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Amway Forever: The Amazing Story of a Global Business Phenomenon by Kathryn A. Jones

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The Debate Begins over Structure

Carl Rehnborg, Nutrilite’s inventor, had met a psychologist named William Casselberry at a Dale Carnegie sales course. The two became business associates. Casselberry headed up Nutrilite sales with a man named Lee Mytinger, who had previously sold, among other things, cemetery plots. Nutrilite split into two companies: Nutrilite Products Inc. handled the manufacturing, and Mytinger & Casselberry ran the distribution operation, which included Jay and Rich and the other distributors. One of their marketing tools was a book called How to Get Well and Stay Well. It attracted the attention not only of potential customers, but also of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Regulators had grown increasingly concerned about some vitamin manufacturers’ flamboyant claims—claims that weren’t backed by the current science. William W. Goodrich, who was the FDA’s general counsel from 1939 to 1971, recalled in an oral history interview that the Mytinger & Casselberry incident made the FDA start scrutinizing the way vitamins were being sold directly to consumers. One-A-Day, for example, had product labeling and an insert in the box, which the FDA had gone over line by line and raised objections to when it felt some health claims were too broad.10 But the direct-sales model was of special concern to the FDA because there was no control over the claims made by individual salespeople, except in published materials. “The adaptation of house-to-house direct selling ...

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