Oasis Or Mirage? Part I

God knows, I am involved with an MLM that faces heavy criticism. Say the word “Quixtar” to someone and be prepared to explain your self. So, I’m used to the blogs, and articles, and commentary from friend and foe alike regarding the “pros”and “cons” of being involved in Quixtar.

Which is why I have delayed publishing my opinions on the recent announcement of Passport giving up on it’s MLM component and effectively moving the company’s distributors to another MLM company, Oasis LifeSciences.

And even though I know two Passport reps that also blog, and I respect them as individuals, I still feel like I need to comment on the situation. After all, most blogs are about “feelings” and opinions, and I certainly have both of those.

Passport’s founder, Bo Short was an ex-Amway distributor. Not JUST an Amway distributor, but a Diamond Amway Distributor. And not JUST a Diamond distributor, but a Diamond on the “inside” of the “kingpin tool business.” He embraced the tools, the books, the tapes, the huge rallies, he promoted them, AND he profited from them.

But, he experienced problems with his own upline and the corporate officers of Alticor/Amway/Quixtar and I truly believe at the time, he experienced some pangs of guilt for his promotion of the “tool business” and his own involvement with causing thousands of Amway/Quixtar IBOs to lose money by “investing” in these tools.

So, Bo Short leaves Amway/Quixtar and sets out to start his OWN MLM.
He forms Passport and declares that Passport will be “set apart” from other MLM companies, namely Quixtar, and will be the company that does everything right. No special titles like Diamond, no promotion of tapes, inexpensive products, no “system” expenses.

Not surprisingly, many Amway and Quixtar IBOs followed Bo Short to his new company. Whether a planned strategy or not, many of these former IBOs and Bo Short himself begin blogging about the perils of Quixtar.

These blogs built credibility for Passport. An internet surfer seeking information about Quixtar could be drawn to many articles about Quixtar at these Passport blogs. They could read first hand experiences from these former IBOs about how bad Quixtar is AND also read that there was FINALLY an alternative with Passport. Although in many of the entries, finding the reference to Passport took further digging.

During this time, Bo Short was also featured on NBC’s Dateline program. Dateline aired an expose’ on Quixtar. Bo was interviewed by the program citing the evils of the “systems”, but little was said about Bo’s involvement in Passport as a competitor to Quixtar. Passport blogs and Quixtar-related blogs promoted the then-upcoming episode for months.

I’m sure that Passport reps expected another influx of former Quixtar IBOs rushing to join Passport after the airing. Surely, the expose’ would spell disaster for Quixtar and prove that Passport would truly be the new face of Multi-Level Marketing.

The episode came with great fanfare in the blogosphere, and many hours of writing, reading, analyzing and commenting on the effects of the airing were consumed. And yet, Quixtar weathered the storm.

And now, Passport announces it’s own MLM demise.

What happened?

My thoughts coming in Part 2

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About Dave Robison

Now Appearing in an Extended Engagement! Join Dave Robison as he takes you into his world and his daily life of reviving a stand-up comedy career. Prepare for side trips exploring Public Relations, marketing and business ethics. Enjoy some frequent detours describing his observations on life. Read the exploits of this self-proclaimed Renaissance-man and blooming blogger as you go On The Road With Dave. From Mobile, Alabama comes Dave Robison, a confessed Internet-aholic, middle-aged-married-man, who's generally a nice guy--he just has one or two issues. Stand-Up Comedy by Dave Robison is available for corporate events, college campuses, and nightclubs.
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