Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

I was going through some old emails (very old!) the other day and came across this one from a producer at the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. The email came to me in 2014, and I didn’t want to write anything about it then because I didn’t want to run the risk that they wouldn’t use the question.

Who knows if they ever ended up asking a contestant about who says Mary Kay is a pyramid scheme? But I thought it was fun and exciting that we were considered!


  1. Estee Lauder and Neutrogena are sold in retail stores, therefore not pyramid schemes.

    Avon, on the other hand….

  2. One wonders what question/answers set they had in mind.

    “According to researchers at pinktruth.com, which of the following is NOT a pyramid scheme?”

    A. Mary Kay Cosmetics
    B. Pharaoh Tutankhamun
    C. The Luxor Hotel
    D. Your job as a Walmart greeter.

    • I think it was going to be:

      According to pinktruth.com, which company’s business model is actually a pyramid scheme:

      a. Estee Lauder
      b. Avon
      c. Neutrogena
      d. Mary Kay

      As you can imagine, Avon is problematic as well.

      • I, of course, was kidding. The sad part is that their “fact”-checker seriously thought Avon didn’t belong on the list. Maybe they thought it was still 2004.

        • In fairness, Avon has tried desperately to distance itself from MLM and always say DIRECT SELLING. So it’s easy to be confused. 🙂

          • The truth is out there, if you know where to look. I learned about Avon’s shift from direct-selling to MLM (in 2005) at a site called sequenceinc. Perhaps you’ve heard of them (tee-hee!).

  3. Sounds like bait for a libel/slander lawsuit to me. Mmmkay can prove in court that they don’t fit the FTC pyramid scheme definition. Oh God I sound like a hunbot. But they would be out of business by now if they were up to the old ways as the biggest target out there. Anyhow my point is that this is likely not an email from WWTBAM. Why would they ask? There would be hundreds of thousands of Huns turning their tv off in anger if that show mentioned an MLM in a negative light.

    Keep up the good work on the website. I send people here all the time. (I try anyways)

    • Hey, thanks for calling me a liar. Much appreciated. It is, indeed an email from the television show. And they would ask because that’s what fact-checkers do.

      It’s weird to me that you say you send people here, and then at the same time say that MK isn’t a pyramid scheme. They’d be out of business if they were!

      So you’re a fan of MLM or not?

    • MK is indeed a pyramid scheme, but it’s still around for two reasons:

      1. Deep roots, like a cancer or crabgrass or a fire ant nest. It’s dying, slowly, in the US (recruiting is way down… just look at the seminar crowd photos). But killing the roots takes a while.

      2. Big army of expensive, aggressive lawyers and lobbyists. Fire ants again. If you ever tried to kill a big fire ant mound it’s much the same.

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