Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pink Truth: Mary Kay Lies - a mini-series (Part 5 of 7) All Statistics are Lies

This is part 5 of a 7 part series. We are diving right into Pink Truth's "favorite" Mary Kay lies and making some interesting discoveries along the way.

Today's "lie" has a very distinct irony to it.

Any statistic about success in Mary Kay (more women making six figures, more women millionaires, etc.)

"Recruiters use these made up statistics to entice women into Mary Kay. None of them are true. Mary Kay is not the “best selling brand.” But for a few select individuals, women in Mary Kay aren’t making anything close to an executive income. Women aren’t “promoting themselves” when they’re ready… they’re just trying to tread water and hope they don’t lose their teams and units. Did you ever wonder why no one presents any proof for these statistics or claims? It’s because the proof doesn’t exist and these claims are completely fabricated, but repeated with vigor by those attempting to recruit you."

I will let you guys pick apart the specific "statistics" listed here and discuss in what context they are true and in which they are lies. For example, that Mary Kay is the "best selling brand", is obviously not true. But, stated in the correct context, with the proper disclaimers, it is certainly a very strong and accurate selling point for the company. (And yes, all you contrary disparagers, they use sales to consultants to determines sales volume, and yes, that is the standard they use to compare to other companies, and no, that does not make the claim any less true or significant.)

What I find interesting here, is the self-righteous, holier-than-thou way in which Pink Truth scoffs at misusing statistics in the very same post that they misuse (and I use that term very casually) their own favorite statistic. "99% of women in Mary Kay lose money." Not only is the statistic applied very loosely to Mary Kay (in the original publication they take it from), it is also completely taken out of context. Remember I mentioned irony? Check it out, here is what Tracy (or at least I am still under the assumption this was written by Tracy) said about Mary Kay consultant's misuse of statistics... consider how relevant it is (and much more passionate than I could ever be) when redirected at HER misuse of HER personal favorite stat-*cough*lie*cough*-istic:

"Did you ever wonder why no one presents any proof for these statistics or claims? It’s because the proof doesn’t exist and these claims are completely fabricated, but repeated with vigor by those attempting to recruit you."

Ironic, no? (I though it was)

Also, there's this:

"None of them are true."

*ahem* Tracy... wanna help me out again? What was that thing you said?

"Did you ever wonder why no one presents any proof for these statistics or claims? It’s because the proof doesn’t exist and these claims are completely fabricated, but repeated with vigor by those attempting to recruit you."

Right... that's what I was thinking too.... it was, all, on the tip of my tongue, ya know? Couldn't have said it better myself... thanks.


Right, so, what do all of you think?

Do recruiters misuse statistics? (HA! Is the Pope Catholic!?)
Which ones are true? How do you know they are true? Do you ever ask the person telling you the statistic, "What is that based on?" or "Where can I see it in writing?" OR, do you simply parrot the information to the next person you are talking to and hope they don't ask you how YOU know it is true!?

Has anyone on Pink Truth asked Tracy how she KNOWS that 99% or people in Mary Kay lose money? Have any of YOU read the PSA article for yourself? Did you understand it? Or are you just mindlessly passing around the same misused statistics in much the same way you did when you were in Mary Kay? What will it take for you to use your own brain? Obviously Tracy is not going to help you with that!

Would this site be better if I misused statistics? Is that the secret to getting popular?


  1. Well, MKC is aware that the statistics get regurgitated incorrectly; hence they created the Fact vs Fiction on the At A Glance brochure found online.

  2. Luckily we live in a country where there are strict truth in advertising laws. They are general regulated by being debunked by their competitors and called to task. If there are statistics published (online or in print) in any materials, they better be based on studies or 3rd party industry evaluation. They are in the MK printed catalogs, and consumer website. You better believe they're correct or it would be lawsuit time. I'm sure that is why the Fact vs. Fiction statement's posted on InTouch. It is in no way in MKCorporate's best interest to have consultants go out there and make false claims.

    I'm also reminded here about all of the false claims Arbonne has put out there about MK and how the beauty media jumped all over them about it. I wonder if MK Corp ever went after them to desist.

    It's not just ironic that Pink Truth posts so many false claims, they actually better watch it from a legal standpoint. (the 99% fail claim, for example.) MK could very rightly go after them and force them to back up their statements. They can't of's just malicious slander which is obvious, but also comes with a price. They would then be forced to not only retract their statements, but because they're regulated like any other media outlet, could be forced to desist, or even fined. Then their little anti-pink bubble will burst!

  3. What were the claims Arbonne made about MK that the beauty media jumped on? I'm having a party next week with some guests who have used Arbonne. I don't want to trash talk Arbonne in any way, as I honestly don't know much about their product line at all, but I would like to have some information in my pocket should questions arise.

  4. Hi Cuppa Jo,
    This was from an article I kept from Paula Begoun's "Beauty Bulletin", from June 2007. She's a syndicated columnist, and author and is considered a consumer expert for the cosmetics industry and has had repeat appearances on CNN, as well as programs such as Oprah, The Today Show, 20/20, Dateline NBC, The View, and Primetime. Anyway, this is what she said:
    "Arbonne International is a direct-sales line many of my readers have an intense curiosity about. There must be lots of assertive Arbonne salespeople out there, because no other line with this type of business structure has generated the amount of email I receive, all asking if Arbonne products are worth it and whether or not many of the company's outlandish claims are true. More than many other lines, Arbonne is big on playing up the alleged evil of many benign cosmetic ingredients. Topping this list is mineral oil, which the company maintains interferes with skin functions and delivery systems. Cosmetics-grade mineral oil is not a problem for skin and is in fact one of the mildest and most effective ingredients for making dry skin look and feel better. It doesn't have the best texture or finish, but its effectiveness is indisputable (Sources: Cosmetics & Toiletries, January 2001, page 79; Cosmetic Dermatology, September 2000, pages 44–46; Dermatitis, September 2004, pages 109-116).

    I have also been asked about whether it is true that all mascaras except Arbonne's contain bat excrement. Yes, you read that correctly. It seems many Arbonne salespeople are telling potential customers that their mascaras contain this substance, along with the untruth that their lipsticks contain road kill remnants. I wouldn't mention these tall tales if it was a few isolated incidents, but dozens upon dozens of women have contacted me asking for the truth behind these ludicrous claims. Just to be clear, cosmetic chemists are not venturing into dark caves to collect bat excrement or picking up carcasses of animals on the side of the road all in an effort to save money and create harmful cosmetics. And you have to wonder: if Arbonne products are so wonderfully effective, why do they need to sell themselves using scare tactics about what every other company's products supposedly contain?"

    Anyway, I held onto this article because the few people that I've known that use Arbonne are pretty fanatical about it, and I heard the bat-poop thing first hand...

  5. Shashew and CuppaJo...I know from first hand experience. I had an Arbonne lady come into my shop trying to get me to carry it there because it can be retailed out of a store. That is what she told me. She also told me that any mascra but theirs was had bat dung in it.

    They also claim that their products are all natural. Well, this in itself can not be true. If it was all natural you would have to refrigerate it because it would go bad before you actually had time to use it. Take for example natural foods such as fruits and veggies...they go bad after just a few days maybe they will make it a week. So if anyone claims the all natural thing it is not true. There has to be something in there that keeps it from going bad.

    However their sales force is out and about telling people this. I didn't buy any of it.

    Have a GREAT DAY

  6. Thank you ladies! This information is very helpful.


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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