Category Archives: Amway North America

Amway North America proposes biggest changes to compensation plan in 25 years

Amway LogoAt the recent North American Diamond Club, Amway announced a proposal for significant changes to the basic compensation plan in Amway’s oldest market. Probably the most obvious change is the removal of the 3% and 6% bonus brackets, combined with halving the group volume requirements for 9% down to 300PV.

Replacing the 3% and 6% bonus levels will be a tiered “rewards” system offering discount coupons on Amway purchases the following month. For generating 100-149PV IBOs will earn a $10 discount, for 150-199PV $20 and for 200-299PV, $30. This program is similar to one introduced in Amway Europe a couple of years ago, where IBOs receive a 10€ discount coupon to use the following month. Unlike North America, however, the 3% and 6% bonuses remain (albeit at the higher volume levels of 200 and 600 points). Continue reading

Amway’s new sponsorship revealed!

This was posted a few days ago and removed at Amway’s request. The announcement has now been officially made at Diamond Club, but remember – TTAA had the news first! :)
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Last week, following a teaser video released by Amway,  I asked What is Amway’s mystery new sponsorship? Well it seems the answer has leaked on Amway’s website (thank’s Carl for the tip!) so 3 days before the announcement at Diamond Club we can break the news that ….. Amway has entered an exclusive partnership between Amway, the United Football Coaches’ Association, and USA TODAY Sports. The sponsorship reportedly covers the next three College football championship games and playoffs as well as the coaches poll.


USA Today seems to have leaked the info more than a month ago, with their NCAAF Coaches poll website already mentioning “The Amway football coaches poll” (eta: after my original post revealing the sponsorship, the references to Amway on this page were removed. I expect they’ll be back soon, now that the announcement is official)

I’m not quite sure how this sponsorship “has the potential to capture the attention and active participation of more than 2 billion people!” but … ahhh …. look at that, the original pre-announcement on amway.com doesn’t say that any more! It now says - “has the potential to capture the attention and active participation of millons of people!”

That seems a little more realistic! For non-Americans, the NCAAF is College American Football and it has a HUGE following in North America, with upwards of 50,000,000 tickets sold to college football games. So while not quite the global impact the initial announcement suggested, this is a very significant announcement for Amway North America.

I’ve read the wikipedia article, but to be honest I’m not sure that I grasp what the NCAA Coach’s poll is, but it appears to engage a lot of people – can a fan explain in the comments?

What is Amway’s mystery new sponsorship?

Amway North America has posted a video teaser to a new sponsorship deal -

The video references earlier sponsorship deals, with a “Crown” and a “Champion”, with a football as a hint. It’s obvious these refer to Amway’s earlier sponsorship of the Miss America contest and their recently retired sponsorship of NFL legend Kurt Warner.

But what’s the new deal? The introduction to the video on Amway’s website says -

Get ready for a sponsorship announcement that will really move the ball!
This month, Amway will kick-off an exclusive national sponsorship program that has the potential to capture the attention and active participation of more than 2 billion people! This history-making partnership will provide an undeniable appeal to individuals of all ages! Look for complete program details to be announced on February 19.

In the meantime, you’d better put a helmet on because it’s going to be a huge hit!

We have to wait a little over a week until the announcement, but I can’t help but theorize – it’s a national sponsorship program, which implies the United States, but it has “the potential to capture the attention and active participation of more than 2 billion people”, which is way more than the entire population of North America – so it’s a national sponsorship with global reach.

But how can a sponsorship of some US based sport gain the active participation of people around the world? Or is it a sport? “Champion” certainly implies it is.

So I googled around. Around 3 billion people watched the last Football World Cup. I’ve been unable to find data for the NBA, but it has big coverage in China – Amway’s largest market. The NFL is over for the year. NHL doesn’t have the global coverage. Formula 1 does, but it doesn’t tie in at all with Amway’s health & beauty market image, nor does the hint in the headlin for “move the ball” fit.

Football initially seems the most likely market – Amway sponsors the Amway Canadian Championship, they work together with AC Milan in Europe, and have previously sponsored both the San Jose Earthquakes and the LA Sol, as well as footballing superstars like Ronaldinho and Marta.

Frankly I’d be stunned if Amway sponsored the World Cup finals, but it’s in Brazil, so it’s not a “national sponsorship” for the US. Neither would say, sponsorship of the Champions’ League in Europe. The only US-based sport I can think of with large global appeal is the NBA – so perhaps Amway sponsoring the NBA finals?

Only other possibilities I can think of – US Open Tennis, US Open or Masters Golf? Any others?

And how does any of this get “global participation”??

I guess we just have to wait and see!

Update: Major League Baseball is another obvious option I missed – it’s a national sport in the US and it involves both balls and helmets. Amway has an existing relationship with MLB – but does it actively engage 2 billion people? Frankly I’m beginning to suspect I’m completely on the wrong track – heck, it could even be something with BodyKey and a weightloss related TV show like The Biggest Loser? After all, it’s estimated 2 billion people are overweight, and I’ve discovered that Amway and The Biggest Loser Resorts share the same supplier for their weightloss support websites.

Update2: Amway’s new sponsorship revealed!

Amway Sales – Top 10 Countries 2012

Country Sales (USD$m) Growth
China $4,385 +1%
Japan $1,185 +2%
Korea $885 +2%
United States $861 +5%
Russia $629 +19%
Thailand $568 +10%
India $493 +7%
Taiwan $340 +8%
Malaysia $263 +8%
Ukraine $150 +7%

source: Amway Europe Leadership Training Seminar 2013

 

The disgusting censorship of Howard Megdal, Emma Span, Sports on Earth and Capital New York

Amway recently opened a business center at Citi Field in New York, home to the New York Mets baseball team. There was nothing secret it about, I published a story about it more than two months ago. The opening of the business center apparently came as a shock to some New York journalists, and in particular one by the name of Howard Megdal, who wrote two disparaging and ridiculously inaccurate articles about the Amway/Mets deal for the website Capital New York. According to Bridgett blogged appropriately about the response – America’s National Pastimes: Amway-Bashing & Baseball.

I wrote a reply to Howard in the comments on one of the Capital New York articles, pointing out some of the errors. The site said I needed to register, so I did, upon which I received an email saying my account needed approval before the comment would be posted. I waited. No post. No approval. Other comments appeared. I tried registering a new account, separate from the article, using my full name and email address. I received an email saying my account needed approval. No approval was ever forth coming. Attempts to log in said the accounts were blocked.

I posted a comment on twitter, tagging both Howard Megdal and Capital New York to protest. Megdal replied they weren’t deleting anything. I still couldn’t post.

HowardMegdalCensorship

I tried again, I still couldn’t post a comment. In the meantime, Amway showed nothing but class and reached out to Megdal and invited him to tour the facility.

His response was a third article on the website Sports On Earth, a join venture between Major League Baseball and USA Today. The article was again full of tired cliches and outright falsehoods about Amway and multilevel marketing. I posted a reply there. Sports On Earth uses the Disqus commenting system, so I could see my comment in my My Disqus control panel. It said it was awaiting moderator approval.

Then it disappeared.

I wrote a very short comment on the same article asking Howard why he was deleting my comments. It appeared immediately. Megdal replied that he wasn’t deleting comments, and couldn’t. I pointed out that if it wasn’t him, then his moderators certainly were. Another commentator said they’d like to see my responses for some balance. So I wrote several responses addressing the many inaccuracies in his article. A moderator, another “journalist” on the site,Emma Span, said she had deleted the original comment, accusing me of spamming “Amway PR”, and said if I posted again she would delete all my comments. She was true to her word, for when I protested she deleted my responses and the comment from other readers saying they wanted to read my responses.

Not surprisingly, I can no longer comment there.

This kind of censorship from ostensibly professional media outlets is nothing less than disgusting. I was not offensive in my comments, I did not in any way violate the terms and conditions for commenting on these websites. I simply pointed out the many inaccuracies in the article, with appropriate citations to back up what I was saying.

Those responsible simply didn’t want people to read what I had to say.

Interestingly, I researched Howard Megdal a little further as I wrote this article, and it seems I may have misread his motives a little bit. I thought he was unfairly attacking Amway. It seems though his target isn’t Amway at all, it’s the Mets and their owner, Fred Wilpon. In 2010 he wrote a whole book lobbying to become the Mets General Manager. Apparently it didn’t work, and in 2011 he wrote another book attacking them – Wilpon’s Folly: The Story of a Man, His Fortune, and the New York Mets.

The Mets challenged many of the assertions Megdal made in the book, removed his media credentials, and wrote in response -

The author’s desperate self-promotional campaign for relevance has led to perpetuating baseless speculation and complete inaccuracies.

Now, I haven’t read any of Megdal’s books and neither am I an expert on the Mets. I do however consider myself to have some expertise on the subjects of Amway and Multilevel Marketing. If Megdal’s reporting on other topics is as wildly inaccurate and misleading as his reporting on Amway and MLM, and if he condones the active censorship of those who challenge that reporting – well, I’d suggest trusting very little of what he writes.

Missing: Amway victims – if found please report to Boies, Schiller & Flexner

As regular readers would know, a few years back some disgruntled former Quixtar IBOs, Pokorny & Blenn, launched a class action lawsuit in California against Quixtar (now Amway) and Britt World Wide. In my view the case was clearly bogus, but Amway decided to avoid the cost of a long court case, and also take the opportunity to clear the decks of any issues from the past. What they did was to not only offer a settlement, but to bring all the other major Amway business support groups in to the case as well, so that any IBOs who felt they’d been exploited could get some restitution and agree not to launch any future legal actions. Everyone could just move on.

Well, today I received an email from the “Class Counsel” handling the settlement that began like this -

Records show that you are a current or former Amway/Quixtar distributor (“IBO”). Former IBOs can get benefits from a Settlement providing $34 million in cash and $21 million (retail value) in free products from Quixtar. Initially, eligible claimants had until August 17, 2012 to file a claim to receive cash or free products. However, after accounting for the claims that have already been filed, there is excess cash and products in the Settlement Funds.

Critics of multilevel marketing claim there are literally hundreds of millions of “victims” of MLM companies that have lost thousands, even tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. When asked where all these “victims” are, and why they haven’t requested refunds, or complained to authorities or groups like the Better Business Bureau (there are very, very few complaints against legitimate MLM companies), critics claim that these “victims” are too ashamed to complain.

Right now, hedge fund short seller Bill Ackman has been making similar claims against Herbalife, another large MLM company. He has made various accusations against them, including that it is an illegal pyramid scheme, and is betting it will be closed down, in which case he will make hundreds of millions of dollars from shorting the stock. (In reality he stands to make a lot of money just by driving the stock price down, which he successfully did just by making the accusations). Another investor, Daniel Loeb, made the following comment about Ackman’s accusations -

“The short thesis rests on the notion that the FTC has been asleep at the switch, missed a massive fraud for over three decades, and will shortly awaken (at the behest of hedge fund short seller) to shut down the company,” Mr. Loeb wrote. “We find this thesis to be preposterous.”

We find this thesis to be preposterous. Loeb has stated well the reality of  many of the claims of critics of the multilevel marketing industry. We find this thesis to be preposterous.

Well, following Amway’s settlement in the Pokorny Class Action, the administrators endeavoured to contact every single Amway/Quixtar IBO over the last decade in the United States. They contacted them and offered them money.

The result? To clear the settlement money they’ve had to extend the time to submit a claim by seven months and expand the benefit dramatically. The value of the product packs available has doubled, and if you spent money on BSM, you can just write a letter and claim you spent money, and how much, and get some of the cash.

So c’mon, don’t be ashamed! Get your free wag now at www.quixtarclass.com