A fellow blogger who’s also a good friend has embraced a particular cause and speaks out quite a bit against a large multi-level marketing firm. He’s been quite the consumer advocate against MLM schemes. His blog is at LazyManandMoney.com and has long stood up for consumers. In the past, his anti-MonaVie posts have received traction on Reddit. In particular, he’s taken the stand as a critic against the multi-level marketing (MLM) company that is MonaVie. This company sells a high-priced juice that claims to have a ton of anti-oxidants in it. Tracking MonaVie’s marketing methods is like watching a soap opera: it’s full of updates and drama. The latest news I’ve got on this is that Lazy Man has recently pointed out that MonaVie is trying to “combat negativity” by trying to work on “reputation management”. According to Lazy Man, this boils down to them “gaming Google”. You can share your thoughts with Lazy Man, when you have a chance.
MonaVie: Multi-Level Marketing Gone Haywire
If you’re curious about the details behind MonaVie’s online story, let’s check out a little history. You may be wondering about some of these methods that MonaVie chooses to use to get their brand and product across to consumers. From Lazy Man’s stories, some of the stuff that comes out of the MLM industry appears quite sordid. Stories I’ve read include how some people affiliated with MonaVie are now resorting to blackmail and making online threats, simply because a blogger has been highly critical of their product. Given how MonaVie is steeped in the MLM culture, which not only aims to sell you a product but also attempts to recruit you as one of their sales people, you can imagine how passionate some of their representatives can get. After all, for some distributors and marketers, attacking their product also means that you are attacking their livelihood and their lifestyle.
You can read about how this MonaVie saga began for Lazy Man in this guest post he wrote for The Digerati Life some time ago. It was about how he and his wife heard about this new “acai berry” type juice making its rounds to consumers via an MLM marketing scheme.
Since then, Lazy Man has uncovered a lot of information on MonaVie’s juice, its distributors and marketers, its business model and the corporate machine behind it. Needless to say, not everything about this business seems rosy. If you’re interested in catching up with some of the details of Lazy Man’s experience with MonaVie, these posts should help:
Does MLM Go Too Far?
Ultimately, MonaVie is not just a high-priced product — an expensive juice that’s being peddled as a health drink — but it’s also a company with a relatively aggressive (passionate?) sales and marketing force that doesn’t seem to take criticism very well. And the scary part? That marketing force can very well include your friend, brother, sister, uncle, parents. Because that’s how multi-level marketing models work.
I’ve had a chance to taste MonaVie and have had it pitched to me many times by people I know. In the past, I would have let this product speak for itself — I think it’s tasty (YMMV of course). The only downside I saw back then was the price. It’s way too costly. But nowadays, I’m associating this drink with a company that has terrible, questionable business practices that frankly, can be downright frightening and formidable.
What are your thoughts on MLM (multi-level marketing) and / or MonaVie, acai berry and the like? Over the years, I’ve seen friends and relatives (and admittedly, even myself) sample a bit of the world of MLM and as far as I know, most of us didn’t do too well with it. I’m talking about stints with Herbalife, Amway, Avon and some vitamin selling ventures. Oh and throw in those MLM schemes that involve fancy cookware and vacuums in the mix too.
Created August 26, 2010. Updated July 11, 2011. Copyright © 2011 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.