This is a conversation I copied directly from this website: www.joelcomm.com
OK, I will play the devil's advocate: I think that Arbonne has fabricated the fact that they
have a laboratory in Switzerland to benefit from the Swiss image for meticulously
researched and and finely crafted products. There, prove me wrong. :)
Posted by: Ed at June 29, 2005 10:46 AM
So if I take you up on your suggestion, Ed, that I "prove you wrong"....what will that
accomplish for you personally? Are you losing sleep at night? Are you needing therapy
because of this question? Are you afraid that your uncertainty will cause undue harm to
someone? I don't get why this is such a burning question for you. You really believe that
a 25 year old company would be perpetrating a fraud so they could sell more product
with the “Swiss” name on it and that after 25 years of a spotless record YOU are the first
person to figure this caper out and report on it? It’s just silly, sorry to say. So if I provide
an address, or an explanation for your inability to track down this international
conspiracy, what do I get in return? An apology? You see it’s not worth my time to
bother. I know individuals who have been there and they have no reason to lie. I’ve seen
their pictures. Up until recently the pictures of NVP Jeanne Sterner’s visit were right on
the Arbonne website. It’s such a moot point I can’t believe I’m even commenting on it!
Posted by: Dave at June 29, 2005 11:21 AM
Ed- So glad someone else has had the same doubts about Arbonne's supposed Swiss-ness.
I called the Registre de Commerce (Business Registry) in Sion, Switzerland (+41 27 322
92 05), and the officials there say there is no "Arbonne" registered in the Canton of
Valais, nor have they ever heard of anything named "Arbonne". Sion is a town of just
under 20,000 people, so if there were in fact an "Arbonne Institute of Research &
Development" in Sion, Switzerland (As Dave, the guy whose wife supposedly makes
$25k a month, claims in the post above), you would think that the Business Registry
would at least have heard of the place. I, too, have asked Arbonne, Inc. for more details
on the "Arbonne Institute of Research & Development", and they have avoided the
request. This just seems like one more reason to avoid the company altogether.
Posted by: Get Real at June 29, 2005 12:43 PM
Supply an address and phone number and you have my respect and apologies. Simple
Posted by: Ed at June 29, 2005 03:28 PM
I'll supply an address, Ed, or at least a description of the location if I can. Frankly, I've
never been there so I can't tell you first hand where to find it. I'm sure it's not a huge
place. There's probably only 10 or 12 employees. I have written to one of the NVPs who
has been there, and by the way, has a picture of her standing in front of the place on her
Eye On Arbonne. (EOAs are printed success stories from VPs) However, since I'm so
confident the place exists and since your are adamant that it doesn't...so much so that you
now have "Get Real" piling on....I'm tempted to suggest a little wager. How much can
you afford to lose??
Posted by: Dave at June 29, 2005 04:20 PM
Forget about the wager, play devil's advocate and ship him a bottle of the shave gel...it is
awesome stuff. At least then he will see how quality the product is.
Posted by: Ash at June 29, 2005 04:41 PM
There is no need for a bet, I have good faith in you, if the place exists you will come up
with an address and phone number. I have no complaint about Arbonne products and it
seems MLM marketing schemes are here to stay in spite of what I think of them.
My point is, if...and I say IF, a company is going to plaster the Swiss flag all over their
products and claim that they are formulated in Switzerland in their research laboratory
and the whole thing turns out to be a fabrication then I think that would speak volumes
about the scruples of the people that are running the company, don't you?
Posted by: Ed at June 30, 2005 01:36 AM
Absolutely I agree with you, Ed. And that's the point I've been trying to make here. No
matter what you think of Network Marketing or what your past experience has been with
other companies, our experience with Arbonne has been completely different. I've met
the people who run this company and I've met people from all across the country who are
involved in this business and I have come to know the nature of their character and
integrity. I have complete faith in their scruples, as you put it, because I've never seen
anything, or experienced anything, that I find questionable. That's why I find your
skepticism about the existence of AIRD to be so unfounded. (That and the pictures I’ve
seen of the place.) It's not like this company, or the people who I've had the privilege to
know, to fabricate such a story. The damage to the company and the reputations of a lot
of people, if it were a fabrication, would far out weigh any benefit.
Arbonne was recently purchased by an investment group called Harvest Partners. Do the
research on them and you'll find a company with a tremendous reputation. Do you think
HP would invest millions in a company with such a skeleton in its closet?
I'll let you know what I find out as soon as someone responds to my emails. BTW...I did
find the address and phone number of the gentleman who runs AIRD and his residence in
the next town over from Sion. So at least I know the director lives nearby.
Posted by: Dave at June 30, 2005 06:05 AM
I have also found the address and phone number of Pierre Bottiglieri. I have a call into
SCC which according to Arbonne is the organization he is supposed to be president of
(he is not the president by the way) and he is supposed to call me back....so far there has
been no reply. I will let you know the moment I hear something.
Posted by: Ed at June 30, 2005 09:03 AM
Ok, I just got off the phone with Mr. Bottiglieri. Here is the scoop: Arbonne has never
been and is not currently legally registered in Switzerland and currently there is no
laboratory facility nor has there ever been a laboratory solely for the purpose of R&D for
What really happened was: Mr. Bottiglieri worked for a company called Laboratoires
Biologiques Arval S.A. (www.arval.ch) and they did some work for Arbonne. Arval is a
big lab that does research and development for 100's of different cosmetics companies
from around the world. Arbonne was just one of many of their customers.
Mr. Bottiglieri did tell me that Arbonne was currently in the process of applying for their
first business license and they are looking for a location to put in a laboratory but it will
be some months away before it is all official.
I believe Arbonne's representation of the AIRD is misleading and dishonest.
Posted by: Ed at June 30, 2005 09:47 AM
At this point I think I have the story straight and I will admit that I was under a
misconception about AIRD. But having said that, I don’t think that the truth about AIRD
can in anyway be considered an example of deceit or lying on the part of Arbonne. The
whole explanation and history would take far too much space here to go into and would
be pretty useless, but I’ll try to share enough of what I’ve learned to satisfy your inquiry.
First, you’re right in the sense that AIRD does not exist as a specific place. At least not
yet. That is certainly a misconception on my part, but I must add, that misconception
wasn’t really because of anything Arbonne actually said or states in any literature. I
misinterpreted information and made a conclusion without all the facts. The pictures I
saw were of the facility that, at the time, had been set aside to work exclusively on
Arbonne products, and not owned by Arbonne. I’m actually grateful to you for allowing
me the opportunity to clear this up in my own understanding.
In essence, AIRD historically has been a team of professional chemists, herbalists and
master skin care professionals who are coordinated by Arbonne to develop the ideas and
science needed to create Arbonne products. In the early days many of these researchers
including Pierre, were indeed part of Arval, whose owner was a friend of Arbonne’s
founder. In recent years, Arbonne’s team has employed several labs throughout
Switzerland to take the ideas of the AIRD team, create the formulations, do the testing,
and turn them into the products Arbonne then manufacturers in California.
Also, as Arbonne grows, the concept of AIRD is also continuing to evolve. Pierre is now
working in a temporary lab devoted solely to Arbonne product research as Arbonne is, in
fact, in the process of being registered globally. Additionally, AIRD will soon include
chemists from several other countries to contribute to product development and will have
their own facility to formulate, test and even manufacture Arbonne products.
I hope this clears it up to your satisfaction and I apologize for my errors.
Posted by: Dave at June 30, 2005 07:15 PM
>>I don’t think that the truth about AIRD can in anyway be considered an example of
deceit or lying on the part of Arbonne.>>
I beg to differ. They actually do say that AIRD is their private laboratory. This is from a
letter that I received from Arbonne:
>>All of Arbonne's premium Swiss Skin Care products are meticulously formulated at
our private laboratory, AIRD, where each individual product has a proprietary formula
that is never compromised. All of our products are made in the USA by contract
manufacturers who follow all strict manufacturing guidelines set forth by AIRD in order
to obtain the beneficial properties of the formulations. AIRD is located in Sion
Switzerland and is run by Director, Pierre Bottiglieri. Pierre has a long list of
achievements and accreditations that make him a true asset to Arbonne. >>
Many Arbonne web pages site the AIRD as being a private laboratory when as we now
know there is no such thing as AIRD.
Another web site at: http://www.makeupbusiness.com/arbonne.html says it is a Swiss
company that moved to the States: "Arbonne has an almost 30 year history of providing
skin care products that are unsurpassed in quality and effectiveness. The Swiss company,
founded in 1975 by Petter Morck and a team of biochemists, biologists and herbalists,
expanded to the United States in 1980, and from there, became Arbonne International,
with a worldwide network of distributors." As we now know Arbonne or AIRD has never
been a Swiss Company.
This one I particularly like: "We have AIRD, our own research & development lab in
Sion, Switzerland. Yes, we're a Swiss product and that's a BIG deal to a LOT of people.
Our lab is headed up by Pierre Bottiglieri who is arguably the leading cosmetic chemist
in the world, and has served as the Managing Director or AIRD for over 4 years." From
The list goes on and on. I fail to see how you could not see this as deceptive. This
company is NOT Swiss and it has never been Swiss.
As I see it: "Arbonne has bought their formulas from Swiss labs and then sub-contracted
the production to American manufactures and then relies on private individuals to market
their product for them. Arbonne is a 200 million dollar company that invents nothing,
manufactures nothing and sells nothing. All based on the half-truth of being a Swiss
company selling Swiss Quality." WOW!
Posted by: Ed at July 1, 2005 02:09 AM
I have a question. I am a new consultant and altough I am happy with the products and
the results I'm getting, I have some concerns about the company as well. I did a search in
the BBB and came up with:
5411 S. Stonewood Dr.
Mount Vernon, IN 47620
Telephone: (812) 985-9963
The BBB reports on members and non-members.
Original Business Start Date: January 1980 Service Contact: Mrs. Jane Koch , Owner
Local Start Date: June 1997 Employees: 1
Principal: Mr. Dan Koch , Owner File Open Date: June 1998
TOB Classification: Skin Care, Multi-Level Selling Co.
BBB Membership: This company is not a member.
Who are these people?
Posted by: Grace at July 1, 2005 06:19 AM
I don’t know what to tell you at this point. It’s a matter of how you interpret the
information you have. I can agree that the letter you say you received from Arbonne
would lead you to believe they own their own lab. But it doesn’t actually say that. It also
doesn’t say AIRD is a building. If AIRD is a team of Arbonne coordinated researchers, it
could just mean they conduct their business in Sion. Personally, understanding what I
know now, I think the letter is factually correct. But I agree it could be misconstrued. As
far as the quotes from consultant web sites go, this is a prime example of why Arbonne
needs to be so strict with upholding the rules of what a consultant can claim, where a nd
how they can advertise and what kinds of documents they attach the Arbonne logo to.
Even Joel’s opening sentence on this board is factually wrong. Arbonne does not now,
nor have they ever, advertised their products as “All Natural”. But someone hears it said
and passes it along and it suddenly is considered a “fact”.
Bottom line is this: Arbonne products are indeed formulated, tested and perfected in
Switzerland by Swiss and European researchers in Swiss laboratories and then
manufactured in the U.S. and distributed by independent consultants throughout the U.S.
and Canada. Arbonne products incorporate the latest science and technology and the
highest quality ingredients to create products that are pure, safe and beneficial to the end
user. There are literally hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers who would attest to
I realize that I can’t change your mind if you’re so down on Network Marketing so I’m
not going to continue with this specific conversation. (And admit that it’s network
marketing that you’re against because if Arbonne products were sitting on a shelf in your
local salon you would have no interest in scrutinizing them as you are.) All I can say is I
love the products and would use then even if I wasn’t in the business. As Arbonne
continues to expand and their sales continue to explode it is only a matter of time before
Arbonne is a household name like Mary Kay or Pampered Chef. Those who join this
business have a great opportunity to build a fabulous income and lifestyle. Right now I’m
sitting here looking out the window at my wife’s E-320 and my brand new SUV and I’m
deciding if I should play golf today, even though it’s a bit cloudy. I couldn’t do that two
Posted by: Dave at July 1, 2005 08:12 AM
Grace....to answer your question, I don't know who those people are, but it's very possible
they are independent consultants who decided, or were required by the state or local
municipality, to register their home based business with the BBB.
Posted by: Dave at July 1, 2005 08:18 AM
If I tell you "I have my own private castle in France" what does that mean to you?
To me, Arbonne's intent is crystal clear... and to me, their intent is deception. As I have
said before, I have no complaint against their products because I have only used one or
two and I could not possibly form an opinion based on that small amount of exposure.
Additionally, I have no complaint against the fact that they use network marketing to sell
their product. Whatever I may think of that type of marketing, it is a legal reality and
certainly here to stay.
My whole problem is that Arbonne represents themselves as a Swiss company with a
laboratory in Switzerland and that is simply not the case.
By the way, for nearly three years I have hosted a forum here in Switzerland called “The
Swiss Consumers Forum” to give people living in Switzerland a place to discuss things
like this. I would like to invite you to join because the conversation about Arbonne is
starting to heat up over there too. Your insight would lend some balance to the
As for your wife’s Mercedes and your SUV...Congratulations!
Posted by: Ed at July 1, 2005 09:50 AM
Ed, I guess we'll just have to disagree on this because you’re seeing it different than I am.
I don’t interpret the “Suisse” on the bottle or the “Formulated in Switzerland” to mean
it’s a Swiss company. It’s not a Swiss company. It’s owned by primarily by an American
investment company and managed by mostly Americans. The company was founded in
Europe by a Norwegian, Petter MØrck, and his son, Stian, has a predominant role in
running the company now that the founder has basically retired. Arbonne does not
advertise itself as Swiss company. They advertise their products as being formulated in
Switzerland, which is true, using herbal and botanical formulations that are based on
Swiss and European principles and methods. To the cynic it might sound like a marketing
ploy, but it is really a statement of philosophy and an indicator of the kind of product it is.
For example, most U.S. cosmetic companies use mineral oil as the base of their lotions.
You won’t find a Swiss skin care, of any kind, using mineral oil. The Swiss thinking is
that mineral oil isn’t good for your skin. When you see “Swiss” it simply means the
product, formulated in Switzerland, conforms to Swiss standards. How can it be any
P.S. I think we're worn this one out. If you agree with Ed, then don't do Arbonne, don't
buy the product and keep doing what you're doing and getting what you're getting. It
doesn't matter. If you can comprehend the meaning of "Swiss" then I'm sure you're tired
of this, as I am.
Posted by: Dave at July 1, 2005 11:22 AM
I would guess that profiting from a situation gives you a different perspective. I
agree...let's just call it a day on this forum and go our separate ways. Any future readers
can make up their own minds.
Posted by: Ed at July 1, 2005 12:27 PM