Saturday, November 10, 2007

Behold – the duplicity of Pink Truth

Might I issue a challenge to anyone on Pink Truth? I specifically would like to hear from Tracy on this issue. I will make my case as plain as possible and please correct me if I am wrong. This is but one of my objections to the hypocritical labeling of their slanderous site as TRUTH, but the most obvious and therefore most easily demonstrated.

Tracy Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE, has started, among other things the website Pink Truth.

For those of you unfamiliar with these terms: CPA – Certified Public Accountant; MBA – Master of Business Administration; CFE – Certified Fraud Examiner.

Quoting directly from the Pink Truth website,

“The site (Pink Truth) was founded by Tracy Coenen, a fraud investigator and forensic accountant who investigates a variety of frauds and scams. After seeing thousands of women fall victim to false income claims, misleading marketing materials, and flat-out lies about the business opportunity, Tracy decided to do her part in warning consumers about Mary Kay.”

In plain English, Tracy and Pink Truth are here to protect people (specifically women) from misleading marketing materials from multi level marketing companies (specifically Mary Kay).

And yet we see these all over her site.

(Click to enlarge)

, are you trying to protect people from misleading marketing materials or are you trying to expose them to misleading marketing materials under the guise of being an authority on the subject?

Are these ads here because you have checked them out and they are “safe”? Or do you not really care?

To Tracy and all Pink Truth members,

I have no doubt that you have legitimate grievances with this company. I think some more than others. I do not wish to see any one be sucked into Mary Kay under false pretenses. However, I cannot stand with you… or anywhere near you when you:

a. Take such an ignorant stance that ALL Mary Kay is bad

b. Do so with such blatant hypocrisy

I have created this blog (and hope to expand it as is necessary) with a similar goal in mind. Present the true reality of the Mary Kay opportunity to potential consultants. I believe that there ARE ways to operate this business with integrity AND good business sense. I believe that MANY women are doing this right now and enjoying it.

If you are tired of presenting only your side of the story (a version of brainwashing) please come leave your stories on this site.

I am just one person and I don’t have any letters after my name, but I value ALL opinions and views and request that you allow your voice to be heard here so that we can present a perspective of Mary Kay that is as clear as possible.



  1. I have been on a crusade showing Tracy Coenen's true colors for a long time. I invite you to my blog (which has slowed down recently since I have accomplished what I set out to do) and do a search there for her name. There are two other blogs you will be interested in: and (careful here--language is a pretty salty). We have all been posting about Tracy's "psycho-ness" for months (in my case, nearly a year) so you will have some back reading to catch up on. All is interesting!

    Tracy is nuts--trust me on that one, and Suzy Q is right up there with her.

  2. Me,

    Thanks for stopping by. I have recently found the sites you mentioned and am looking forward to exploring the rich resources available there.

    I was planning on trying to get in touch with you guys as soon as I have some time. I believe that we should work together on a project that combines our resources to be a sort of definitive balanced view of Mary Kay. We all have unique points of view regarding this subject but if we can come together on the basics that we all agree about, I am sure that we will be able to present a very balanced view of the subject!

    Again thanks and you should hear from me soon!

  3. Hi, David. I've posted here a couple of times. Be careful with those sites mentioned in other comments. They seema bit unprofessional. It's hard to take them seriously when they act like children. Tracy from PT may be nuts, but why stoop to her level? Your site so far seems very professional. No name calling, simply facts. I especially like how you put your words in one color and Suzy Q's in another. It doesn't seem like you are being catty.

    I do read PT. I am still a consultant, although I don't do much selling. My biggest problem with Mary Kay is the deception. I was told that I could make $300 a week working only 15 hours per week. I believed what my director told me. When I asked questions, she gave me answers. But none of it could be proven. Like the #1 best selling brand in the US. How do they know this? They don't keep track of what their consultants sell. Another thing is that we are independent. Yes, we are, until we do something corporate doesn't like, like advertise. Then we are totally dependent. But I do not think MK is all bad. I do think that most Directors are only out for themselves and certainly not to enrich women. Another thing that really got to me was when my director told me that all training is free. Then when I signed up and came to my first meeting I was told that it cost $5. Yes, the TRAINING is free, but the room was $5. I thought that was pretty sneaky. So I never paid. And I never got any training. There was much singing and dancing and praising, but no training.

    I don't think PT is all bad. I think it started out as a place to go to air greivances, but then got to Tracy's head. There was no other place to go at the time and we all felt so humiliated for being sucked in. I am so glad your wife doesn't feel this way. I think it is a beautiful thing if done right, but almost impossible to do on your own. But it sounds like she has a good director, and a good husband to support her.

  4. Hi Judi

    Good to hear from you again! Thanks for a very insightful comment! Here are my thoughts, I hope they help.

    A bit unprofessional is putting it nicely! I appreciate that you consider my site professional as that is my goal. One of the reasons I hesitated as long as I did to start this blog was because of the obvious difficulty in avoiding this pitfall. It is always easy to take cheap shots at the people that are out there doing something. Tracy and Pink Truth (Mary Kay Sucks) did it to Mary Kay and now some people are doing it to Tracy and Pink Truth. While I can’t say that I will get in line to defend Tracy or Pink Truth I also do not plan on endorsing any sort of escalating retaliatory mêlée. It does seem like we see the principle, “what goes around comes around” in action here though. I hope to keep this site as professional as possible and present the facts and experiences of any and all comers who wish to share their experience with Mary Kay.

    I believe that it is in the volume of testimonies and evidence that TRUTH is found. If you only present the facts and observations that support your case, you will be sadly imbalanced. That is not to say that a company such as Mary Kay should not prominently display their strengths and downplay their weaknesses. This is the way of marketing and public relations. What I am saying is that Pink Truth should not claim to be presenting the TRUTH when they are so excessively one sided.

    Regarding reading PT, I think that there are other sites out there that are not as one sided that give more accurate information and aides about how to avoid the pitfalls of MK. I have not looked thoroughly into any of them so this is not an endorsement of any kind, but I believe that seems fairly even keeled in their documentation of all things Mary Kay.

    I cannot speak authoritatively to the $300/week with 15hrs of work. I think there are too many variables for anyone to claim that this is guaranteed. Possible, yes. Guaranteed, no. If she said you COULD make that, the fact that you did not, does not mean that she was wrong. The truth is that I COULD make millions of dollars in real estate. That is a fact, because other people have done it! However, I am not going to quit my job in the hopes of becoming a wealthy land baron because until I know that I CAN do it, the fact that I COULD do it is irrelevant. If she told you that you WOULD make that kind of money automatically or implied this in the way that she said you could, than she was wrong to do so, and this is why a site like this is important. Unfortunately, we all (myself included) hear what we want to hear and no amount of honesty on this site or any other will prevent people from getting themselves in big trouble trying to make a quick buck!

    Regarding the best selling brand issue, I personally think this is one of the most ‘blown out of proportion’ issues on PT. While it would be helpful for Mary Kay to track actual sales, this really would be a logistical nightmare if you think about it. With personal use consultants being a large part of the Mary Kay family, and untold numbers of consultants that prefer not to track their sales (they are independent), it is likely more accurate to track sales to consultants. Especially because consultants should not buy more than they can sell, and if they can’t sell what they bought they have one year to return that product. I understand the pressure that is allegedly placed on consultants to stock up, but I find it hard to believe that the number of women who have “basements full of product” is significant enough to adversely affect the numbers that demonstrated Mary Kay to be the best selling brand.

    You are independent consultants, but you are representing a corporation that has an image and a brand that they wish to uphold. As such, they will naturally have rules that their representatives must adhere to in order to stay in good standing. I generally welcome all opinions on this site, but if someone were to say something that went against my values – namely foul language – I would not allow them to leave comments anymore because anything said on my site could easily be attributed to me. I do not think there is an outstanding complete ban on advertising, I believe that there are just very strict rules regarding the way in which you can advertise. The primary reason for this, I am sure, is what I just mentioned. In fact, it is the breakdown of these rules that causes many of the grievances that you have listed here. When a director (or any rep) makes untrue claims about the MK experience people get hurt. The rules that MK creates and enforces seem to be a healthy balance of protecting themselves/consultants/consumers while allowing maximum independence.

    Regarding training, I do not know what your director offered, but here is a list of the free training that my wife has received. First, every time that she talks to her director on the phone she gets some level of training. Every time her director (or another member of her unit) brought her along on warm chatting, facials, classes or parties she was being trained. Every time her director (or another director) did a three way interview on the phone with her and a potential recruit, she was being trained. In addition, her meetings are free. I don’t know what the stats are, but I do know that some directors don’t have to pay rent for their location and offer their meetings for free… it may be worth asking around to see if you can find one of these! If your director is not all that great, you may find one that is.

    I think that while PT may not be ALL bad, their redeeming values are so far and few between, and their slanderous libel is so outrageous that they really must be opposed. I don’t blame you for reading there, just be careful that you don’t allow them to suck you in to their lies… you seem like a very intelligent person, don’t allow their lies to negatively impact your reason. If the only problem that you have is a bad director, I am sure that you can find a better one and do really well. I don’t think anyone would blame you for switching!

    For my wife Mary Kay is a beautiful thing and I am sure that she would love to help answer any questions that you have or give you some ideas for selling more… you can contact her through the link to her MK page on this site.

    Again, thanks for helping make this site what it is. I hope eventually to have an area where consultants like you can share your experiences in one place that is easy for people to see. Good luck.

  5. The main problem with Tracy Coenen, the PT site, and those that remain (most of her supporters have fled)is their total lack of responsibility. I can really get on a soapbox about that, but I will spare you right now, as my time is short. But I have read comments there that outline all the terrible things done by the writer, and/or her director, and in the same breath blame the company for these actions. They laugh when we say, "No held a gun to your head to make you....(whatever it was)" but it's the truth. All of their actions are personal choices yet they place blame anywhere but on their own shoulders.

  6. Me,

    Thanks for adding your observations to the list. I am sometimes amazed at the contradictions on that site, often within one post but sometimes within one comment.

    Some specific examples:

    MKC is too controlling... but they should stop letting their SD's and NSD's do whatever they want?

    We need to SAVE people from nasty MLM's et. al. but why don't you click on this ad that will help you make $40 and hour with just a computer?! (by the way, we make $0.12 just for you clicking on it!


    Anyway, I will try not to get on a soapbox here either, especially as this blog IS my soapbox!

    I am a big fan of personal responsibility. If you failed, blame only yourself. There is NOTHING wrong with failing. There is a really good book by John Maxwell called failing forward. You live, you learn, you move on. Just stop blaming everyone but yourself! (not you 'me', the ones that are blaming other people!!)

    Anyway, thanks!

  7. I'm so tickled that Judi felt the need to warn you about my site. Were you careful David? LOL Didn't get hurt did you? Bah!

    In all seriousness, I've always thought it was funny that people would give my site address right along side Me's and PT Lies. Obviously my site is not for informational purposes. It's for all the people that were kicked off of PT to get together and cackle like demented hens.

    I've heard it all before. My site is unprofessional. My site is immature. My site is gross. All I can say is...

    Really?? And?? What's your point?

    Just like I think Tracy's claims against MK are to the extreme (she rocks a mic like a vandal), I think that by demonizing Tracy and PT we are giving her way more power than she deserves. She's really just a nobody who deserves to be ridiculed for her bullying.

  8. Duh,

    I will be honest, perhaps her warning could have been MORE emphatic. I did not realize that some of those words came out of womens mouths. (or I guess out of their keyboards would be more accurate!) However, while shocking and not recommended for the younger audiences, I think that you have captured what many people (as they say), "were thinking but were afraid to say"! I will probably not link to your site directly because I want this to be a 'family friendly' site and would not want someone to be unwittingly exposed to the very colorful remarks on your site! Also I thank you for refraining from using such language here!

    It seems like you have a really fun community going over there and you have found a niche that works for you and appeals to many others! Don't let others tell you what you should or should not do!

    I imagine that while it is all in good fun for women to get together and talk the way you do on your site, a dude sitting in on that conversation (should) feel a little awkward! I think I would feel somewhat like a prepubescent boy listening to the conversation in a womens locker room... at a female wrestling tournament!

    Anyway, thanks for stopping by. Feel free to leave your thoughts anytime!

  9. Those ads are Google ads. The site owner has no control over which ones display. Google Ads (Adsense) display ads that they think are relevant to the site's content.

    Whether they are or not is debatable.

  10. Anonymous,

    While I appreciate your desire to remain anonymous, please create a name so that we can recognize you if you comment again!

    Regarding adsense, one of the KEY selling points for bloggers and publishers to sign up is that you CAN control what ad show up on your site. You can filter the ads you display however you want.

    Regardless, even if they did not offer this tool. The fact that Tracy is willing to make money with the very same misleading marketing materials she is purporting to expose is beyond ironic. It is preposterous.


For Further Reading...

This Week On Pink Truth - Click Here
Pros and Cons of Mary Kay - Read or Contribute or Both!
First Post - Why I Started This Blog
The Article I Wrote For (here) (there)
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