Marketing With(Out) A Conscience


There’s no crying in baseball. Coffee is only for closers. Multi-level marketing is totally not a pyramid scheme.

There’s no question plenty of people will do or say whatever it takes to succeed. They will lie, cheat, steal and knock you over in order to get what they want. While most of us might think this type of attitude is only for the old-school sales department, there’s no question the practice of using time-honored stories to sell or marketing product/services is in no way a recent occurrence.

That doesn’t make it any easier to swallow.

Dave Van de Walle recently wrote about what looks like an MLM company using a dying man to help promote their company and their product. While we don’t have any additional information than what Van de Walle published, it’s no doubt disturbing to see an ill individual propped up in front of a camera.

But it does raise this question: what if James Cordova WANTED to spend his dying hours surrounded by friends and colleagues celebrating him? Does that make it any less depressing?

We certainly don’t think so, but we’re not friends with nor do we know the Cordova family, so we’ll stay out of it. But what does this mean for event marketers looking to showcase willing participants who may not come across all that well to an audience?

It’s simple, really: make it about the person, not the product or service. There’s nothing wrong with anyone wanting to be part of a team or anything wrong with them wanting to celebrate that on camera for the world to see, but when that promotion is the ONLY reason the event is staged, you’re going to get more than a few uncomfortable looks and concerned comments.

The world has plenty of stories to tell, why not focus on the ones not centered around a dying man with hours to live?

Best wishes to the Cordova family.