Mary Kay Paid Advertising

Written by Parsonsgreen

Mary Kay previously prohibited paid advertising on social media by consultants. The only exception was that you could pay to boost a social media post from your business Facebook page to your followers.

However, on April 3rd, the company began a pilot program where consultants could pay for advertising on Facebook and Instagram. The ads DO NOT have to be limited to your current followers – meaning your ads could be seen by someone who already has a consultant!

Here is a Q/A from Mary Kay:

We also rely on the honor system, trusting that all sales force members who advertise on social media will adhere to the Terms and Conditions.

If it’s month end, and you need to make production, are you going to honestly refer a customer back to her original consultant if she clicks on your ad and wants to purchase from you? What will prevent a consultant, like Chelsea Adkins, from offering your customer a consistent 40% off?

Consultants must limit their advertising to four categories:

  • The Products (must only mention the suggested retail price from Mary Kay with no discount)
  • Gifting Ideas
  • Services Provided as a Consultant
  • Invitations to In Person Events

An all ads on social media should only focus on products, not on the Mary Kay opportunity. This is because Meta has restrictions on what can be advertised on posts that offer an opportunity to start a new business.

Consultations are supposed to confirm with the customer they don’t already have a consultant. (WINK WINK) Once they have, they can offer discounts and specials privately.

Feedback began pouring in from consultants – that again, the company is shifting more and more cost of running the business onto them.

Some consultants argued this is the only way to ensure the product is reaching new customers:

Sharon ran an ad, and her initial response was from scammers.

Some consultants are confused and think that marketplace postings are from this program:

Jo Anne found five ads from the same consultant on her timeline. Consultants immediately pounced, and Ellen Bowman Cox suggested everyone go spam her page. Go Give and the Golden Rule still lives on in the social media world.

Ellen Bowman Cox worries that legal will be understaffed and not able to handle the complaints about the rule breakers.

Cary points out that top directors were stealing consultants and customers way before social media:

As of now, this is still a pilot program. But if consultants continually get new consultants to order inventory packages, what incentive is there for Mary Kay to end the program?


  1. Oh to be a fly on the wall at a corporate meeting since this was introduced (blew up) And to see these director’s faces as corporate and consultants/curious others read their comments on PT. Watching all of these changes from a very safe distance I continue to wonder why anyone stays in or starts MK these days, So many changes and none of them are helping the sales force. It’s a bunch of things, including no director suit, just the jacket, and it looks so unprofessional. Please understand, there were some years (salvation army suit, barney suit, smurfs suit) that were ghastly, but everyone was neatly groomed. Including red jackets with black skirts and white or black blouses. It looks like the sales force is literally modeling the chaos at headquarters! What a cluster.

    PS I’ll bet $100 that there will be a lot of people “stumbling” on to this site. Erect the caution cones.

    • SuzyQ, lol! Maybe caution cones and also the red (pink?) carpet for the defectors who maybe just have a few questions and would dare to “think negatively.” That’s how I got here! I just wanted to talk to someone who might offer a different opinion than MK and not be harangued and accused of being a negative Nelly. The last time I checked, I’m a grown up woman with two children and I certainly am responsible for all my bills.
      Ok I went on a tangent there. I agree with your post. I feel like many people will be finding this site!.

  2. “We also rely on the honor system, trusting that all sales force members who advertise on social media will adhere to the Terms and Conditions.” MLMs have honor?

    • There’s so many dimensions to the MK scam, good grief, I can’t believe I stayed in it for so long. The “we don’t steal each others’ customers,” was especially dense. I took it all so seriously and literally. I always thought it was really up to the customer who she wanted to shop with, if she wanted to buy her MK from 25 different consultants, that was her business!!
      Now that I’m out, as my former customers contact me for more product and I “break the news” to them that I’m not longer with MK, it’s like, meh, ok, thanks. Most of them don’t want me to refer them on to anyone – they just go on to something else. It’s all so weird.

  3. Oh the outrage! Customers allowed to “price shop” and/or order direct? What year is it again?

    Tell me Mary Kay reps don’t price shop for gasoline like everyone else. Loyalty for commodity items? Not in today’s world. Using guilt to maintain a customer base has a one-sided benefit. MK customer loyalty is hardly due to something the rep is offering. These customers know quite well the MK rep needs them far more than they need the MK rep.

    This post shows, sadly, that only some MK reps are aware of this lopsided relationship.

  4. They are now making advertising the responsibility of the consultant … one more expense shifted from corporate to the sales force, for the profit of Ryan Rogers.

  5. I’ve seen a couple of these ads pop up on my Instagram. They were immediately blocked, after I checked out the consultant. =)
    (Yes, the five ads I have seen were all from consultants, not directors.)

  6. It’s “NOT the Mary Kay way…?” WTF does that even mean? A shill operation is a shill operation. If you weren’t “hip” to this previously, get hip – and get out!

  7. Some are worried about corporate being understaffed to find and reprimand the cheaters. They have been understaffed since I can remember. Consultants have been selling on eBay for years with very few getting reprimanded or terminated.

    • Or the truth is that corporate chooses not to really police this. They do a certain amount of policing to make it look like they care about following the rules. But the truth is that they NEED people to sell this crap anywhere and everywhere they can, even at a loss and even in violation of the rules, because they need them to keep ordering more. So the sales director who tops off production every month has to be able to unload this somewhere or she’ll run out of money. Turning a blind eye benefits MK Inc.

  8. “ For years we got in trouble for saying anything slightly wrong on social media, and now it is a free-for-all? I don’t

    You might be in a cult just saying

  9. This is so on-brand for Mary Kay, though. “We offer FREE training”, except for the “room fees” at meetings and your Seminar registration fee (which is refunded in the form of products- on your next qualifying order). “You can earn a free car”, except for the co-pays when you don’t hit your production numbers. “Mary Kay pays for all the advertising for you! Except for the Meta advertising you choose to do. I could go on & on with examples.

    Also, I had to laugh at one consultant who said customers can already party-hop. It’s hard enough to get someone to agree to go to ONEs MK party; I wouldn’t worry about anyone party- hopping.

  10. I found it hilarious that so many people were worried about party-hopping and customers leaving for other consultants. People could have done that anyway and the product isn’t that fantastic to where people are desperately looking for the cheapest find because they just HAVE to have it.


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