Neil Offen Speaks Out on Direct Selling Model

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Former DSA President Neil Offen Speaks Out

Neil Offen, former President and CEO of the 100-year-old Direct Selling Association from 1978 to 2011, speaks out for the first time since his retirement on the great opportunity that direct selling offers to individuals of every walk of life. The article, published in the October 2013 issue of Direct Selling News, is titled “The Great Equalizer and Opportunity.” In it, Offen provides his perspective on the attributes of direct selling, the myths and canards surrounding the channel, and his vision for the future.

Offen first describes fourteen of the most powerful positive attributes of direct selling for individuals and for economies. He then tackles several of the myths and canards that exist around direct selling, and that are often perpetuated out in the media and among other sources. Offen then tackles some of the internal issues that direct selling faces, namely actions that are taken by individuals or companies that can harm the reputation of direct selling. He concludes the article with a broad outline of his vision for the best way forward.

Multiple sources in the financial press have recently criticized companies such as Herbalife, USANA, Nu Skin and even privately-held entities such as Mary Kay without understanding the model. Short sellers may have actually capitalized on this lack of understanding by spreading some of the myths and canards that Offen rebuts to the investment community in an attempt to drive stock prices down. Offen provides a perspective that only 40 years of experience can offer, revealing a high level analysis of a channel of distribution and a business model that has withstood a century of doing good in people’s lives and in local and national economies.

About Direct Selling News
Direct Selling News is a monthly publication servicing the direct selling industry and network marketing executives since 2004. Each issue of Direct Selling News offers content on topics that shape the dynamics of our industry. Direct Selling News also conducts the most comprehensive annual ranking of the world’s direct selling companies.

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