We all have those Facebook friends who clog our feeds with hourly posts about the miracles of Plexus. The first couple of months I just ignored it until the harassment was simply more than I cared to endure. The final straw for me was after politely declining unsolicited messages and disclosing that I was in fact pregnant and therefor very much not interested, they simply would not stop. One morning I woke up to find myself tagged in a sales pitch on a friends page with more sales pitches waiting in my in-box. I was even told "Plexus is natural and healthy for the baby". This is not an okay thing to say to a pregnant woman. One you are implying that I being pregnant am in need of weight loss. Two you are pushing a non FDA approved or tested product onto potentially pregnant woman which could cause real harm to developing fetuses. After deleting any and all friends who use their Facebook to try and line their pocket books, I decided to do some research.
Let's start by talking about what a multi-level marketing strategy is.
Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit. This recruited sales force is referred to as the participant's "downline", and can provide multiple levels of compensation. Other terms used for MLM include pyramid selling,network marketing, and referral marketing. According to the US FTC, some MLM plans get their benefit from exploiting other members of the network, and they are illegal pyramid schemes.
Most commonly, the salespeople are expected to sell products directly to consumers by means of relationship referrals and word of mouth marketing. Some people use direct selling as a synonym for MLM, although MLM is only one type of direct selling, which started centuries ago withpeddling.
Companies that use MLM models for compensation have been a frequent subject of criticism and lawsuits. Criticism has focused on their similarity to illegal pyramid schemes, cult-like behavior,price fixing of products, high initial entry costs (for marketing kit and first products), emphasis on recruitment of others over actual sales, encouraging if not requiring members to purchase and use the company's products, exploitation of personal relationships as both sales and recruiting targets, complex and exaggerated compensation schemes, the company and/or leading distributors making major money off training events and materials, and cult-like techniques which some groups use to enhance their members' enthusiasm and devotion.
Sounds a lot like what is going on with Plexus to me. I found this hilarious YouTube video in which a crazed ambassador addresses how an "ambassador" should address allegations that Plexus is in fact a MLM or a pyramid scheme. She actually says "when you talk about Plexus you need to talk about it like you are talking about your faith or your gender....because this is a fear based question and those people are just bullies" Wait ..... What ?!?!?! She never actually provides facts or data as to why Plexus is not a scam but I love her logic of " because uh duh". Oh man I couldn't make this stuff up if I wanted to! Please take the 1:49 to watch the best video ever below....
After months of unwanted bombardment, I have a few observations about the Plexus posts I have read.
1. Whenever anyone comments asking what Plexus is the ambassador immediately offers to send them a private message. Why can't you just answer the question? Oh, that's right, because you are not so much trying to sell a product as you are trying to get people to dump cash into your personal business.
2. The testimonial pictures are never of my actual friends, but of complete strangers. Who are these people and why do I care? That's right, I don't. So stop posting them.
Here is a true testimonial - my testimonial. Over the course of a year, without spending a penny on diet plans or magic pills I lost 100 lbs. Here is my proof simply eating healthy and exercising works. The only thing I am selling you is the truth.
And, other than the healthy baby growing in my belly, I have kept it off !!!
3. I honestly think they think this crap cures cancer. If Plexus was such a miracle it would be the headline of every newspaper, the top story of every news cast, and not the annoying hourly post of a friend trying to make some extra money.
Now let's talk about the product itself. What is Plexus?
Pros and Cons of Plexus Slim
If you’re trying to make a decision as to whether or not this product can help you to achieve the weight loss results you’re looking for, it’s important to consider the facts when it comes to the pros and the cons of this product.
Then there is the cost. I have read Plexus can cost a person in the ball park of $100 month. I would personally prefer to just eat healthy and exercise, maybe take some inexpensive but quality vitamins for general health that are supported by doctors. Then I'd save that money for a new wardrobe!
Losing weight should not cost you money. Weight loss should not be an industry. Instead I believe we need to educate people on making healthy lifestyle choices. It might be cliche but it works. Yes, it is hard and requires personal sacrifice, but the reality is you don't need a $100 month powder you drink once a day. You need will power and hope. Have faith in yourself that you are capable of more than you told yourself in the past, find your personal motivation and change your life. Products such as Plexus will come and go but the basics of health and weight loss will remain unchanged. Those who change their lifestyles will still be standing long after Plexus is just another forgotten and discarded fad.