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How Many Industry Leaders Feel About Advocare's Decision To Whip Out The Field

How Many Industry Leaders Feel About Advocare’s Decision To Whip Out The Field

The first Advocare article is here:

Let me start with the man who has taken all the FTC heat and won, BK Boreyko:

Benson Keith Boreyko

“When you understand your field leaders are your most important asset, you fight anything and anyone that threatens them. I was threatened with a lifetime industry ban along with the FTC completely shutting my company down.  My reaction was ‘this is a fight to the death then’. I really feel Advocare didn’t care very much at all for their leaders.

They said they did, but their actions lead you to believe otherwise. This was the wrong move and my heart goes out to those entrepreneurs. The Advocare brand will be forever tainted by this decision. I wish their Corp team would have just called me and got some advice.

I’ve been through the FTC fire. I give pretty good advice and I’d gladly do it for free. My advice to those Advocare leaders, next company you pick, pick one with owners that will fight for you no matter what. People respect that whether you win or lose, you gotta stand up for those that built your company. You deserve that.”

Kevin Thompson The MLM Attorney:

After sleeping on it and talking with good friends like Troy Dooly and others, this is what I’m thinking regarding the Advocare news:

On the one hand, I wish Advocare defended its model.  I think they had an obligation to fight to the end to preserve its business model for the sake of the people that built it.  It’s pitiful for a captain to abandon ship before the crew.  Advocare, without question, was in an enviable position.  They had the benefit of seeing the FTC coming and had the ability to prepare over a twelve month period.  This was a luxury that I’ve never seen before (with the exception being Herbalife).  In most situations in our industry, the FTC storms in, guns blazing and freezes all assets BEFORE the other side knows there’s a lawsuit.  Advocare was in a strong position to mount a strong defense.  One of these days, we need a strong company to fight back.

On the other hand, I can understand Advocare’s decision to bail out.  If they had faced a serious lawsuit from the FTC, how much of their salesforce would’ve stuck around?  20%?  The top leaders would’ve very likely bolted.  In fact, it turns out that a good number were already planning on leaving for something else.  So in theory, they could’ve endured the hell of litigation, possibly won to preserve a failing business.  This is known as a Pyrrhic victory.  Or for you “Game of Thrones” fans, it’s the equivalent of Daenerys torching King’s Landing, only to sit on an empty throne.

Either way, the ending is relatively the same.  By eliminating the MLM model via negotiation, they get to wind it down in a way that’s less messy, less public.  This gives them a chance to preserve their customer model, forcing them to compete with traditional retailers like GNC (good luck with that).

I would have preferred to see them fight.  I do not see the wisdom in paying a severe penalty without making the other side earn it.  Advocare’s lack of energy, in my opinion, is surprising.

Tommy Wyatt

I don’t know all the facts in the case, don’t now the owner, and don’t know much about the company, it’s comp plan, or its business practices. What I do know is that MANY owners and CEO’s (normally the same person) get oversized egos when their companies make it big. They lose sight of the FACT that they owe EVERYTHING to the distributors who built it for them. Everything.

If I owned a network marketing company I’d risk it all to fight for them. I’d get on a dragon and fly over to the FTC. Best to all the Adovocare reps who built their businesses with integrity.  If you did, you’ll land on your feet – better off than before. Detours aren’t meant to destroy you. Only to promote you.

Richard Bliss Brooke

I had that same smell and thought too Kevin but I know the management. I do not believe they killed the MLM just for profit and used the FTC as the scapegoat.

Brian McMullen

Vemma closing was only 4 years ago. I remember how awful it felt when everyone started spamming my inbox with a sales pitch. I saw someone call this being Pitch Slapped. That sounds about right.

We know what the FTC feels like and we fought and reopened but there is a company out there that decided to stop paying all the people that built their company and their brand. All their checks just went to zero. This wasn’t the FTC, it was greed. Don’t be under any assumption that this is anything more than a convenient decision for a few greedy mouths.

It goes like this we are all eating spaghetti and meatballs. A few greedy big shots want to eat steak and lobster. The only way that happens is if they make us the workers eat dirt and grass. Spaghetti and meatballs should be enough.

Brian Jones

We have been with AdvoCare for 18 years. Yesterday’s announcement was not easy to stomach but we will always be forever grateful for AdvoCare and have a deep love for them.

Lance Smith

Ask any top earner how much they make from personal sales and It’s a fraction of their income. 1% to 5% max. Advocare just took EVERY person in the books as their front line!. AdvoCare just went from being a Network marketing company to an online seller that gained it’s reputation from the people they just cut off.

 

Get more information, fact and figures about Advocare, click here for the Advocare overview.

Comments (12)

  1. Why would you put blood, sweat and tears into training a distributor just to have that distributor now leave your group and go out capture market share from you using what you have given them.

    We all need to fight back with all that is in us against government officials that have no idea how to build a viable group of distributors to move product and award the person who built it.

  2. Network marketing is one of the best business platforms that virtually anyone can use to build their own business and choose their success level by working hard (and helping more people). But there are rules and the rules are pretty well stated. This is a prime example of choosing a brand that follows the rules, that leads the industry, and that stands the test of time being one of the oldest in the industry. I would not hesitate to talk with anyone interested in building their own business in the network marketing company I have been affiliated with for 37 years.

  3. AdvoCare is a good product. So good it likely drew the attention of big pharma as a drain to that which these corporations need: poor, unhealthy and less informed people. AdvoCare informed people there was a better way to health and fitness and used a business model which was designed to assist much like the supplements they provide. If the new regulations stifle growth for great companies they need to be revisited and revised to allow for a level of balanced growth between those inside the company and those who choose to be consumers.

    I hope the family does not give up on the long game.

    I feel like this was a Red Wedding for the company but by no means the end of the story.

  4. Network Marketing is struggling with cancer. Cancer from poor pay plans that reward a few (most people never make any profit from network marketing), cancer from a ton of scams, especially crypto currency and mining scams. It makes totally sense that businesses start to reconsider their business model. Network Marketing can be great, it can be life changing – but it is not great when 1-2 people get rich and 100 000 people work for free – which is the case for many of the big well-known companies. The business model is outdated. Many of the leaders look the other way if they are paid enough. Some leaders ask for millions to change company, and they drag their downline with them into another expensive opportunity, knowing most will never earn their money back. We even have well-known leaders launching new businesses in prelaunch and ask people to pay, without a product – this will to come right back and hit Network Marketing in general as a boomerang… Network Marketing’s poor reputation gets worse by the day. Maybe the so called leaders eventually will step up and try and remove the cancer, it will not remove itself.

  5. Has the FTC made public what is actually going? I’ve heard that lawsuits are being filed against the family, the company, some top distributors and former CEO’s. What about their corporate attorney that bailed out a month ago? The one that was protecting the house, lol! I think when the FTC makes it public it will answer a lot of questions. This is so sad because it was a great company once upon a time!

  6. Thank you Ted, for providing an excellent platform for comments / venting / suggestions, etc.

    This is long – but here are my own thoughts on this … (3) things …

    In addition to my Business & Financial Consulting practice, I have been in this industry for 33 years [part time] – with a number of different companies – and I also had the privilege of serving (along with Troy Dooly and others) on the Board Of Directots of this industry’s professional association for 4 years, representing Canada (the Association of Network Marketing Professionals – ANMP.com). During this time, I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of this industy – and the ADVOCARE fiasco fits into the latter!

    ———-

    (1)- MISUNDERSTOOD – First, the “regulators” (FTC / FDA / RCMP) have never understood the “business model” of our industry, and they likely never will — especially the powerful force of L-E-V-E-R-A-G-E this model provides (via “recruiting a FEW Business Builders / Affiliates / Reps – each attracting an ARMY of [pure] Retail Customers”).

    What’s “wrong” with that? Insurance Agents do this … Stock Brokers do this … Real Estate Pros do this. But unfortunately, too many Network Marketing Leaders put almost ALL of their efforts “strictly” on the RECRUITING side … without building a healthy RETAIL SALES / CUSTOMER base ((and our Comp Plans are designed to “promote” this — which is what the FTC is “attacking”)). As well, what “they” do not understand is that our business model is virtually thr ONLY one in existance – that has these THREE (3) Economic Forces at play – simultaneously – all under ONE roof … namely a)- Leverage … b)- Compounding … c)- Passive (residual) Income >>> NO other business / profession / industry offers these (3) forces – they are unique OUR industry!

    ———-

    (2)- ERA OF ‘CHANGE’ – The “old” days of MLM-Network Marketing need to transition (be “disrupted”) … to where industry COMP PLANS provide a better “balance” between Recruiting – and Retail Sales … to where their P&Ps are more reflective of “humanity” (see below) … and to where all th H-Y-P-E (of the “Recruit – Recruit – Recruit” mantra … of the annoying “Get Rich Quick” crap … of the “Financial Freedom, with racy boats, cars, aircraft” illusion … all STOPS. A healthy “business ratio” in our industry is likely about 75%-to-25% (Customers-to-Affiliates) — and this would apply to ANY industry. MLM companies / Owners / Management Teams need to “get their heads out of the sand” and address these issues as a WAKE UP CALL … for C-H-A-N-G-E!

    ———-

    (3)- AFFILIATES’ PROTECTION (P&Ps) – Until companies re-visit these (unilateral, enforceable) Legal Agreement that Affiliates must sign, and agree to — i.e. the (mostly harsh / boiler-plate, archaic) POLICIES & PROCEDURES document — we will remain in the Dark Ages. Sadly, new Affiliates don’t even “read” these (usually ugly) Legal Agreements, let alone “study” them, or have their Advisors review them (the good ones would advise them to “run” before ever signing them)!

    Good P&Ps will adequately protect BOTH the company – and the Affiliates / Reps … but not at the “expense” of each other. However, Affiliates can have the “best” products – the “best” comp plan – the “best” research – the “best” systems / upline / websites / webinars / etc … but if they have BAD Company P&Ps — all the other factors won’t really matter. In the vast majority of cases, P&P Documents are stacked totally in favor of the COMPANY … “not” Affiliates. True – there must be protection for Companies … but what about Affiliate’s rights? … They have virtually NONE … so, when an MLM Company chooses to go DIRECT (for “whatever” reason) – Affiliates have NO recourse whatsoever … and this is plain WRONG!

    I’m with Kevin Thompson (top MLM Attorney) on this one … regardless of the “pros & cons” of fighting the FTC … the Captain should always stay with a sinking ship (at least until its crew and passengers are [reasonably] SAFE … whereas ADVOCARE “abandoned” its Affiliates! … 100,000 of them! … Many of whom will suffer grave financial [and emotional!] devastation! … This is plain WRONG!

    P&Ps – There should have been some kind of Affiliate “safeguards” in place within the P&Ps … at least some kind of a Field Advisory Committee … where the P&Ps state, in writing, to the Affiliates, a Corporate commitment to them being “consulted” – on ALL major “changes” – to see if “better solutions” could be reached – and especially, on something as drastic as “abandoning” their MLM business model … BEFORE ever “suddenly pulling the rug out” from under these dedicated, hard working Entrepreneurs (who pledged their TRUST and LOYALTY to the Company)! … That was plain WRONG!

    P&Ps, in this 21st century, need to be RE-DESIGNED … to where there is a new environment … of “mutual respect” … creating a Business PARTNERSHIP, where “both” sides (Corp + Field) work together to … “improve things, for ALL” (where needed) … and to “solve problems” TOGETHER (where appropriate).

    ———-

    BOTTOM LINE – Last, but NOT least! – there needs to be good LEADERSHIP at the top … and high INTEGRITY …

    Integrity – must override “everything” … WHO is running this ship? … WHAT are their ethics / character? … Do they follow the GOLDEN RULE?

    Integrity – is the single most critical foundational principle in a company – since all else within that company will “flow” from this.

    Integrity – is a company’s greatest business (and personal) ASSET – bar none. It is the way that they “are known” to their clients / customers / associates / staff / reps.

    Integrity – is their reputation for keeping their word, following through, fulfilling their commitments. It should be the very “cornerstone” of their business leadership – where their TRUST and RESPECT reign supreme.

    Integrity – is moral soundness … it is honor – truth – character – freedom from corrupting influence, or motive. It is about practicing the Golden Rule.

    Integrity – is their ability to act with honesty, and to be consistent in whatever it is they are doing, or whoever they are serving – based on the moral, value, or belief compass they have.

    Integrity – is about treating people equally – without judgement, and providing the highest level of “care” and “accountability” to those they serve (and lead). It is something you should look for – in their vision – in their mission – their leadership – their promises – their purpose – their values – and especially, in their P&Ps!

    ———-

    I rest my case.

  7. I completely agree with essense of Peter’s bottom line [great leadership which includes Integrity]. Please look below for replacement terms that, IMO, more accurately represent the behavior he defined as integrity (all good stuff). Not wanting to split hairs …just to clarify: Integrity is simply this – when what you say matches what you do and visa verse. Odd as it might seem…if I am a bad person and promise to cheat you and then do not, I have not acted with integrity. If i do both (promise to cheat you and do), I have integrity. What Peter wrote was pasted below and unchanged other than “Integrity” was relabled.

    Core Values – must override “everything” … WHO is running this ship? … WHAT are their ethics / character? … Do they follow the GOLDEN RULE?

    Growth – is the single most critical foundational principle in a company – since all else within that company will “flow” from this.

    Authenticity/Transparency – is a company’s greatest business (and personal) ASSET – bar none. It is the way that they “are known” to their clients / customers / associates / staff / reps.

    Resolve/Authenticity – is their reputation for keeping their word, following through, fulfilling their commitments. It should be the very “cornerstone” of their business leadership – where their TRUST and RESPECT reign supreme.

    Ethos/Resolve (and Performance) – is moral soundness … it is honor – truth – character – freedom from corrupting influence, or motive. It is about practicing the Golden Rule.

    Authenticity (again) – is their ability to act with honesty, and to be consistent in whatever it is they are doing, or whoever they are serving – based on the moral, value, or belief compass they have.

    Humanity – is about treating people equally – without judgement, and providing the highest level of “care” and “accountability” to those they serve (and lead). It is something you should look for – in their vision – in their mission – their leadership – their promises – their purpose – their values – and especially, in their P&Ps!

  8. Sorry to hear this, I have several friends that were in Advocare. Nutrition companies are always at risk for scrutiny and being shut down. May everyone continue to do what they feel led to do to help other people. I just told a friend yesterday, there is no job security at all and networking is really no different. I have seen many companies come and go and leaders leaving companies as well. Follow your heart.

  9. I have close relatives, husband and wife with 3 kids, who both gave up professional careers to become Advocare distributors. This has to be a kick in the teeth to them

  10. The chaos I see Advocare creating is in NOT defending the network marketing model, perhaps concerning network marketers in other companies to question,

    “Will my company do this to me?” “Will my company stand up to the FTC and give a good fight?” “Will my company go the route of Slick 50, Oxyfresh, and Advocare?” “What assurance do I have that I’m not building up teams for nothing, only to have this happen?

    I am truly sorry for all the leaders who built Advocare, to only get backstabbed for building Advocare into a 1/2 billion dollar + company.

    All the leaders in Advocare should get paid a fair amount for their positions, based on what they built, as if they were selling their distributorships.

    1. I concure. Network Marketing Companies that behave in this manner create an additional level of difficulty for the rest of us in many ways. Not only does it make it harder to acquire business partners, distributors, etc, there is the financial shock of sudden, immediate loss of income, plus the emotional & psychological tolls. Those that are involved in an MLM are probably wondering out of fear if their company will be so cruel. Thank goodness I KNOW mine can’t.

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