Category Archives: Jon Taylor

Len Clements launches a podcast

One of my favourite commentators on the Network Marketing industry is Len Clements of MarketWave Inc. Len has been very much at the forefront of defending the industry against anti-mlm zealots like Robert FitzPatrick and Jon Taylor. He unfortunately has had a tendency to repeat some of the unfair generalizations about Amway that are based on the behaviours of some Amway affiliated groups, but his work in promoting a professional view of Network Marketing and debunking myths is in my opinion without peer.

This week Len has launched a podcast, an online radio show, where you can hear Len talk about various industry issues. In this first episode he talks about some controversies surrounding NWM companies Zrii and YTB Travel and the “bias” against NWM that companies like Verizon, PayPal, and eBay have in their terms of service. His segment on the challenges currently being faced by YTB Travel is an excellent coverage of the legal status of multi-level marketing and what makes something a potential pyramid or not. Len is of the the opinion that YTB Travel setup may cross the line, and I’m afraid I have to agree with him.

I heartily recommend you give his Inside Network Marketing podcast a listen. It’s about 1h15m long, but that’s the great thing about a podcast – you can pause it and continue listening whenever you want!

Amway Success – What are your odds?

A common cry of the anti-Amway zealots is that the “odds” or “chance” of an individual being successful in Amway are low. They’ll typically look at some of Amway’s published statistics, such as the fact that in 2005, .0120% of “Direct Fulfillment IBOs of Record” qualifed at the Diamond level, and claim that your “odds” of going Diamond are 1 in 8333, so you’d be better off at Vegas, where your “odds” of winning on a single number in say, roulette are 1 in 29.

Oft-quoted anti-MLM zealot Jon M. Taylor, Ph.D., President, Consumer Awareness Institute, and Director, Pyramid Scheme Alert, for example, claims that -

The odds of winning from a single spin of the wheel in a game of roulette in Las Vegas is 286 times as great as the odds of profiting after enrolling as an Amway/Quixtar “distributor”

Amway is not a game of chance

A quick bit of math shows that Dr Taylor thus claims the “odds” of profiting in Amway are 1 in 8294. He calculates these “odds” based on numerous assumptions (for which I might add, he has next to no data to support), including what peoples expenses are. Now, for the purposes of this post I’m going to ignore these type of assumptions, but if they are correct (they’re not) then his “odds” might be a reasonable statistic to consider, except for one thing – unlike roulette, Amway is not a game of chance. Continue reading

Great News for all Network Marketers

As many North American readers would know, in 2006 the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed a new Business Opportunity Rule which, as written, would require multi-level marketing opportunity promoters to provide prospects with a whole range of new information, such as names of other local participants, lawsuits, etc etc etc. It also imposed a mandatory 7-day waiting period before a person could join.

The MLM and Direct Selling Industry argued that the requirements were not only unduly burdensome on legitimate companies, they would in fact have little effect on illegitimate companies. The FTC has agreed, and MLMs are effectively exempt from the proposed new rule.

There is some very interesting information in the full FTC discussion paper. One area of discussion was the problem of declaring average incomes, when many people join purely for the purpose of receiving “wholesale pricing”. Shaklee for example, revealed that 85% of folk who join that company do so for that reason.

The FTC included summaries of the claims of the bogus “consumer advocates” Pyramid Scheme Alert (Robert FitzPatrick) and Consumer Awareness Institute (Jon Taylor) but appeared unswayed by their arguments that MLM are effectively all illegal pyramids. One particular line from the Jon Taylor’s CAI which always makes me laugh -

“[i]t is extremely rare for MLM victims to recognize the fraud in an MLM program without intensive de-programming by a knowledgeable consumer advocate”

Good grief, get a life Jon.

Folk have argued that the UK BERR and the FTC have recently been in regular contact regarding MLMs. In particular a number of critics have claimed the BERR case has put MLM, and in particular, Amway, under strong FTC scrutiny. If this paper is any reflection of what the FTC and BERR have discussed, then it augurs well for that case.

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