Late last week the Network Marketing community was the subject of a series of articles critical of the Direct Selling industry. The articles were slanted to give a very negative view of political affiliations, consumer protection issues and questions raised with regard to short selling.
The articles had several things in common – misstatements of facts, political opinion and repetition of outdated myths about direct selling. Ironically, given our industry’s support of candidates from all parties, much of this seems to be tinged with the rancor of this heated political season.
Regardless of one’s political persuasion, the use of 16 million hard-working direct sellers as a way to attack candidates for office is a clear failure on the part of journalists and news outlets to fairly and fully report the facts; however, that is the reality with which we are faced.
There were three articles related to direct selling published on Friday, Oct. 26:
Marketwatch: 10 things direct-sales marketers won’t say
FORTUNE: Nu Skin and the short-sellers
New York Times: For Romney, Ties That Bind
The Direct Selling Association had anticipated the Marketwatch piece as Chief Marketing Officer Amy Robinson spent considerable time talking to the reporter.
While it is framed negatively, we were pleased to see that the perspective of the industry was at least included, even if as a secondary point in some cases. That said, many decades-old stereotypes were dredged up and we will be responding as appropriate, including through posts on our blog DirectSelling411/com
The most frustrating issues are the articles published in FORTUNE and the New York Times. The fundamental mischaracterizations of the Network Marketing community and the Direct Selling channel is not new, but they reinforce the fact we as the Network Marketing Community, Owners all the way down to the newest independent distributor, must focus doing business with the highest of ethics, and providing the media, lawmakers, regulators and the public with the proof the Network Marketing Community and the Direct Selling Companies we represent hold those we serve in the highest of regards.
Two Ways You Can Participate In This Critical Repositioning
1) DSA’s blog is specifically designed to provide a forum for discussion of important issues, but in order to gain maximum exposure online it is imperative that we have continued engagement from the larger direct selling community – our 16 million-strong salesforce.
So please encourage you to engage with the DSA online, whether through the blog (http://www.directselling411.com/blog/) and at their facebook page (www.facebook.com/directselling411) to learn more about these issues.
2) As a a way to illustrate the strength of the Network Marketing community, submit your own success stories here at MLM Help Desk and at the above two direct selling websites.