Network Marketing Has Been Very Good to Donald Trump
America’s most famous presidential candidate made millions of dollars in network marketing. As the 2016 campaign heats up and televised debates are airing left and right, the Wall Street Journal perfectly timed an article highlighting Mr. Trump’s long-term association with ACN Inc, a network marketing company that’s had regulatory issues in three separate countries.
While that’s no crime in and of itself, the way Donald Trump went about benefiting from his involvement with ACN certainly has raised some eyebrows.
Donald Trump Promotes the Bad ACN Video Phone on His Show
The Donald, as he’s referred to by the general public, has a popular TV show called “The Apprentice”, where contestants compete in a realty TV show format to run a Trump company.
In a special version of the show called “Celebrity Apprentice”, the business everyone was competing for was promoting ACN’s video phone. The special two-hour show aired on a Sunday night in 2011. Right before the show, Trump said these words in a news release:
“I think the ACN video phone is amazing. I simply can’t imagine anybody using this phone and not loving it.”
-Donald Trump, before airing of the Celebrity Apprentice episode featuring the phone
What he didn’t mention was that sales for ACN’s video phone were dismal. In fact, ACN had cut way back on production and laid off almost three quarters of its staff.
Right before the show aired!
Of course the show had been taped previously but he didn’t have to run that news release that ran right before the show.
What Was Wrong With the ACN Video Phone?
The ACN video phone was not selling well at all because you could only call people who had that same product! Why would anyone choose that over Skype? And Skype’s been around for several years now, long enough for The Donald or his team to figure out that maybe it wasn’t going to be a great seller eventually.
Donald Trump Fails to Disclose that He Was Paid by ACN
Over the years, Donald Trump has made a lot of money from ACN for his speaking appearances. His presidential campaign, which is required to release his financials, disclosed that his most recent 3 appearances earned him $450,000 apiece. These took place in 2014 and 2015.
His Show Had Some Issues, Too, Come to Think of It
Mr. Trump is quoted as saying that companies paid a lot of money to appear on his reality TV show. A LOT of money.
“It was like a two-hour advertisement, as opposed to a 30-second commercial.”
-The Donald, speaking about the companies on his show
Well, he is a businessman! Did anyone attribute values to his pathway to success? Nope, it’s ruthless pursuit of the dollar. But still, it’s not what people thought when they watched the show.
Meanwhile, Over at ACN Inc.
ACN Inc loved all the attention Trump and his TV show brought them: as well they should, since they paid a lot of money for it.
The ACN website has always had a spot for Trump, but recently the pages dedicated to the man were taken down. Apparently, it clashes with the Trump for President message, or so we gather. That’s what the ACN president told the Wall Street Journal, anyway.
ACN has been accused of being a pyramid scheme but so far no allegations have stuck. Their Xoom Energy division is under investigation in the state of Maryland for deceptive trade practices.
Donald Trump, however, says he has never heard of any government allegations against ACN Inc. He is also quoted as never having heard of a single person who regretted joining the ACN direct selling business.
Donald Trump: the Self-Proclaimed “Straight Talker”
The core essence of Trump’s presidential campaign is that he is a no-nonsense straight talker who will solve the country’s problems with his direct attitude.
Well if his handling of ACN and their video phone is any indication, he may be not be playing straight with us even now.