BBC journalist Ellie Flynn has gone undercover as part of an investigation into Younique and Nu Skin.

Flynn’s documentary, titled “Secrets of the Multi-Level Millionaires”, examines the success of both companies in the UK.

In doing so, it is inadvertently revealed that retail sales appear to be virtually non-existent.

I don’t want to give too much away as it’s worth a watch, but I will go over the two highlights of the documentary for me.

At certain points in the documentary Flynn (right) goes undercover at Younique and Nu Skin events.

What she realizes is, after signing up, is that the focus quickly switches from a retail pitch to recruiting.

States one Younique affiliate in a marketing video;

RITA, R-I-T-A; recruiting is the answer.

And you will not become a six or seven-figure earner if you don’t build a team.

You can’t do that just on selling. You can’t, it would kill you *laughter*

Flynn herself tries to retail Younique products and hits an exhaustive brick wall.

As far as I was aware, this was a company where I’d be selling some makeup on Facebook.

And now suddenly I’m being told if I want to make real money and make a real success of this business, I need to try and recruit a load of people to my team.

At an official Nu Skin training event held in the UK, Blue Diamond Tayla Blue tells the affiliate audience;

So a lot of people get confused with this business… because it is a beauty business they think they’ve got to sell products.

But actually this is a recruitment business.

The actual bones behind this business is in recruiting, so that’s actually bringing people into the business.

That is where the big money comes from.

At another Nu Skin training event, an unidentified speaker tells the audience;

It’s all about recruiting, okay? Because the recruitment is gonna give you these high incomes.

It’s about us doing a little bit. In fact, I’ve only ever used products. I don’t even like retailing product.

One idea Flynn explores is the cult like behavior often exhibited by MLM companies and their distributors.

At the center of this mentality are the companies owners and management.

In footage from an official Younique UK event, CEO Derek Maxfield is compared and grouped in with Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana, Abraham Lincoln and Jesus Christ.

Princess Diana, don’t we all love her?…

…and last but not least, Jesus Christ… and there’s one more person that I want to talk about. That I think comes definitely under this category (of people).

You all might know him, I love him dearly.

Derek Maxfield. What a guy! I love him!

Other themes explored in Flynn’s documentary include

  • disturbing aspects of “mindset training” associated with MLM opportunities;
  • similarities between MLM companies and the Mormon church;
  • what is actually marketed by MLM companies; and
  • predatory targeting of women on social media, in particular new or expectant young mothers.

Towards the end of the documentary Flynn approaches both Younique and Nu Skin in her capacity as a BBC journalist.

After several attempts via email and phone to set up interviews with Younique and Nu Skin executives fail, Flynn flies out to the US to try to secure appointments in person.

Both companies’ management refuse to speak with her.

I think that says it all.

People have lost everything to these companies. They’ve lost hours of their lives. They’ve lost money, they’ve lost friends, they’ve lost family.

And when you come here to try and question the people who are responsible for that, no one acknowledges it.

And I think that’s the reality of what happens. People are buying into the dream, and when it all goes wrong nobody cares.

Both Younique and Nu Skin did eventually send Flynn canned pseudo-compliance written statements.

As Flynn reads them out, it’s hard not to appreciate just how hollow the rhetoric is in light of what appears to be actually happening in the UK.

Secrets of the Multi-Level Millionaires aired on BBC Three on April 27th, as part of Ellie Flynn’s “Ellie Undercover” series.