ATTEMPTS TO suppress and DISCREDIT BETTING ON ZERO
Hours after Betting On Zero premiered at TriBeca Film Festival, where paid contractors distributed leaflets attempting to discredit the film, Herbalife launched an attack website. The website, bettingonzero.com, is a repository of false and misleading information about the film and is subject to periodic wild and dramatic revisions.
The initial version, which can be accessed here, made the case that Betting On Zero was funded by Bill Ackman, whose campaign to draw regulatory attention to Herbalife's business practices is one of the subjects of the film. This was a lie, and the company knew it was a lie, as it appears to admit on an updated version of the website in its description of its numerous meetings with director Ted Braun.
After the FTC announced it would force Herbalife to pay $200 million in restitution and completely restructure its business, the film's financier publicly discussed his involvement with the film in this interview on CNBC, and the company changed its tune. Here is the new version of bettingonzero.com, which argues that critics of multilevel marketing companies cannot be trusted to speak honestly about multilevel marketing companies, and that people who manage money for others cannot support documentaries about business and financial subjects that reflect their personal beliefs.
Incidentally, paid contractors posing as 'community activists' also leafletted the August 6 screening in East Hampton, NY, but at least on that occasion they admitted to one of the producers that they had no idea what the film was about.
Most recently, Herbalife's lobbying firm bought up more than 170 tickets to the Washington, DC premiere on October 7. Either they invited a lot of friends who didn't show up or they didn't want people to see it.
The core findings of Betting On Zero are practically identical to the core findings of the FTC after its multi-year investigation of Herbalife. This is not a coincidence.
For more information about what the FTC found, please view the FTC's lawsuit against the company here.