What happens when you combine one of the world's most ridiculed business personalities with one of the world's most ridiculed business models?
The Trump Network, the new Donald Trump-branded multi-level marketing business that is "designed to make people healthier with customized vitamins and nutritional supplements, and to encourage individuals to become entrepreneurs and to take control of their financial well-being."
In an e-mail, Trump told The Associated Press that The Trump Network is his "rescue and recovery program" for people who have been hit hard by the recession.
If you do want to join the Trump Network, you can start with just $48. That will get you a marketing kit and three months of access to a Web site where you can direct your customers and recruits. But the AP adds that "participants are often sold a $497 package that includes the marketing kit, products, CDs, sales tips and coupons."
Although the strength of Donald Trump's brand has been in decline for some time, he's probably a good fit for multi-level marketing. While most serious businesspeople see him as a pariah, there are quite a few wanna-bes who look up him -- and might just be desparate enough for cash to give multi-level marketing a try.
At least one ambitious distributor has already begun placing ads on Facebook to lure in new recruits (see the screenshots I took above) -- and with a significant chunk of the 10.2% of unemployed Americans sitting at home browsing Facebook, it just might work. But pay no attention to the grammatical errors in sentences like "Everyone deserves a chance to have the life they dream about!"
Is Trump Network a good ticket to wealth? Here's what the False Profits blog had to say about that in August, when news of Trump's MLM project first began to trickle in: "To those not caught up in MLM's delusions and entrapments, Trump's association with MLM is a red flag of flim-flam. A guy known for extravagant consumption, an overbearing braggart, a figment of PR spin, a regular on the covers of celebrity scandal magazines, a promoter of professional wrestling, a bankrupt executive in the gambling industry, a schemer notorious for skipping out on debts, a man famous for win-lose 'deals.' This is the spokesman for a business based on person-to-person selling to friends and relatives?"