Have you been approached to become a distributor for Advocare? Read our Advocare company review to learn everything you need to know before joining.
- Charles E. Ragus
- Chairman & CEO: Brian Connelly (2015-present)
- Reid Ward: President and COO
- Brett Blake: President of Global Sales & Strategic Planning
- $586 million (2016)
- Skin care
- Diet supplements
- Energy boosters
Number of Employees
- 250 corporate staff
- 570,509 distributors
- Performance Elite
- 24 Day Challenge
- Drew Brees
- Andy Dalton
- Philip Rivers
- Wes Welker
- FC Dallas
- Roush Fenway Racing (NASCAR team)
- NCAA Football’s Texas Bowl
Advocare was started in 1993 by former NFLer, Herbalife distributor, and Omnutrition International founder, Charles Ragus. Inspired by the motto “Advocates Who Care,” Ragus started the MLM in part as a Christian outreach. The company continues to advertise its 10 guiding principles, the first of which is to “honor God through our faith, family and friends.” Today, the company is one of the longest surviving and highest grossing MLMs in the country. It is primarily known for its 24 Day Challenge, an expensive, short-term weight loss program.
Advocare Income Disclosure Statement
The quickest way to understand a potential MLM opportunity is by viewing the company’s income disclosure statement. You can find Advocare’s Income Disclosure Statement here.
Advocare’s distributors include anyone who purchased the product at a discounted rate or earned income from Advocare itself. Like most MLMs, Advocare entices their future “direct sellers” by offering discounted rates on their products. Members of this group are commonly labeled “distributors,” though only about a quarter do any actual distributing. Though Advocare advertises a 20-40% discount for distributors, the prices are already heavily marked up, making the product difficult to sell.
The average annual income for an Advocare distributor in 2016 was $1,476 though the median was only $116. The few distributors at the top of Advocare (<1%) easily skew the average toward a more marketable number for attracting new sellers, but the median income is a more telling figure for what one might expect to earn. Moreover, these numbers represent gross income and do not take into account any business related expenses that distributors might have incurred while selling the products.
Advocare’s income declined by over 18% between 2015 and 2016. Less than half of a percent of distributors earned over $10,000 and only 0.06% earned at least $100,000.
Advocare Customer Reviews
Advocare’s website contains dozens of reviews and testimonials that can hardly be considered objective. Though Advocare is a non-accredited Better Business Bureau company, there are still 20 customer complaints. However, whether looking to become a distributor or simply a customer, there remain plenty of sources that leave room for skepticism. Most reviews are for the 24 Day Challenge or the 10 Day Cleanse. While reviews are sprinkled with lifesaving accolades, the more believable majority write about product ineffectiveness and credit card fraud. To be fair, some have given Advocare credit for the basic tenets of the diet, advising a similar diet but not necessarily the products themselves. Overall, the consensus seems to be heavy skepticism.
Advocare Employee Reviews
The distributor payouts speak for themselves. It’s extremely unlikely that Advocare will provide anyone with a livable wage. Large scale success in Advocare also seems to require an already established network, and preferably one that is predominantly Christian.
The business model also focuses more on new member recruitment rather than actual product sales, which creates a more substantial “downline.” Any downline results in residual income for the distributor. When it comes to actually selling the product distributors rely less on real knowledge of the product and instead on the “Bulletproof Shield,” a term and strategy devised by one of Advocare’s Platinum members. The shield gives distributors an out when faced with questions they are unable to answer. The key is that it’s based on passive pitch, secondary to the qualities of the product: a “scientific board” directly employed by Advocare and the several professional athletes who endorse the product.
Many former members have also testified to the cultish nature of Advocare’s networking. Veteran distributors advise newer recruits to segregate themselves from anyone skeptical of the company. Massive events are held around the country throughout the year and feature raucous testimonials from high level distributors and celebrity endorsers. And, in Advocare’s case, the first few of their guiding principles are religious in nature.
- Ragus left the company he originally founded, Omnutrition International, due to FTC investigations in its being a “pyramid scheme.” He promptly founded Advocare.
- In 2005 Advocare faced criticism for marketing an energy drink which contained caffeine to children. Spokespeople for Advocare maintain it was a safe level of caffeine.
- Olympic swimmer, Jessica Hardy, filed grievances against Advocare after she tested positive for performance enhancing substances in 2008, resulting in her disqualification from the Beijing Summer Games. Advocare has denied having any contaminated products.