Cagey Consumer

MLM Taught at Harvard Business School

In their effort to overcome the many objections of prospective distributors, MLM promoters frequently resort to numerous statements that are questionable in their validity and/or their relevance. Miscellaneous Arguments and Answers About Amway [Wayback archive] contains an extensive list of such silly claims, specifically as they apply to Amway. Additional silliness is listed below.

One claim going around is that Donald Trump said that, if he had to do it all over again, he would have started with network marketing.

Since this statement was purportedly made on the David Letterman show, it well could have been made in jest. But even if Donald Trump actually made this statement and was serious about it, it doesn't automatically follow that it makes sense for the prospective distributor to become an MLM participant.

Another "appeal to a higher authority" is the common claim that "network marketing is being taught at Harvard" or at some other esteemed institution. While there have been denials of such claims, what if it's true? Does it mean that they're advocating it as a form of business? Or perhaps they're just teaching people to beware of network marketing as one way that your business could get into trouble.

The claim made by this promoter is that "Harvard Business School developed ... criteria [to determine the desirability of] a network marketing company." It sounds like they're saying that Harvard Business School has taken some kind of official position, which is rather ludicrous. Maybe there's a bit of truth in the statement... maybe one student wrote a term paper on the subject, after doing "extensive research." It's even possible that some paper was published in Harvard Business Review. But once again, would this suggest that MLM is beneficial to distributors, or to the people running the company?

More such claims:

We're still looking for the list of the 199 other colleges that are supposed to be "teaching network marketing."

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