visalus to bring it main-stream, and has created ‘The 90-Day Showdown’ Challenge which will be sistered with ‘The Biggest Loser’ starting immediately.”
The marketing materials for the challenge back up what NBC is telling us, in that the partnership exists with Ben Silverman, former chairman of NBC and co-creator of Biggest Loser. But no mention of a direct partnership with the show is indicated. These materials clearly state the brand has “joined forces with Biggest Loser co-creator Ben Silverman.”
It sounds as though Ben Silverman is getting the Biggest Loser alumni involved, and using his resume to help promote, but as NBC said, no official partnership has been forged.
“That stuff makes me mad,” said another Loser alum, not supporting these kind of supplement-based efforts to lose weight (or maintain) after the show.
The show lends no support to the contestants when they return home, so it’s almost understandable that these reality stars would find any way to maintain or continue losing, even with a fad-like supplement product like Body by Vi. And according to Germanakos’ post, it’s an easy way for them to earn (or supplement) their income, based on the MLM model.
“I am a Regional Director with Visalus, starting a few months ago part-time… I am [consistently] earning $2500-$3500 a month, with UNLIMITED potential. On Sunday, I saw a couple that I know get a bonus check for $500,000. They’ve been with Visalus for 19 MONTHS..!! There were also over 820 people and couple who earn over 12,500 per MONTH.”
To the naysayers, we say stick with a healthy, sustainable eating plan (like the one the contestants learn on the ranch, created by Cheryl Forberg, RD) and you won’t need a bunch of pricey shakes to help your weight loss.
We’ll keep you posted on any more developing news.
July 19th, 2012