Alert #208: 6/27/2012

Rebuttal to Barrage of Binary Battery

Let’s get this out of the way right up front.

I don’t like binary plans.

Fortunately, binary plans are almost non-existent today. The binary/unilevel hybrid plan, however, has become one of the most popular compensation plan models of the last two decades.

The unilevel aspect is usually the matching bonus. Some call this plan the “binary match”. The matching bonus was first adapted to a binary plan in September of 1995 and has since become the most copied comp plan feature in history (although at the current rate the “break even bonus” may someday overtake it). The binary/match was invented by Jim Song who was the founder of Longevity Network (where I was a top earner from 1995 through 2003, and am no longer associated with). In fact, next time you’re in Vegas I can take you to a business park at the end of Sunset Blvd. and we can peer through the window of one of the ground floor offices and see the exact spot where the binary/match was invented (then flee from the building’s security). It should be an M.L.M. historical landmark.

What’s unfortunate is that a number of industry leaders, both field and corporate, have recently felt compelled to bash the binary based on bogus b… binformation (look it up). I have no problem with anyone making a pragmatic, historically, logically, mathematically, fact based argument against a specific style of plan. I did it several years ago when I made a case for why the Compressed Unilevel was not as good as was being declared. I even made a case for why the Aussie 2-Up should be avoided unconditionally. I did that because, I felt, and still feel, there was no redeeming aspect to it and it’s flaws, unlike the straight binary, were inherent and irreparable. Trying to fix the Aussie 2-Up would be tantamount to teaching Jeffrey Dahmer better table manners. But to denounce an entire category of plan, one where there are myriad variations, most of which have, in fact, resolved most of the flaws in the original concept (circa 1989), is just silly on it’s face. Saying the Binary plan is “bad for network marketing” (actual quote), is like saying, “Fords are bad for automobiles”.

But, alas, they have done just that. In this case, “they” being John Godzich, Jeff Olson, Blake Mallen, and to a lessor extend, Lou Abbott and John Councel.

You can find my probably too long rebuttal to each of their specific anti-binary points here:
And for the record, this is not meant to defend or promote any particular company (there are hundreds of binary programs out there), and I am by no means discrediting the unilevel plans used by anyone listed above. I like unilevel plans, and the plans they promote are just fine. My only issue with them is the statements they have made against binary plans.
Zeek Rewards
Over the last several months I have received more requests for commentary on Zeek Rewards than probably every other M.L.M. opportunity combined. Because I haven’t commented publicly, at all, I’m now starting to get emails accusing me of accepting “hush money” to keep silent. No, that’s not the case. I will never comment publicly on any person, company or product until I have exhausted all efforts to get my facts straight, which includes having the subject respond to my questions and/or concerns. Usually this isn’t a challenge. Unfortunately, how this sometimes goes is that the company chooses to not participate in my inquiry, even after I practically beg them to respond to my concerns. Sometimes they say I’m just not “relevant” enough, or words to that effect, but usually they just ignore me. I then go with what I have and make negative comments about them, and then suddenly I become relevant enough to have their attorney write me a nasty letter telling me to “get your facts straight”, and demanding a retraction. The letter never includes any specific points I got wrong, so I then write back asking for such clarification, and never hear from them again. (this is, by the way, exactly what happened with my PrePaid Legal exposé in 2002 – which, for the record, is no longer relevant). In the case of Zeek Rewards, I’ve been informed that late July is the earliest anyone from corporate can speak with me. I know they are in a state of overwhelm right now, which is why I’ve been patient for weeks. But, over those same weeks they seem to have no problem finding time to be interviewed by other bloggers and broadcasters. I guess I’m not as relevant. At least until my next show, when I go with what I’ve got.

I’m not really sure why ZR can’t find time to be interviewed by me, but I’ve got some insiders lobbying on my behalf, and ZR management has never shied away from public inquiry before, so I’m still hopeful the next INM show you hear will be a live interview. Only this time the interviewer won’t be lobbing underhanded softballs and blowing love kisses.

Maybe I just answered my own question.

Len Clements 
Founder & CEO 
MarketWave, Inc.