(updated may 18)
A week ago I posted a letter I had been forwarded that Founders Crown Ambassador Jim Dornan of IBO Organization Network TwentyOne sent to Diamonds in his organization. The letter caused an almost instant firestorm, with Alticor responding both on it's Quixtar Corporate blogs and also on the newly launched Amway Media Blog.
I pulled the letter from my site as the response seemed incredibly out of proportion to what was said in the letter, and frankly I didn't understand it. Given ongoing legal situations I felt it best to take a pause and try to evaluate and understand the situation a little better. About the same time I took the letter down, N21 asked me not to post it. Well, today Jim Dornan has written a new letter, which is reproduced below and on the Amway Media Blog . I've asked N21 for their permission to repost the original letter, so that all can see the context of this episode, and they originally agreed, but an N21 rep. on the forums has requested it again be removed, apparently due to the inaccuracy that caused the problem in the first place, and I gather, the potential it may cause issues in the ongoing legal case. A number of Amway and system "critics" criticised my earlier decision to remove the letter, and will undoubtedly be critical again. However, I believe that the "owner" of any correspondence has the right to ask such material not be posted, and to ignore such a request would be questionably legal and unquestionably unethical.
<May 5 letter removed>
May 19 letter –
I would like to clarify my recent letter regarding the situation in the UK. In my attempt to calm and correct some of the rumors that were rapidly spreading over the internet, I gave the impression that N21 is not a party to the complaint. This is incorrect. I want to be clear that we are fully engaged in our cooperation with both the DTI and Amway to resolve the issues and modify activities where required.
The DTI is a respected regulatory body in the UK and, as N21 (UK) is named in a separate complaint, we must all take seriously the findings, and seek to address the issues even as we defend our business. Being “accused” of something does not automatically mean guilty, but Network 21 has always sought to comply with the rules of any market or country in which we operate, and we will endeavor to adjust any actions in the UK that we need to change.
The DTI has highlighted IBO behavior, as well as some training/motivational pieces (“BSMs”), that they believe “misrepresent” the nature of the business and its potential. There will need to be some reform in certain methods used by IBOs, and a new mode of operation in the UK. We support the changes that the company has made to address the issues. We will keep you all informed as to what transpires as we learn more.
We, along with our legal representatives in the UK, are speaking regularly with the management of the company, and the representatives of the DTI itself, regarding the proper resolution of this conflict. We stand united with Amway on this issue. The IBO contract gives Amway the legal right and authority to prohibit the sale and promotion of BSMs and meetings by IBOs. N21 will not interfere with Amway’s contractual obligations with its IBOs. As such, N21 has ceased all sales of BSMs as well as meetings in the UK while we seek a longer term solution with Amway. Moreover, N21 will not trade on Amway’s goodwill without permission, before it restarts the sale and promotion of BSMs. We believe in this business which has been our entire life for over 35 years, and we will work with the company, and our lawyers, to vigorously defend Amway and Network 21.
Although these actions by the DTI may be a catalyst for change, we believe it can be a positive change. We would like to continue to be among those who add to the positive reputation, so that we and the next generation may enjoy this business even more. We will accept our responsibilities and we will work with the company to bring a positive resolution to this.
I ask you to share this update with everyone who received the last one. We live in a world that is far more complex than many of us are used to. We must now adjust our actions and strategies to assure we are delivering the right messages with integrity and responsibility. Please help me to continue to seek careful and responsible communications regarding this issue. Rumors abound, and misrepresentations are everywhere as various elements line up to “spin” this in their own way. This is too important to be “spun”. We want to be purveyors of truth and honesty, and responsible participants in the rewarding job of building a business and educating people. I know you will all help me as usual.
To be perfectly frank I think both Amway and Network 21 acted a little irresponsibly in this matter. Jim Dornan's original letter certainly did imply, incorrectly, that Network 21 was only circumstanionally involved in the DTI complaint. However, the letter was very strongly in support of Amway's actions in the UK. Their rapid and vehement response to what was not a major focus of the letter was in my opinion out of proportion. The only way that Amway and IBOs can continue to move forward in to a bright and prosperus future is together. You cannot sensibly get rid of IBO organizations – as some appear to want – it's obvious to me that as a group grows they become virtually a necessity. Even if every current IBO organization was disbanded today, the realities of network marketing and simple business economics dictate that similar structures would rise again. In the ensuing period there would be dramatic, perhaps fatal, damage to our businesses.
If either Amway or any IBO organizations see, or even are seen to be, each other adverseries or enemies – well, I fear for the future. Dornan's original letter was misleading, but Amway's reponse was inflammatory. I cannot see any way that could be considered helpful.
That's my 2 cents, now let's have yours – Post a comment below or Discuss this post on Amway Talk