The media rarely fails to surprise me in their ignorance and sheer laziness when reporting on the topic of multilevel marketing, and alas, USA Today is no exception. Today they published an article Many in multilevel marketing sales find it hard to earn much that was somewhat critical of MLM, and attacked two companies in particular – Amway and Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing. It’s so full of poor journalism, errors, misconceptions, and downright deceit I don’t quite know where to start in response.
(note: I’ve focused only on Amway here and not covered the article’s discussion of Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing as I know little of how they operate)
A good place is probably the various sins of omission, perhaps most obvious with a glance at a calendar. Why do I say this? Well, the journalist, Jayne O’Donnell, cites three former Amway distributors in the piece – husband and wife Jim & Lori Wittlich and Jack Tucker. The Wittlich’s report they were with Amway for two years, ending in 2000. Tucker says he was a distributor until “the late 90’s“.
USA Today has clearly has missed the fact that it’s currently the year 2011! More than a decade has passed since these folk were involved with Amway. Can you imagine someone writing a story on say, General Motors, and talking to customers and employees from more than a decade ago to get a picture of the company? Why wouldn’t you interview current or recent distributors? Are they that hard to find? The only reasons I can think of do not reflect well on either Ms O’Donnell nor USA Today.
Yet that’s one of the lesser sins of omission. Continue reading A response to USA Today and their sins of omission