Monthly Archives: February 2015

Surge 365 and SVH Digital Reach New Low in Dirty Marketing Tricks

“In Google and other search engines, it’s too easy to find “scam reports” and other negative drivel bashing just about every legitimate direct selling company, as well as the industry on a whole. For many people, this is their first impression of our industry, or a specific company they’re researching. So why don’t we do something about it?” ~ Navid Safabakhsh, Direct Selling Reputation – How to Improve It

I thought I’d seen it all when it comes to cutthroat, dirty, and just downright bad marketing, but this is a new low. A new travel MLM, Surge 365, is launching March 2nd and doing the usual round of prelaunch press releases, but with a nasty twist: they’re deliberately doing negative SEO against their competitors in their press releases.

Here’s their launch announcement:

Surge 365 & SVH Digital Unethical Press Release

And then, they did it again, the next day:

Surge365PR2

It’s fine for them to list their competitors — but the LINKS to the competitors are sent to negative sites — an iffy BBB page and a negative review for Paycation and a perennial MLM hater for the WorldVentures link. The sole purpose of this is to raise the negative sites in the search results for searches on those brands, aka “negative SEO”.

Besides being incredibly unethical, that’s a direct violation of the terms of service of press release sites like PRLog and PRZen, where the press releases were submitted:

PRLogTOS

Fair competition is one thing. But deliberately harming the reputation of a legitimate direct selling company is NOT OK (unless, of course, they deserve it because they’ve brought it on themselves, as Surge 365 has done). The industry as a whole has enough challenges with reputation without this kind of thing exacerbating the problem.

“Leaders do not have to go bad talk each other, or drag down another company. Instead they focus on what is important to creating leaders on their teams, and they do it!” — Troy Dooly

This is exactly the kind of thing Troy Dooly got onto WakeUpNow reps about last year, only this time, it’s coming from corporate and their marketing firm, not just over-zealous reps.

The other thing is that this is just plain short-sighted. That link to the MLM hater just adds authority to his site, which means that next year, when he decides to make Surge 365 his target, it has just that much authority.

Surge 365 and SVH Digital need to stop this. Besides the legal risk they’re creating for themselves, it’s simply bad for industry, and bad for their business when these dirty tactics get exposed. Would you want to do business with either one of these companies? I certainly wouldn’t. Network marketing is built on trust, and they’ve already broken it.

Party Plan Is Up, But Tupperware Is Down — Why?

If party-plan marketing is making a comeback, then why is Tupperware performing so poorly in the stock market?

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Party-plan marketing is a term used for a wide variety of home based parties that rely on the direct selling model of a variety of items including items such as purses, jewelry, make-up and skincare, and of course Tupperware. Bringing your marketing strategy into someone’s home, which is a comfortable environment where no one is likely to feel too pressured to buy, seems like a fantastic idea that most of us have already heard of. The marketing strategy is easy, the brand is meant to sell itself, and the representatives of the brand are responsible to set up the parties and sell the merchandise. It’s not a difficult concept for a novice entrepreneur with no prior business experience. The model has been around for quite some time, with the likes of successful direct selling companies like Avon, Herbalife, Mary Kay, and Scentsy, basing their business revenue around the party-plan marketing model.

Nevertheless, those who believe that house sales parties are a thing of the past, are quite frankly misinformed. Party-plan marketing is making a comeback, and dozens of unique products are being sold in homes every month.   The Direct Selling Association estimated that retail sales in 2013, garnered $32.6 billion dollars from a variety of party-plan marketed companies.   The party-plan marketing model has opened up to all kinds of different businesses and trends. Pet parties, purse parties, tea parties, self-defence classes, tech parties, spa parties, mobile massage, nail products, and even detox supplement parties, are jumping on the party-plan train.

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While the party-plan marketers are generally busy as ever due to this comeback, what’s the deal with Tupperware doing so poorly in the stock market? Tupperware parties were widely considered one of the leading home based sales parties, with the direct selling model and a variety of products that women want, because they are practical. What can be accredited to the market drops of the Tupperware Brand Corporation, if they are still widely popular and garnering sales all around the world? Especially during a time of economic upturn with regards to the direct selling and party-plan marketing models. It is astonishing how such a popular brand with a household name, can take such a drastic downturn over the course of a year.   Tupperware Brand Corporation is apparently known for its longevity as a party-plan marketed brand, and also for its supposed success as a widely recognized name. Its current earnings report doesn’t seem to adequately reflect this.

Tupperware Brand Corporation is one of the direct selling model based corporations that isn’t heading for a huge sales boost according their earnings report. Despite party-plan marketing making a dramatic comeback all over the globe, the brand’s recent earnings and EPS trends are looking pretty grave. This is most definitely negative for Tupperware Brand Corporation, but a relished opportunity for investors looking for a low-risk opportunity that they hope will take a turn around. In October of 2014, the brand reported 2014 net sales in the third quarter were $589 million “with emerging markets accounting for 70% of sales where there was an 8% increase in sales in local currency while established markets were down 4% in local currency.”

Even the CEO of Tupperware Brands Corporation referred to the current trends in the stock market as a “headache”, with regards to the strong dollar issue and revenue coming from outside countries rather than within the US. The CEO mentioned that they have all of the business models in place for steady growth and success, and since they are a direct selling business, “they don’t have the costs associated with a more traditional retail market.” Despite having a sturdy foundation, and a low-cost/ low-risk strategy, the brand has drastically dropped by a whopping 36 % since 2013. The company was not prepared for such a dramatic change.

The recent chart for small cap Tupperware Brands Corporation is not looking good, as it depicts a “downtrend that has turned into a double bottom.” Tupperware Brands Corporation was relatively stable until the past year, in which Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (a competitor of Tupperware) has steadily increased. Avon Products, Inc. (another direct selling model) is showing a downtrend as well since September of 2014. While Newell Rubbermaid Inc. is not associated with the party-plan model, it says something about the profitability and demand for products that are both sold by Newell Rubbermaid Inc. and Tupperware Brand Corporation. Thus, Tupperware Brand should be seeing a similar rise, instead of such a dramatic downtrend since 2013.   Since Tupperware Brands Corporation is generating sales from mainly emerging markets (approximately 70% of sales), their “earnings [could] take a hit from the increasingly strong dollar, and a continued controversy over direct selling aka Herbalife Ltd.” While their profits have greatly increased from the emerging markets such as Brazil, Mexico and China, these profits are not necessarily profiting them in regards to the dollar’s increasing strength.

Since the party-plan marketing boost is steadily rising, and Tupperware’s stock market trends are taking a drop, it can be concluded that this is due to the increasing sales within emerging markets and the current strength of the dollar that can be to blame. While Tupperware Brand Corporation was always a very neutral company with relatively stable earnings, it is a surprise to see it take such a hit in recent years. The boom in party planning may help improve the negative trend, if the brand can find a way to increase sales within the United States as opposed to the outside markets. However, stock traders are jumping on the Tupperware train while the shares are low, showing that they are confident in a revival of the popular brand and its “reputation for success.”