Did CNBC Reporter Distort Facts about MonaVie?

Today in the news was an article by CNBC Reporter Darren Rovell about Network Marketing company MonaVie’s sponsorship of Tomas Scheckter who competes in this weekends Indy 500.

In what appears clearly as a blatant attack on MLM – Network marketing by the CNBC reporter, dissecting it shows this article is total crap, “Is MonaVie Endorsement Risky?

First Darren indicates that he is not going to get into whether or not Acai is good or bad, he is going to talk about the numbers game.

This gets interesting since anyone with a brain can do a little research and find out that it does not cost $1,800 for a case of Acai. I’m sure that they will say “oh we just forgot a zero and a decimal point!”

My guess is they’ll have this corrected soon…

The research they did “or supposedly did” is off by 10 times the amount than what the product actually costs…

…If they where off by this much, it totally invalidates the rest of the numbers as well! Unless we are using some kind of CNBC fuzzy math.

I found his statement that after talking to one former distributor “the only people who make any money came from previous network marketing backgrounds or got in on the ground floor!”

I guess we could apply that analogy to any industry or business today right! So you might as well give up on designing the latest widget to compete with XYZ company.

If we follow this ill conceived logic, we might as well not do anything at least until a new network marketing company pops up. Or we have gained the necessary experience!

Was the real reason this article was written, purely to bring readers to the CNBC web site! Readers who otherwise would not have read the article or visited the web site in the first place.

Wow Foxnews, CNN or a dozen other online publications must really be causing them grief…

Are times getting so difficult for reporters, that they have to create controversy where it doesn’t exists, or they are just getting lazy? Sure it could have been poor editing, yet the whole tone of the article indicates otherwise!

I really like the part at the end of the article where it was stated “I hope he knows what comes with the logo on his car.” Maybe they looked at it and decided that it was much better then a CNBC logo Or a MSNBC Logo

Either way crap reporting is still crap reporting, and the more people that call them out on the crap the better society will be!

And No I don’t work with MonaVie!

17 comments… add one
  • Darren May 23, 2009 @ 19:00


    I did all the math and it’s not fuzzy at all. It costs $1,800 to buy a case of Monavie every month FOR A YEAR. That’s what the materials themselves say.

    Why a year? Because that’s what the Monavie compensation figures are based on — a year’s time.

    The math here is all provided by the company for all to see.


  • Darren May 23, 2009 @ 20:43

    Actually, read in context, you’d know exactly what I was talking about, as would the executives at MonaVie since they provide the very information themselves.

    You do a disservice to your readers by not providing the context of my thoughts. Leading into the $1,800 number, I am talking about what people made in 2008 for the entire year.

    I was being clear that it was $1,800 to buy the four bottles per month FOR A YEAR because that is what we are talking about. That’s again why I said, “it’s a wash” because I’m comparing it to the $2,032/year number that isn’t surpassed by 82 percent of MonaVie distributors.

    The odds are the odds. They are provided by MonaVie themselves. If people feel like they can beat those odds, then all the best to them.

  • Darren May 24, 2009 @ 5:32

    I never implied that that “these companies and the people working within them are not worthy.” I simply showed there is a risk associating with a company like this where, from a financial standpoint, approximately 82 percent of distributors fail, as the company openly discloses.

  • MARTY May 27, 2009 @ 11:13

    Thanks Glenn, for making these misleading/deception accusations very clear. I’m so sick of critics with little or no information regarding MonaVie constantly bashing the company. I guess there’s a little jealousy ruminating here?

    The cost is $130.00 + S&H per case per month. A case consists of 4 25oz bottles. After achieving a particular level, you actually have your juice paid for through your down-line flushing binary. If Darren looked at the 2008 disclosure statement (public to all), he would see quite a lot of distributors are making money.

    Not to mention everybody has different reasons to be involved in MonaVie. Extra income, just to be a “drinker” or to make a career out of it. Based on that, the income disclosure statement figures vary.

    Thanks again for being real Glenn.


  • Darren May 27, 2009 @ 17:59

    Small businesses have the same failure rate but they don’t come with the seemingly deceptive promises of success that Monavie comes with. Go to the Monavie blog and see for yourself. Post after post on black diamond this and black diamond that. Mercedes this and Mercedes that. That’s the difference.

    As Marty vouches, my $1800 a year numbers are pretty right on. Again, I stand firm on the 80 percent failure rate as described in the Income Disclosure.

    I have no motive other than to see how striving for the Monavie promise has hurt many people’s lives. I hope by showing the numbers fewer people will get duped.

  • Andre Vatke May 28, 2009 @ 7:23

    Darren, I agree that the claims implied in the network marketing industry are in general very hyped and even deceptive. However you seem to be making MonaVie into an example of the worst business opportunity out there. It’s not. Far from it.

    Open any Entrepreneur Magazine or Small Business Opportunities and you’ll see similar claims of easy success made by companies not involved in network marketing. Visit the FTC website and you’ll find action taken against all kinds of biz opp companies and investment schemes.

    Network marketing has it’s bad apples and even plenty of frauds but it has never hit the economy like the deceptive practices of the banking and mortgage industries. It has never taken a bite out like Bernie Madoff or the many other fraudulent schemes uncovered recently. You also don’t take any issue with CNBC and the fact that your network was telling people to buy Bear Stearns just days before they went bankrupt.

    You’re piece is about getting sensation. As congratulations you did that. But you are far from a consumer advocate.

  • Mike Zurich May 28, 2009 @ 7:37

    Oh wait, your talking about CNBC!

    CNBC will accept ads from just about anybody – including 60 second spots for products and offers that have been shut down by legal action. (Anybody remember Xendrine?)

    If a MonaVie endorsement is risky for Tomas Scheckter why doesn’t the same hold true for CNBC?

    Because that probably not the point. It’s not about being picky with who you associate with – it’s about manipulating markets – or saving your stupid cable network. Boycott CNBC and watch Bloomberg! LOL

  • Greg the Writer Jun 14, 2009 @ 4:16

    Wow, this Darren guy needs to get his head out of the sand.

    I blame it on the fact that most cable networks and any business that makes its income off of old-advertisement (TV, radio spots etc) really hate network marketing.

    Not because of what it is, but because it does NOT pay THEM. Most MLMs never advertise on those networks cause they have no need to. So if the direct sales dream ever came true where people buy most things at direct sale rather than some big box store, than news in general is screwed and all the other companies are as well.

    Oh wait, news is screwed anyways thanks to the internet : ). Makes sense why Darren may had been so much in need and desperate for publicity in his MonaVie attack.

    My two cents

    -Greg the Writer

    P.S No, like Glenn here, I also do not work for MonaVie, rather I work for the industry in of itself, regardless of company. (Along with my personal chosen company hehe.)

  • MonaVie Aug 20, 2010 @ 3:02

    I have read your blog this is so nice.

  • Glenn May 23, 2009 @ 19:23


    Any reader who read your article would not know that based on how you presented the material, now would they? You clearly did not state that over the course of one year, but stated for one case “four bottles a month.”

    …You either intentionally or unintentionally left out those details!

    Correct me if I’m wrong but by not being clear about this, you are misleading people! Which is clearly why I labeled it as crap!

    People can and do retail the products and or services offered by network marketing companies.

    So I still have to stick with the fact that by omitting from your article that it was over the course of a year, you misled anyone who has read that article. And further more you owe an apology to MonaVie and Scheckter!

  • Glenn May 23, 2009 @ 21:52


    Your making me laugh, no one can read the context of your thoughts, only your written words. We are not mind readers!

    I provided a link so others could read the article themselves, before I went into my assessment. I actually had two others read it and they came to the same conclusion I did!

    You wrote $1,800 for a case of 4 bottles a month, where did it say for a year or over the course of a year. Why not say $150 a month for four bottles? Why not put that in the original article “FOR A YEAR!”

    Do you or the company know if the distributors retailed the product or was it used for personal consumption? No one really knows except for the individual and the IRS, so the actual cost per year is based on assumptions.

    It still comes back to your questioning the judgment of someone accepting a sponsorship from a network marketing company. Implying that these companies and the people working within them are not worthy!

    People throughout history get out of life what they put into it. And this goes for any business, whether or not it is network marketing!

    And I do believe my readers will see it as a great service and agree with my assessment!

  • Andre Vatke May 27, 2009 @ 14:00

    Darren, maybe you should do a piece on the failure of small businesses in general. The first year failure rate is right there with the numbers you report. In fact “failure” seems to be the operative word for business in general lately. (10%+ of regular workers are having trouble with that too for some reason.)

    Network marketing is a business. If there is a problem with it, it’s only that it’s not often promoted or treated like one. However, not everyone is out to deceive or hype people into making a quick investment without having all the facts.

    Seems to me you agree with this as it’s the general gist of your story. Though I wish you would be clearer about it rather than throwing out the baby with the bathwater. But then that seems to be the MO for journalism these days. Controversy creates an audience which (hopefully) sells advertising.

    As much as you say otherwise, I agree with Glenn that your citing of the $1800 figure is misleading but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that it wasn’t intentional. In fact, the way you meant it (@ $150 a month) it’s not that bad. How many business can you get into for only $1800 not counting marketing and other expenditures?

  • Glenn May 27, 2009 @ 14:25

    Hi Marty,

    Unfortunately it is very easy for reporters to write negative articles, and not just against MonaVie but other companies as well. Yet, you hardly see anyone questioning the motive behind it or making them prove their claims.

  • John Michael Cannon May 27, 2009 @ 22:15


    Your article is very low quality from a journalistic perspective. You have as much hype in your writing as the Network Marketing industry does in it’s marketing. In this article, you are no better than those you write against.

    It would look more professional if you would just admit that you made mistakes and, then, fix them. Defending yourself the way you are doesn’t reflect well on you.

  • Glenn May 28, 2009 @ 7:51


    The great thing about living in America, is that we are all given the freedom to succeed or fail.

    When we look at any home business with independent distributors, there are many unknown factors here that we cannot make assumptions on based on company numbers.

    How many of those distributors are really there just to buy the product at a wholesale price? Just like Costco or Sam’s club etc… They would be included in those numbers reported by the company, driving the earnings down!

    Still, we don’t know if any of those distributors that fall below the number you cited actually retailed some of or all of the product.

    I’m sure that MonaVie’s distributors are told to generate sales I.E customers for the product to get to a profit margin quickly.

    If they choose not to do this, is it the companies, network marketing, or anyone else’s fault other than the individuals?

    Not everyone in this industry, is out to dupe people. Many do it in an honest, ethical, and professional manner.

    I’ve spent years educating people that this is a business, and has to be run like one! If you spent time on this site other than this blog post you might see this.

    If a company is not providing the support individuals need to generate sales “which I doubt” there are other support companies that can help them.

    I think we actually might be on the same page in some ways. People need to educate themselves on exactly what they have to do to generate an income…

    …rather than just buy into company literature.

  • Glenn Jun 12, 2009 @ 16:34

    Wow I’ve received several comments that boarder on hate speech. It appears that pointing out distortion by a CNBC writer is a real irritant for them.

    The latest came in from;

    Emma … Very disturbed individual you can write her at: emmaslinens@gmail.com

    And ask her what the problem is.

  • The Tampa Pirate Jul 3, 2009 @ 13:21

    Your post was right on the mark. Distorted journalism by hack journalist like Darren is not the exception, its the norm. I know 6 people into MonaVie and they are in it just for the price break of being a distributor. There is money to be made by those who want to make it, but it requires work.

    Just as in any job you start out at the bottom, but with some hard work you get promoted and move your way up. The only difference is that unlike a “normal” job the people above you are benefited by you excelling and want you to succeed. They aren’t threatened by your success, but encourage it.

    I hope that one day the slaves of corporate America like CNBC will allow people to fulfill the American dream without demonizing real opportunities.

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