Talk:Vector Marketing/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Added POV Template

I've noticed that several people have complained that a controversy and criticism section exists. I believe one should based on numerous news reports that I've read, so I've created one that addresses the allegations made against the company and incldued rebuttals. Some have complained that is not neutral to report on criticisms of a company, but I find that argument unconvincing. A controvsery exists or has existed, as evidenced by stories in online general newspapers and student newspapers. To ignore that controversy would be just as biased as only reporting complaints about a company.

Note that people's general comments are not considered significant or adequate citations unless they are recorded in a significant source. I've read the talk page, and I can understand why some people don't think it's fair to criticize Vector Marketing. Despite allegations that the company is a scam, people have been paid legitimate money. I tried to reflect that sentiment in my edit, and the article can be edited to show even more support for the company if necessary. And if you've been paid, good for you. I couldn't be happier. But to ignore all the allegations against Vector Marketing because you don't believe it's a scam is not presenting a neutral point of view when there are those that do believe it is illegitimate. Their voices must be heard, and if the facts are against the complaints, point that out in the article. Mastermund (talk) 06:34, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Actually, you might want to review Wikipedia:Describing_points_of_view; insofar as your voices are concerned, they aren't worthy of introduction not because of our beliefs but instead because they are not reliably sourced. Phentos (talk) 05:30, 10 June 2008 (UTC)


extent of company / location / other useful figures section?

anyone care to find out all of the states / countries that vector operates in? how much money do they make off the program / pay rates, etc? Nnnudibranch 20:16, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

One Sentence

At the end of "Criticisms" the statement...

"students who work for Vector Marketing are considered independent contractors and are not reimbursed for money they spend on gasoline used while working or for the time they spend at training sessions, however, they do get to write off their miles driven going to and from appointments and office trips."

appears. I wasn't sure if this was deletable or not, or if its already been discussed. I figured I check here so I wouldn't step on anyones toes. The reason I suggest deletion is because the gas and miles is tax deductible; so people do get the money back. Also, for me, I get 16$ per appointment + 3$ per appointment "for travel". This is also very biased since all jobs require driving and very few (none that I know of) reimburse their employees. Therefore I find this to be inaccurate, biased, and a misleading comment and I just wanted to check here before I did anything, since this article is having enough trouble staying neutral. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SomeGuy11112 (talkcontribs) 18:50, 8 August 2008

The cited references are:
  • Lucchesi, Nick (2004-02-04). "Vector Marketing targets unaware college students". News. The Journal. p. 2. Retrieved 2008-06-05.  (But Vector also seems to have a number of downsides. "You have to attend weekly meetings you don't get paid for, you don't get paid for gas," said Bell [a former Vector seller].)
  • Deal, A. Matthew (2006-09-26). "High wages for student work - but beware". Campus News. The Carolinian. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-06-05.  (The main problem that Vector's detractors cite is that many employees of the company are "independent contractors," which means they are not eligible for employee benefits such as health insurance, employee training or payment for transportation. Since sales pitches are sometimes given in a person's home, sales representatives pay for their own gas.)
So these newspapers have cited statements that you do not agree with - fair enough, but please read Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. This principle means here that we do not write our own opinions into the article, and that we do not include or exclude notable opinions according to whether we agree with them or disagree with them.
This is also very biased since all jobs require driving and very few (none that I know of) reimburse their employees. - One could point out that your argument is obviously wrong, because most jobs only involve driving to and from the job before and after the work time, not during the job, and on those that do it is highly unusual that the employee has to pay the drives. But discussions like these are irrelevant and discouraged on Wikipedia, for the reason pointed out above. If we find another notable publication which contests this criticism, we can include that opinion too. Until then it remains your personal opinion.
Can I also ask you to sign your posts on this talk page by appending four tildes (~~~~) to them, and to append new threads to the bottom (you can use the "new section" link at the top for this). I had reverted your deletion because it did not contain any explanation in the edit summary, and because on this talk page there were no recent comments visible about this passage.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 22:48, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Hummanity Blues blog

I have once again removed the information about Vector being a "scam" that is cited to the Humanity Blues blog. There are official policies concerning why such an assertion, as cited, is not appropriate for a Wikipedia article: Please see WP:Verifiability#Reliable sources and WP:Neutral point of view#Undue weight. Also see the guidelines WP:Reliable sources#Statements of opinion and WP:External links#Links normally to be avoided. Thank you. — Satori Son 15:27, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Wall Street Journal article

Cutco and Vector Marketing was just in the Wall Street Journal because of the continual increase in sales during the recession and the opportunity provided for college students. It is titled "Nice Summer Job- If You Can Cut It" It explains it takes hard work but there is certainly money to be made. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.41.79.129 (talkcontribs) 04:32, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

The article was "Summer Job: Nice Pay, if You Can Cut It" by Eileen Gunn on August 5 2008. tedder (talk) 19:05, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Talk page clean-up

Please be aware that this talk page on 12/15/09 was recently cleaned up by tedder to comply with WP:NOTFORUM. Cutno (talk) 20:31, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

That refactor is here. Looks reasonable to me. — Satori Son 17:57, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

error

Illinois State University is in Bloomington/Normal, Illinois, in the center of the state about 3 hours away from Chicago, not "in Chicago".. please correct —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.158.173.141 (talk) 07:42, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

I see you eventually fixed it - thanks. Any editor is welcome to fix these kinds of errors. I've wikilinked it as well. — Satori Son 17:54, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Information without citations

Please understand that most people who have experience from Vector Marketing are high school students. Many of these high school students don't write books and don't write articles. Most don't even have an official blog. They usually cannot use quotes from Facebook as "proper" citations. Students try to contribute to the collection of information from personal experience by editing Wikipedia, however are refuted because of lack of citations. The cost of opening a new blog to write entries is higher than the cost of adding a few words on Wikipedia. Once the cost of writing blogs becomes lower than the cost of editing Wikipedia, only then will you see an abundance of sources. Otherwise, you will continue to have this problem of uncited information appearing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.3.246.53 (talk) 12:22, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Well, regardless of the ability of high school students, blogs are not accepted sources anyway. I do understand the hardship of those unable to accurately write to this article because of that sort of limitation. Phearson (talk) 17:47, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
No offense 173.3.246.53, but Wikipedia looks for information recorded objectively and with journalistic standards in mind. Amateur bloggers cannot be relied upon to write according to those standards. While there are many people who may believe that Vector Marketing is untrustworthy, we must rely on established reporters. Anecdotal evidence is not reporting. Until the day comes when the media establishment comes crashing down and all we have left are the bloggers, this website for one will not count on amateur journalists for news reporting. Mastermund (talk) 02:59, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
The line between "Amateur" and "Professional" is difficult to establish. Although an "established reporter" has a higher chance of understanding of the subject better, there is no guaranty that the reporter's information will be of higher quality than that of an "amateur". People can write about information professionally, but not be taken seriously because they are not writing from under an established media.
Even if you disagree with everything I wrote above, I would at least find it productive to write in a "Citation Needed" sign instead of deleting anything that does not link to a professional article. Perhaps someone with more time on their hands can find a proper citation. 204.52.215.9 (talk) 19:34, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
No matter how you feel about the established media, Wikipedia has adopted strict rules that it only publishes information that has already first been published by reliable sources. Remember, as an encyclopedia, Wikipedia is not a primary source, or even a secondary source: It is a tertiary source of information. In short, if some "high school student" has some personal observations about Vector and wants to get that information into this article, they need to convince a news reporter, not us. Finally, it is perfectly appropriate to immediately remove information that has not been cited to said reliable sources. — Satori Son 19:56, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
If it is apparently "perfectly appropriate" to immediately remove information that has not been cited to said reliable sources, then apparently there is no need for a "Citation Needed" sign in the first place. 204.52.215.9 (talk) 21:43, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
I didn't say it was mandatory to remove the info, I said it was appropriate, and it is. The {{citation}} tag is a courtesy template that can be used at an editor's discretion for non-controversial, minor details. It would "apparently" be helpful for you to re-read WP:BURDEN. — Satori Son 00:30, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Which parts of the article in particular? Phearson (talk) 00:21, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Removing tags placed long ago

As of now, (with the article in it's current condition)would it be fine to remove the dispute and citation tags? Phearson (talk) 20:50, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Being there has been no discussion on this for a month I have done so. Phearson (talk) 22:55, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

business model section rewrite

i removed the mostly promotional content sourced entirely by primary refs associated with the subject, article read like i was being pitched a job before. moved and edited more factual info from lede to rewrite the section from a NPOV. any objections/concerns, let me know. cheers WookieInHeat (talk) 05:25, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

I like what you did, fixing minor errors and such. I do have a small concern though about removing the "formally Alcas corp" part. The company only recently changed it's name. Phearson (talk) 23:47, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
sure if you would like it in there, just figured the companies wikilinked article would discuss that. if you think it should be in there, by all means. WookieInHeat (talk) 03:32, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

WP:Battleground

This article seems to have be a combination of two things: axe-grinding, and puffery. Wikipedia is not supposed to be either. Please see WP:Battleground and WP:SOAP. I'm going to have a go at a more-neutral and fact-focused rewrite. AkankshaG (talk) 23:22, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Could you point out exactly what you intend to change? Phearson (talk) 01:05, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Stylistically, the Apple Inc. article is a good model. It gives a broad overview of the company, including history, corporate structure, leadership, products, advertising, controversy, corporate outreach, and is heavily referenced to reliable sources. Generally, it's just much more neutral in tone, which is what we should strive for under WP:NPOV. Sorry it took so long to reply -- I work very long hours during the week, so I don't edit much on Wikipedia except on weekends and days off. AkankshaG (talk) 17:30, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Modeled on the Apple Inc. article, I have now uploaded a new version of the article. My goal was to present a more complete version, yet maintaining neutral language meeting our requirements of WP:NPOV. AkankshaG (talk) 06:09, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

NPOV Dispute

Hold up! I reverted the edit and would like to point out that some key things were removed, The cited unfairness of the company was removed and the current federal lawsuit was completely obliterated. The further paragraphs added seem to be undue weight, reading more like an ad about the company's participation in other organizations. I laughed when I read that a collage franternaity was included in talks with Vector, and seem to only serve purpose of advertisement. Instead of adding everything all at once, lets review each section you want to add, discuss the removal of the other content. Phearson (talk) 06:26, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Go ahead and add-back everything controversial that you wish. I won't dispute anything that's supported by reliable sources under WP:RS and is neutral. AkankshaG (talk) 06:29, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
There is some undue weight issues that need to be addressed as well that requires your participation. If you are willing to give me a bit (or rather, a couple of hours since I am EST 130am, I will point out the things that may be a problem. Phearson (talk) 06:33, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
As I said, if you think the article is unbalanced, go ahead and add back all of the controversy section if you think that will help. What I am asking for is for you to allow the article to be different than the version you have maintained for long periods of time. The version you are trying to preserve is more like an axe-grinding session than an encyclopedia article. It's fine to have controversial information in an article -- the Apple article I cite does, and yet is a complete article. I understand that your previous username was Cutno, and that you might want to maintain the article as one decidedly negative, but that's not allowed by our rules. AkankshaG (talk) 06:41, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
I will admit that I do have a tendency to be not as Good Faith Giving as others, but this particular article is targeted by Cutco in removing content critical to its operation. Yes I did hold that username before, but I changed it because it would occur to people I may have a slant against the company. My recent editing history will reveal that is not the case. It may interest you to know that I got a rather nasty message from someone that might of represented the company. As for the content, I will start moving things back here in just a few minutes so that we have a coherent article. Phearson (talk) 06:52, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Like I said, go ahead and add back ALL of the Criticism & Controversy section if that makes you feel better. Please revert back to the version offered first, and then add-back in that entire section if you wish. AkankshaG (talk) 06:56, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for discussing this with me. I don't mean to be offensive when I say then, but most people move on after they've had a negative experience with a company. It's not healthy to stay fixated on negative experiences for long periods of time, and it often does a person a world of good to focus on something that might actually improve their life, rather than extracting revenge against somebody that does you wrong. Anyway, I hope you understand that our rules here require us to leave those battles behind us, and to try to build a neutral encyclopedia. I've been editing here since 2006, and have found that in the end the most stable version of an article is not one that presents a particular slant one way or another, or that "presents all points of view" (ala television news and commentary shows with battling parties), but one that presents a neutral point of view, with an almost boring straight-forward presentation of the facts without WP:SYNTH. Anything less won't survive long here. Thanks for listening. AkankshaG (talk) 07:28, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
I am seeing a lot of links that only refs vectormarketing.com. Most of these cant be used because they need a more reliable source (news etc). The pictures themselves are an issue because they are from another wiki, And I cannot verify the licensing issues with that being that mybizwiki.com belongs to www.viziworx.com which does brand development and internet-marketing... I don't like the look of this, I need assistance from the other editors here, but I'm returning the things I think are crucial here and I will edit more tomorrow. Phearson (talk) 08:07, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Non-controversial corporate info can certainly be taken directly from the corporate website under our rules. As to viziworx, I have no idea what that is, or why it would have a bearing here. I grabbed those photos because they were licensed under CC 3.0. I see that you are trying to revert back to your previous negative version, and have to alert you again that Wikipedia requires that we be neutral in our presentation. I hope that you will not insist on owning the article, as I think you know that's not permitted on Wikipedia under WP:OWN. AkankshaG (talk) 08:18, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

I believe the edits I am making are creating more balance. However, the more I look through the changes, the more WP:SOAPBOX I see. And it will be fixed accordingly. As for WP:OWN, This works both ways. Phearson (talk) 08:26, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Tax Deductibles

Some of our editors have repeatedly entered information regarding a "Tax-Deductible" that supposedly could be entered for the transaction of the knives. This cannot be so under the current Tax-Law for several reasons. Particularly, Cutco/Vector Marketing touts these as "Deposits", meaning that the money will be returned upon receipt of the knives, its not selling- Therefore, not a real business expense that can be claimed on the tax forum. Also, there are other tax-laws in play where ultimately you will lose money when you report fiscal earnings. As a "independent contractor" you will be responsible for taxes due for your "Business". Phearson (talk) 04:07, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Do you have reliable sources that discuss this specifically? In other words, not synthesis or howto? tedder (talk) 04:12, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Not specifically, to source the exact wording of US tax law regarding Business taxes would take too long. I'm going to have to admit guilt on Synthasis regarding my expertise in this area (used to account for family business). Though, recent edits are not cited either regarding if indeed the knives are tax deductible. If editors can find source, please include it. Phearson (talk) 04:45, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, I agree that it should stay out of the article until reliable sources talk about this specifically- such as if WSJ was to say "the deposits are tax-deductible". Simply citing tax code (to support or discredit the theory) isn't sufficient. tedder (talk) 04:49, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Phearson - while I find most of your work on this page admirable, I'd advise you to stay well clear of anything that might even slightly seem like interpretation of tax code/law. You'd be amazed at what might be construed as 'offering tax advice' - and the potential consequences. I get that you did bookkeeping for a business, and thus know quite a bit about tax rules. While that seems relevant, it is ABSOLUTELY apples-to-oranges. Whether you're right or wrong on the tax law is irrelevant; whether you're (intentionally or not; in reality or not) offering tax advice IS the issue. Here's my advice: steer well clear of saying anything, ever, about legal or tax issues. And, if you must, say things like "IN MY OPINION, ____", and follow it up with "I am NOT a tax professional; you should seek qualified expert advice for any tax or legal matters". Sounds like overkill; it is. But that's the sad reality of the legal environment we live in. A Doon (talk) 21:51, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Reminder to All Employees/Contractors/Vendors/PR

In accordance with WP:COI, editors who have a business relationship with Cutco & Vector Marketing are not allowed to edit the articles related to their companies. This policy is in place to prevent bias and to prevent wikipedia articles from becoming free advertising. You may however, use the talk page to communicate to other editors your edit requests. If your request is valid and does not violate policies, it will be acted upon unless there is a concern about the content of your edit request, which will require follow up by the requester. Phearson (talk) 04:46, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Merge proposal

Both the Cutco and Vector Marketing articles have nearly identical Controversy and Criticism sections. It seems to me, and I believe other editors, that the controversy is not about the Cutco product, but rather the Vector business practice. It does seem that there is some information in the Cutco article section that hasn't made it into the corresponding section of the Vector article, so I am hesitant to just delete the superfluous section.

I instead propose a single Controversy and Criticism section to exist only on the Vector Marketing page. --Greenguy1090 (talk) 19:15, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Second. The product is not controversial itself, supposedly its the marketing side of its approach. --SomeGuy11112 - 08/08/08 .... :)
I disagree. People considering employment with CutCo will run searches for "CutCo," not "Vector Marketing." Leaving no section on the hiring controversies could lead people to believe that there have never been any controversies associated with CutCo. Keeping a section here could save a lot of people a lot of trouble. --Darkfrog24 (talk) 15:07, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm going to agree with the original belief for a variety of reasons. First off, those seeking employment with CUTCO Cutlery would be, generally speaking, unionized factory workers in Olean, NY. Representatives for the Vector Marketing Corporation are not employees of Vector, they are independent contractors and they are certainly not employees of Cutco. Second, you will be relatively hard pressed to find an advertisement for the job that mentions Cutco. Third, it seems a little bit inelegant for an article about a company to be primarily spent dealing with a related company rather than the products and services of said company. Overcannon (talk) 20:45, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

I have removed the suggestion. Cutno (talk) 20:05, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Page revert

I have restored the article to the version prior to the modifications made by AkankshaG. The overall reading of the article makes it look like it's lifted from some company brochure to tell people how good they are. The photographs of a Make a Wish Foundation Child and the guy that played Cliff on Cheers also push it over into this area. The quality of the images are also questionable. I don't know what MyWikiBiz's policy on images is, but I really doubt that images of this quality should be so small to be of use. If they're truly free, they wouldn't be smaller than most standard computer monitors' resolutions.—Ryūlóng (竜龙) 03:43, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Why do we need to see Ratzenberger at the factory? It is entirely unrelated to the article other than to say "The guy from Cheers likes our product!" "Look at our nice looking employees and products." And unless that wheelchair is made from Cutco knives I don't see how that has anything to do with Vector Marketing.—Ryūlóng (竜龙) 03:49, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

I more or less have to agree with you. At the beginning of the new article revision by AG, she removed key criticisms from the article as discussed above. I have been pretty much all evening been investigating much of the source and editing it. The article style was great, but there were lots of issues regarding the sources. The pictures were of special interest to me, as they were uploaded to mywikibiz right before they were uploaded to Wikipedia, almost immediately. I am awaiting response at the content notice board regarding that issue.
To sum up, this major edit was indeed puffy, With no disrespect to AkankshaG. But I do see alot of potential here. Phearson (talk) 03:53, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Phearson, in the future, do not rename any section you did not make to turn it into a different topic.
And AkankshaG, I have reverted your edits to this page, again, because you added the overly promotional content, again.—Ryūlóng (竜龙) 03:00, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
If you can point out what it is that you are talking about, I would be happy to revise. I added in the full Controversy & Criticism section, which is basically the entire article at this point. I don't mind working things out, that's fine. I just don't think the article should look like the basket case that it currently is. If you look at Apple, Inc., that's what I used as the model for my draft. AkankshaG (talk) 03:06, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
It doesn't matter what you put into your version of the page. It's bad. Everything in your version of the article other than the "criticism and controversy" section reads like a promotional advertisement for Vector Marketing. Wikipedia doesn't need to say anything about the sales representatives, the organizational structure, it's relationships with academic organizations, etc. It's all saying "LOOK AT WHAT WE DO FOR THE COMMUNITY, BUY OUR CRAP". And also, you have capitalized the first letter of every single article header. This isn't done. Even so, do not revert to your version of the article and just fix the capitalizations. Nothing in your version is useful for a neutrally written encyclopedia. And your draft of the article in no way resembles Apple, Inc..—Ryūlóng (竜龙) 03:22, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
Are you saying that User:Phearson/User:Cutno's version is appropriate? AkankshaG (talk) 03:35, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
The current version of the page is better than yours.—Ryūlóng (竜龙) 03:42, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
I'd like to note that I have done very little to this article, and that most of the content has come in from other editors. And yes, I have from time to time removed seemingly positive material that is unreferenced. Most of my edits have been non-controversial, and the other regular editors have not raised concerns. Ryu and I however, feel that the article you have presented is very promotional in nature. It lacks any of information in previous edits at all... and you kinda came in with very little warning and complete replace the article, without providing any offers of inspection of said article in the sandbox you built it from. I admire you were WP:BOLD, but no discussion took place about your version, other then a vague reference to the Apple article. I agree that the article in its current state is not very positive, but per Ryulong, this is the best we have atm, and yours is not currently acceptable as is. Phearson (talk) 05:23, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Controversy and criticism

"Vector Marketing, in the past, has required sales representatives to make a security deposit of $135 + tax in order to procure a set of knives for demonstrations..."

This practice continues at present, according to the hiring interview I attended yesterday. --Volkai (talk) 17:30, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Please see WP:NOR. Can you find a reliable source for it? tedder (talk) 18:45, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think that its possible to find a proper source, perhaps you could get the information in writing from the company itself? If possible, try to get it from a manger and insist that this information is given to you in writing with a signature. You could also tape recoard, but there are legal implications that you may need to search out about recording someone. Cutno (talk) 18:58, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Actually, the company is currently working on a program to eliminate the security deposit portion of the program. This program is referred to as a "Free Loaner Program" and is currently in a pilot phase, so a number of offices across the nation are operating without charging a sample kit deposit. Overcannon (talk) 21:06, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Do you have a reliable source? Phearson (talk) 00:34, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
I am an affiliate of Vector. Last year, the company piloted a program where two divisions in each region of the company switched to a free loaner program. The divisions in question improved, and the top division in the company by approximately a 40% margin was on a free loaner program. Early this year, the entire southwest region switched to the free loaner program. I was informed that the regional switch was company-wide, and the program was promoted on a conference call for the entire company. As for getting a reliable source, I am not sure what would be classified as reliable. I found an internal document online that describes the "Free Loaner Program." That document appears to be a full year old when the scope of the program was only used if an office was forced to do so by litigation, but that apparently changed when the company saw that it positively impacted recruiting. The only reason that the company didn't do anything like that before is that the program increases the liabilities on the managers, and I could see how it might have a very averse impact on branch managers. Anyways, I'll see what I can do about putting this page in contact with a Public Relations person who would have the authority to actually release documents. If you want to find out for yourself, call their number, go to an interview and ask them directly in the pre-screening if a rep has to pay or put down a deposit for the sample kit. That shouldn't occupy more than 10-15 min of your time.Overcannon (talk) 05:37, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
We can't use that as a source.—Ryūlóng (竜龙) 05:43, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
What sort of documentation would be workable as a source?Overcannon (talk) 05:45, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
The policy is verifiability and the guideline is reliable sources. I have not examined the issue being discussed here, but we need good encyclopedic reason to report details of what a company is doing (the company website is the place to record offers). Johnuniq (talk) 06:27, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, that will create a primary source, but we will also need secondary sources, such as news outlets (IE not PR release websites). I'd advise against going or calling anyone. That will create original research, which is not allowed. Phearson (talk) 14:34, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Neutral nomination discussion

Page Diffs

[1] When introduced by AG.
[2] Last edits to the page to fix multiple issues before current revision by Ryulong.

For the consideration of other editors for the Neutrality Review. Phearson (talk) 04:11, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Neutrality discussion

I think that we need to find a middle ground between the two extreme alternative versions, both of which have POV issues. The status quo ante version that has been restored does appear to focus a bit unduly on the issues regarding student-salespeople, while this version proffered as an alternative comes off entirely as a puff piece for the company, with a tiny mention of the issues raised regarding contractors. An intermediate version that drastically tones down the puffery of the promotional version, removing the too-extensive details in the "Partnerships with Academic Organizations" and the advisory board and business relations sections while re-adding material regarding concerns about business practices, would provide some measure of balance in an article that sorely lacks it. Any volunteers willing to give this a stab? Alansohn (talk)

I want to cut up AG's version, getting rid of a bunch of "organization this, organization that, initiative etc". Way too much PR stuffs, the style is nice admittedly, but the pictures have to go. Phearson (talk) 19:21, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

I will address these issues over the NYear's weekend. Sorry, I work 12-14 hours a day, and don't have much energy left for Wikipedia after a long day. AkankshaG (talk) 04:20, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

:There is a probable WP:COI issue regarding User:AkankshaG and Ciplex, until I can hear back from her, and then voice my concern to the community, we need to hold off on any revert backs of her work. Phearson (talk) 18:27, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Further revelations have resulted in an ANI [3]. I think further talk on this issue is unnecessary at this time. Phearson (talk) 07:12, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
ANI discussion archived here. — Satori Son
That is actually a pre-emptive archiving by Mizabot (Bad bot... BAD!) The finished ANI has more with a recommendation of going to other boards. ANI. No action was taken in regards to socking, but COI still stands as an issue and discussion has started here

the main argument here seems to be over the decidedly negative tone of the article regarding vector marketing. i would like to point out this is the case because literally all of the WP:RS used in the article are discussing the company in a negative light. if you read the sources, even the sources used to reference neutral parts of the article talk about the company negatively. if the sources used to reference the vector marketing article all discuss the company in a negative light, this is what the wikipedia article should reflect. WookieInHeat (talk) 06:06, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

The other version of the article focuses entirely on puffery meant to make the company look good to investors rather than for a neutrally written encyclopedia.—Ryūlóng (竜龙) 06:16, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
yes, exactly. i cut out all the unsourced content and content sourced to the companies website about a month ago, this is what i was left with. not exactly the most flattering, but like i said, it reflects the sources. WookieInHeat (talk) 13:47, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Tags

Since no further discussion has been brought up for about two weeks now, I'm going to go ahead and remove the tags. If you feel that this isn't finished, please feel free to replace them. Phearson (talk) 00:52, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Management buyout

Tedder, do you know what a management buyout is? It's (always, by definition) when the person(s) currently employed to manage the business buy the business from the owners.

As a result, the end of the sentence tells us who these managers were: The new owners were the people who were employed by the owners to manage the business up until the date that the managers bought it from them. The only way to be more specific would be to include their names. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:51, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

It would benefit the article and its readers to know who bought it. Otherwise, its not notable as to who owns it, and the sentence simply becomes clutter. I'll see if I can't find out who owns the company now. Phearson (talk) 21:16, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, I know what a MBO is, but there is no enumeration of who those individuals are or were. In other words, "several managers" is vague. Better would be to list the owners. tedder (talk) 21:17, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Okay, After surfing between the astroturfing and the claims of Cutco/Vector Marketing being a scam, Google reveals a link from the NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/16/magazine/16CONSUMED.html signs point to a unnamed holding company and its chairman by the name of Erick Laine. I'll see if I can't find out more. Phearson (talk) 21:36, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Err actually, he was the chairman until 2007, since then the company has changed its name from Alcas Corp. to Cutco Corp. so... If I am reading this correctly, The Holding company would be Cutco International Ltd? I am really confused here. Phearson (talk) 21:47, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm currently researching who the managers were with respect to the buyout. I'll update this when I find something. Chicago2011 (talk) 04:59, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
Since no one has found anything in three days, I've gone ahead and rephrased the sentence. There is a lot of Primary sources associated with the history, and I am suspecting the company may have altered the history a bit so that it is protects its owners. But It is a privately held corp with private stock, and I cannot find any tax records to find out who owns what. Phearson (talk) 18:09, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
And if none of our WP:Independent sources bother to publish their names, then we don't care what their names are, anyway. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:17, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
FYI - Info on the names: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=gmail&attid=0.1&thid=12eca04b294df9b3&mt=application/pdf&url=https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui%3D2%26ik%3D38d1488d91%26view%3Datt%26th%3D12eca04b294df9b3%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dattd%26zw&sig=AHIEtbR9nw28wEm_ogF12gcX1gofHqasBQ Erick J. Laine - Alcas president and majority owner under the agreement

Laine’s associates (all veteran employees of Alcoa or its subsidiaries): David L. Curtis - general manager of the specialty division Ray A. Kohler - products development manager Robert Lorenz - controller Chicago2011 (talk) 02:17, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Nice work, but not acceptable per WP:RS. But at this point, I don't think it really matters. Phearson (talk) 13:57, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Security deposit

What does everyone think about gutting the following section? It seems irrelevant to talk about what they used to require. I don't think it adds anything to the article unless we can find a reference that suggests the group changed the policy because of complaints, or something to that effect. Any thoughts?

"Vector Marketing used to require sales representatives to make a security deposit of approximately $150 (25% of the samples' market value, plus tax where applicable) in order to procure a set of knives for demonstrations, prompting some to complain about this policy (the deposit was refundable if a representative chose to quit or the contract was terminated and the sample kit was returned)." Chicago2011 (talk) 04:20, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia strives to cover events as they stand in a larger context, not just how they exist at this moment- see Wikipedia:Recentism for an essay on the topic. There are plenty of sources (and even a court case) discussing the deposit requirement; I'm having trouble finding information to cover the Cutco/Vector/Chicago2011 point of view that discusses how they've ceased the deposits, let alone why they've ceased. I changed the wording as a compromise, as they've clearly discontinued the deposit requirement.
In other words, the security deposit is one of the few things that makes Vector newsworthy. tedder (talk) 04:31, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't think that a deposit is unusual. In fact, if we can find a source for it, it might be better to say that unlike most similar sales outfits (Tupperware, Pampered Chef, Amway, etc.), Vector doesn't require a deposit (any longer). WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:32, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
But for all historic purposes, it did at one point require it. And it appears that the former independent contractors raised a stink about it back then. Phearson (talk) 18:43, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I have no objection to including the information, and do not propose to remove it. The only change I would make is to place that information in the proper context, which is that this practice is apparently standard for the industry. We wouldn't want our readers to leave the page thinking that Vector was extremely unusual for having required a deposit. In fact, they should probably leave the page under the accurate impression that Vector is now unusual for no longer requiring a deposit. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:14, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Okay, but we have secondaries that say they no longer take deposits? I have only seen the primary the info, and even that didn't explicitly say they no longer accept deposits. Phearson (talk) 12:23, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Phearson is correct. All info here needs to be cited to reliable, third-party published sources. The sourcing requirement applies to both assertions (whether Vector requires sales deposits any longer and whether those deposits are/were "standard for the industry"). — Satori Son 13:40, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
I am going to change it back, cite 13 which is a website owned by vector, has the following "In exchange, the company collects a security deposit of $139", and since I have yet to see anything that meets WP:RS regarding that they no longer do, that info should be removed. Phearson (talk) 14:50, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Hi Phearson, as promised here is the source I found for changed deposit policy. http://vectormarketing.com/got-questions/#faq7 Stacjo102 (talk) 18:21, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Okay great, but now we have conflicting information coming from the same Company. But, I'll exercise some discretion here an past tense the info. If anyone disagrees, feel free to RV my edit. Phearson (talk) 18:32, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm confused why you think this is conflicting information? Thank you for including past tense in info. I think it would be further helpful to include information in Business model about how Vector Marketing representatives are given a Cutco sample kit at no cost, after completing training, that they are able to use during demonstrations and for personal use. The sample kit is free to borrow as long as the representative is an active Vector Marketing sales representative - the kit must be returned if the representative concludes work with Vector.
The information in the Controversy section: "even when the deposit was refundable if a representative chose to quit or the contract was terminated and the sample kit was returned. The sample kit must be returned if the representative concludes work with Vector." can then be removed because of redundancy. Stacjo102 (talk) 19:55, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
But, it does highlight that they did, even though... etc. Phearson (talk) 19:59, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Ok makes sense. So is it then appropriate to add info in Business model about free sample kit or loaned sample kit? Stacjo102 (talk) 20:16, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
The focus of the article is on the company, not the sample kit. Phearson (talk) 20:25, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Spoken Word Audio

I have added a spoken word audio file to the article, feedback is appreciated. Phearson (talk) 00:10, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

That's great, but it will be out of date as other content is added. Not sure why you added the audio file in the midst of all the article changes. Chicago2011 (talk) 21:35, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
It can be changed later on. Phearson (talk) 22:21, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

UCSB student paper writeup

Vector Marketing, another business widely deemed a “scam”, has also been known to target UCSB students. Vector is a sales firm responsible for marketing Cutco Cutlery. They lure in students by writing their website on classroom chalk boards, www.workforstudents.com. They boast about their flexible hours, simple sales techniques and great pay. After charging recruits for their own set of Cutco knives (sometimes just for a deposit on them), the students are expected to sell the sets of knives independently through in-home demonstrations.

...

In 1996, The Washington Post reported that of 940 Vector recruits surveyed, nearly half either earned no money or actually lost money through working with the company. Vector even inspired a group called Students Against Vector Exploitation (SAVE) who meet monthly to discuss proper injunctions. But they only have such groups on the east coast.

Any idea where the WashPost article from 1996 is? tedder (talk) 01:50, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Behind a pay wall. Phearson (talk) 03:46, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Can you link to it, or give the author/date/title? I can probably get at it. tedder (talk) 05:23, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
There was a Washington Post article on July 1, 1996 by Peter McKay titled "For Vector Marketing, the question of the hour". It was probably that article. Alanraywiki (talk) 05:30, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I just looked up the article via university library access. That is the correct article and it states that Wisconsin "surveyed 940 Vector recruits in 1992 and found that almost half either earned nothing or lost money working for Vector, because the company encourages workers to lease or buy a sample set of knives for their presentations." Alanraywiki (talk) 05:45, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Additional

I have supplemented the Wisconsin Lawsuit with the wash. post article. I'll be back later to add the student article. Also, there is additional stuff that I like to see from an archive somewhere thats mentioned in the consumer reports article:

"The Toronto Star wrote an article about fraudulent job advertising in 1994 and wrote that they decided not to run Vector's ads anymore. Lewis & Clark's college student newspaper in Oregon wrote an article in 1997 calling the company a "scam" and interviewed a receptionist alleging she was told to deceive students over the phone."

Also, the crit section needs reorganized. Phearson (talk) 12:21, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Additionally, Crit. has been updated to reflect the Wash. post's quote, and the student article added to reflect the Con-Vector Marketing group SAVE. Thoughts? Phearson (talk) 18:48, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

There is a typo, but the article is locked...

Near the bottom, you will find "Harris alleged that Vector violated California and federal labor law by failing to pay adequate wages and illegally coerced employees into patronizing the company." Coerced should be changed to coercing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.149.21.211 (talkcontribs) 18:03, May 18, 2011)

 Done Phearson (talk) 22:47, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

press release for inclusion

It's a primary source, but there are some interesting tidbits in there about teaming up with universities for marketing classes. This sorta confirms my opinion that Vector/Cutco should be merged too. tedder (talk) 15:52, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Isn't Press Releases considered unreliable? From WP:42, Nothing written by the subject, paid-for by or affiliated with the subject. Not their website, a press-release and certainly not primary sources. Phearson (talk) 16:02, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
42 is mostly about notability of an article. For filling out an article, WP:ABOUTSELF is closer. In other words, if it is for relatively trivial things and the writing on this article is neutral, it's okay to use a press release or other self-published source. For instance, if Vector Marketing said they were founded in 1949 and there was no reason to dispute that, there's no problem with using Vector as a source for Vector. On the other hand, if Vector said their knives were better than J. A. Henckels, that would need a better source. tedder (talk) 16:07, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Also, in regards to merging, Cutco is a parent company of Vector, KA-BAR, and Shilling forge. To make them one and the same would not be a good idea. For Example, HMS Host is a child company of Autogrill Inc. And Taco-Bell is a child company of a holding llc. But these articles do not redirect to its parent. Phearson (talk) 16:11, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
In what context is this source to be used? Phearson (talk) 16:14, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Context- a short sentence about "Vector has partnered with sales classes at University of Calgary, Purdue, and Illinois State University." tedder (talk) 16:29, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
I have no problem with that. There are plenty of sources that back that up. Phearson (talk) 16:59, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Article Revising

Chicago2011 Wants to work with us to incorporate his version of the article. I have moved his version to a sandbox here: User:Chicago2011/sandbox so that any interested parties could work, comment and review. It is important to note that Chicago2011 was hired on behalf of Vector Marketing to improve on the article, and that we are under no obligation to accept a revised article unless it meets all relevant rules and policies, meets WP:NPOV especially, and by consensus of those involved. Phearson (talk) 20:15, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

I think there's a fair bit in that version that is usable. I think that the ==History== section is probably all right, and it's appropriate for an encyclopedia article to contain some corporate history. I don't know if we care about ==Business and accreditation memberships==. What do other people think? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:49, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm not a fan of "company X is part of the Rotary Club and the BBB" or silly things like that. Every company has a few stickers in their window. I don't want to babysit a sandbox; I'd prefer that specific changes be discussed here, even if it is done by WP:BRD. Making en-masse changes like has been done is unacceptable, because it's hard to see what is happening. Instead, I'd prefer one discussion or change at a time, with some time (one or more days) between changes. tedder (talk) 23:01, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Would you find such associations attached to a entity in a encyclopedia? Unless Vector wins the Nobel Peace Prize and joins the Alumni association, I think not. BBB in particular is of no help other then to say "LOL YES TOTALLY LEGIT COMPANY BUY THEIR STUFF!" As for DSA, its nothing but a lobbying association to protect their members business practices from becoming regulated. And everything else is just PR fronts to recruit more members for the business. We are certainly not in the business of advertising companies' standings.
As for Tedder's concerns, I agree. We can nitpick and add/subtract little by little, until we have a satisfactory article (but isn't that what we were doing before?). Major changes a No-Go. Especially after what happened last time. Phearson (talk) 23:39, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Is everyone of the opinion that the whole section on accreditation/memberships be removed? Chicago2011 (talk) 20:55, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't think it needs it, and assuming "I'm not a fan of "company X is part of the Rotary Club and the BBB" is Tedder's way of saying no, then no. But I can't speak for Tedder, but I'm sure He'll be around... Phearson (talk) 23:54, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
That's my way of saying no. The DSEF stuff might fit on the DSA page. tedder (talk) 03:52, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

MLM/Direct Marketing Discussion

Please see my recent (and very minor) edit to the business model section. Vector is a direct sales company, so I made that distinction (instead of multi-level marketing group, which was vague). I also changed "which" to "that" for grammatical purposes. Just an FYI to all. Chicago2011 (talk) 16:02, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
But that is not what the source says. Phearson (talk) 17:26, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
Phearson - The source is referring to how Vector builds its work force, which is not common knowledge. The fact that it is a direct sales group is common knowledge (and not controversial). To say that Vector Marketing is a direct sales company is the equivalent of saying McDonald's is a fast-food restaurant. You might note that multi-level marketing is a synonym for direct sales, but direct sales is the more colloquial (and I believe more appropriate) term. Let me know if you disagree. Chicago2011 (talk) 04:34, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
"more colloquial" sounds like saying "more euphemistic". Wikipedia tends to describe things by what they are called. So if Vector was in poultry sales but sources tended to call Vector a "meat market", Wikipedia would call Vector a meat market. Common knowledge should be backed by reliable and verifiable independent sources. tedder (talk) 04:46, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
It's common knowledge that Chuck Norris can use anything as weapon in a confined room, including the room. [citation needed] Phearson (talk) 05:48, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
Tedder - if that is the case, every sentence in every article should afford a citation. Regardless, I've replaced the source. Chicago2011 (talk) 03:35, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, every sentence in every article should have a citation. Or several cites. See South Park Blocks as an example, and WP:V for documentation. tedder (talk) 03:38, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
See WP:MINREF and WP:LIKELY for information about how to interpret that. There simply is no "one citation per sentence" rule anywhere on Wikipedia—as a brief glance at any Featured article should prove. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:32, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
There's certainly no such rule. But WP:V certainly applies, especially for articles with a long history of POV content. tedder (talk) 05:26, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Regardless, it still verifiable as a Multilevel marketing corporation. Phearson (talk) 03:43, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Is that a typical description? Even the most reputable newspapers occasionally get things wrong.
Will our readers be left with a reasonably correct understanding? For example, when I see something described as MLM, I assume that sales people are expected to recruit other salespeople, and derive a commission from their sales, and that these new sales people are expected to do the same, producing a further fractional commission. Is that how Vector operates? If not, then perhaps we should exercise some WP:Editorial discretion. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:31, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Tim Burns (public affairs director for the Better Business Bureau) "also mentioned Avon, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Cutco, Vector Marketing, Primerica and Amway as legitimate multilevel marketing ventures that are accredited by the Better Business Bureau." - [4]
The BBB even says they are a MLM. Seems pretty concrete to me. Phearson (talk) 04:40, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
The BBB also refers to them as a direct sales group. And they are members of the Direct Selling Association... http://www.bbb.org/upstate-new-york/business-reviews/cutlery/vector-marketing-corporation-in-olean-ny-1105/ Chicago2011 (talk) 04:20, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Another item of interest, Why are they seeking legal advice from MLMlegal.com? [5] Also, I'm started to think that direct selling, direct marketing, etc. seem to fall under a broad category of Multilevel Marketing. Wouldn't just make sense to call it by its main category, then note it subcategory? For example "Vector Marketing is a multi-level marketing, direct selling group that builds its work force..." or something along those lines? Phearson (talk) 18:20, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
It seems to me that direct sales is unrelated to MLM. That is, most MLMs use DS, and most DS use MLM, but that it would be possible to have DS without MLM, and MLM without DS.
When the neighbor girl comes by to sell trinkets for her school club, that's DS, but not MLM. Similarly, when the local farmer parks a truck on an empty lot and sells his own produce out of it, or sends his family members through downtown with a bucket of flowers he grew, that's DS, but not MLM.
I don't think it reasonable to say that DS is a subcategory of MLM. It is entirely possible that Vector is both of these things (Tupperware, Pampered Chef, Avon, etc. are both), in which case both ought to be identified. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:44, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, what proof does any of us have that it is/isn't. Current sources say it is, yet conflicting information is being brought in. Time for an RfC? Phearson (talk) 20:24, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm not certain that I understand your statement. I'm aware of zero sources that claim that MLM == DS. Are you?
If, on the other hand, you meant to say that we need proof that Vector is both MLM and DS, then I think we have that, since sources make each of these claims (without ever saying that MLM and DS are synonyms.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:17, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
This corp/PR jargon is giving me a headache. Why not just say its both a MLM and a DS? Even that doesn't make any sense to me... Would anyone here agree to an RfC to the situation? I'm going to pre-emp tag this for expert attention. Phearson (talk) 01:14, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Both works for me, since we have reliable sources claiming both (and, so far as I know, no sources disputing either). WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:09, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Fine by me. Phearson (talk) 12:26, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

This source might help clear it up a bit: http://www.mlmwatch.org/04C/NSA/juiceplus.html

I think journalists often confuse the terms "MLM" and "DM." “MLM is a form of direct sales in which independent distributors can make money not only from their own sales but also from those of the people they recruit.” By this definition, Vector isn't MLM. Thoughts? Chicago2011 (talk) 02:14, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

"MLM is a form of direct sales"
Not to be rude, but this really tells me that MLM is a broad spectrum of selling, and DS is included within that spectrum, and it sounds almost Exactly like Vector. Also, note near the end, it appears this author was attacked by the subject subject company. Phearson (talk) 14:13, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Phearson, that's incorrect. MLM is NOT a broad spectrum of selling. Direct selling is the larger spectrum, and multi-level marketing is a type of direct sales. Some direct sales groups are milti-level, while others are single-level. Vector is single-level. It's a rather black-and-white difference.

http://www.morebusiness.com/running_your_business/management/Direct-Sales.brc http://www.usatoday.com/money/smallbusiness/columnist/abrams/2002-10-03-mlm_x.htm Chicago2011 (talk) 21:31, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Only confirms that we were correct to include both terms. But I am not convinced. Seems to be disputed terms among the industry. As for the article, I think we are done with MLM and DS editing for this article. Phearson (talk) 22:20, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
It's not correct to include both terms because MLM is INCORRECT. It is not disputed within the industry. Marketing professionals are well aware of the distinction. Apparently a select few journalists are not. Chicago2011 (talk) 23:54, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
And you know this how? And by "select" who specifically? Phearson (talk) 03:39, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Determining which journalists are sloppy doesn't matter. It's a fact of life that journalists sometimes screw up on the fine points.
Chicago, we have a variety of sources that claim Vector does MLM. Are you aware of any sources that directly say that Vector is single-level or not MLM? WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:04, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Single-level sales is hardly used as a term (because sales are inherently single-level unless otherwise specified). Direct sales is the appropriate term. Here's a mention of Vector as a direct-sales group in the Indianapolis Star last week: http://www.indystar.com/article/20110404/BUSINESS/104040338/Commercial-real-estate-digest?odyssey=tab%7Cmostpopular%7Ctext%7CBUSINESS Chicago2011 (talk) 02:43, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Since we have "reliable" sources saying that Vector does MLM, we actually need something that directly contradicts this, either by saying that Vector does "single-level marketing" or "does not do MLM". (In the meantime, it seems that Vector's marketing folks might want to contact a few of these sources and get corrections issued.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:38, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
http://www.directselling411.com/forms/CompanyFormPublicMembers/view?id=7F300000051 Here's a link that references Vector as direct-sales. Could you please explain how Vector is an example of MLM, if you stand by those references? Chicago2011 (talk) 03:22, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Per WP:NOTFORUM We don't need to. If a reliable source says MLM, it must be MLM. But since we have mixed sources, we have come to an agreement to have both, since there is confusion on both the meaning of the words and what Vector Marketing reportedly is. Phearson (talk) 12:01, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Additional articles confirming single-level marketing: http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/advice-from-top-single-level-direct-sales-company-vector-marketing-college-students-1515636.htm, http://www.hanfordsentinel.com/news/local/abab04e6-7caa-11e0-95d7-001cc4c002e0.html and http://gamutnews.com/20110601/13675/vector-marketing-encourages-companies-to-partner-with-universities.html — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.174.69.199 (talk) 00:44, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Marketwire and Gamut News are both press releases from Cutco, so those are not considered reliable sources. Not sure of the editorial policy is on the Hanford Sentinel. 72Dino (talk) 00:49, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
I've asked the appropriate noticeboard to evaluate. Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#hanfordsentinel Personally, I don't think so. Article has no author, and we still have mixed sources regarding what vector is. Phearson (talk) 03:30, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
UPDATE: An editor has responded back, stating that its not a "very strong source" in particular to our situation of MLM v. SL. It may be possible that the paper just published a press release nearly verbatim. Phearson (talk) 05:29, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Cutco Foundation

I wanted to propose a new section to the article entitled "Cutco Foundation." Similar Wikipedia pages have a foundation section (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avon_Products). The foundation, which is driven by Vector, has awarded educational grants and scholarships and contributed to regional medical practice. This section won't be as long as the Avon article (I think that's excessive), but I wanted to include that link for comparison. Thoughts? Chicago2011 (talk) 03:15, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Are there reliable independent sources discussing it? If so, it's worth adding. But I'm not finding many sources- google mainly finds press releases. tedder (talk) 03:23, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
An article on the foundation would be more appropriate at the Cutco article rather than the Vector Marketing article. According to the 2009 foundation Form 990, Vector Marketing only contributed $14,000 to the foundation so it is hardly material for this article. Thanks, 72Dino (talk) 03:25, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Facepalm Good god... Avon. That article going to need an editor's jackhammer to get that in compliance. By no means should that article be compared with this one in means of content, per WP:OSE. Phearson (talk) 03:56, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
I'll look into sourcing for this section. Chicago2011 (talk) 00:16, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
Proposed text for new section, "Foundation." -- The purpose of the Cutco Foundation is to provide Cutco Corp. and its subsidiaries - Cutco Cutlery, Vector Marketing, Ka-Bar and Schilling Forge - a mechanism for contributing to the growth of the society in which its employees live and work. Vector Marketing is a sponsor of Pi Sigma Epsilon's annual Pro-Am Sell-A-Thon, an annual sales competition for college students.[1]Chicago2011 (talk) 04:09, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
Why again should a section about the foundation be at the Vector Marketing article instead of the Cutco article when, according to the most recent 990, Vector Marketing only contributed $14,000 to the foundation whereas Cutco Cutlery contributed $600,000 and Cutco Corporation contributed $180,000? Information about the foundation seems to be more appropriate at the parent company Cutco article. 72Dino (talk) 04:19, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
Agreed, also, we threw out that college crud when AkankshaG tried to redo this article, Reeks of Fluff. Phearson (talk) 13:46, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Officers/Administration

Looking for new ways to add to this article... thoughts on including the names of Vector's four executive board members in the History section? http://vectormarketing.com/our-people/ Chicago2011 (talk) 00:19, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

No problem with that. But in context of the article, I see it would be hard to fit, thus requiring some changes. What do you intend to write/change for their inclusion? Phearson (talk) 05:24, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
Unless the four people are celebrities, I don't think our readers will really care who's on the executive board. It doubtless matters to the investors and senior management, but the average reader, who probably stumbled across the page with Special:Random, just isn't going to care. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:55, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
There are no outside directors at all listed on their website, much less any notable ones with a Wikipedia article (that would be worth including in a governance section). I would not include the list of employees that make up the executive board. 72Dino (talk) 16:43, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Biggest Manufacture claim

"As of 2011, Cutco is the largest manufacturer of kitchen cutlery in the United States." I am behind a paywall and cannot look at the rest of the article, but that is a very disputable claim. Is there any other articles to back up this one sentence line from the cited source? Phearson (talk) 15:24, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

This source, Knives Illustrated, says that Cutco is the "largest manufacturer of kitchen cutlery in the United States and Canada." http://www.knivesillustrated.com/manufacturers.html —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chicago2011 (talkcontribs) 15:17, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I added the ref, included canada, and changed the first part to "Cutco claims" because I'm certain that any company will attempt to claim that as well. Phearson (talk) 16:41, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
When you have an independent newspaper directly saying "Cutco Cutlery is the largest U.S. kitchen cutlery maker," then I don't think that you should qualify that statement as "Cutco claims". In fact, there's zero evidence in either of the two listed sources that Cutco has claimed any such thing. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:16, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I am inclined to agree, but there really isn't any data that backs up either reference. Assuming both sources only rely on what the company says to place in the description. But I'll change it regardless. Phearson (talk) 14:55, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
We don't need data; we need sources. A newspaper article is a perfectly acceptable source for such statements.
BTW, I have reverted the recent removal, on the grounds that it just ain't so. My favorite web search engine says that Dexter-Russell is the largest U.S. manufacturer of professional cutlery, not the largest U.S. manufacturer of any type of cutlery, which is the claim that Cutco makes. The non-professional (=intended for use in homes) cutlery market is much, much bigger than the professional market. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:20, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Argument on NYT Ref

The edit of which you are referring to is here [6]. I am not seeing how "Professional" (with or without) changes anything. "Professional" could just be a advertising gimmick. and NYT is probably more reliable then then the Biz Journal paywall with a one liner, and a brief description in a specialty magazine that could have been placed exactly how the subject wants it to be written. It's just as bad if Vector wrote it on its own website. I think that it should reverted back. Phearson (talk) 04:30, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Per WP:V: Base articles on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy... Questionable sources are those with a poor reputation for checking the facts, or lacking meaningful editorial oversight.
There is no reason to believe that the sources given to back up the statement are reliable per WP:V, by that I mean there is no reason to believe that there is any meaningful editorial oversight, and the "articles" appear to rely solely upon news releases from the company. If the same newspaper produced an article on the company that originated in-house that said the same thing, then I would not have a problem. However, a short blurb that appears to be a cut-and-paste of a company news release, I have problems using that as a source for almost anything. If the newspaper received the news release, and assigned someone to do a full write-up, I would not have a problem. When newspaper in name fails to act as an active participant in a story, which very much appears to be the case here, then I do not see how that particular article in that particular newspaper can be viewed as a reliable source for the statement being made. Paradoxically, it is a perfectly fine source for stating that the company had opened a third retail outlet.
"The non-professional (=intended for use in homes) cutlery market is much, much bigger than the professional market." Yes this is true, however the home kitchen market is dominated by Wal-mart, Target, and other big-box stores in the physical world and online sales are dominated by Amazon.
If we are going to make a broad statement about an entire industry, we need a reliable source, which is something we do not have at the moment. So the statement should be removed. Brimba (talk) 14:23, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Just as a suggestion, why have it at all? I previously mentioned that this was going to be disputed, and its borderline advertising. Perhaps some editor discretion is in order? Phearson (talk) 17:31, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
About the Walmart (etc) bit:
The claim is that they are the biggest manufacturer in the US, not the biggest retailer or the biggest manufacturer in the world. Walmart does not manufacture knives, and even if they did, almost nothing that they sell was made in the US.
Providing an accurate description of the company's position in the market is not "borderline advertising". If we had a source saying that they were the sixth largest manufacturer of knives in the state of Vermont, we'd correctly and encyclopedically describe them as the sixth largest manufacturer of knives in that state.
We have zero reason to believe that this statement is wrong. The source is a regular newspaper, which is practically the definition of a source with "editorial oversight". That an editor personally believes the piece is poorly edited puff (perhaps because it says something vaguely positive, for those who think that mass production is a good thing?) isn't really something that Wikipedia's policies care much about. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:50, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
But is this a majority view, or significant minority? WP:UNDUE. Phearson (talk) 05:26, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Given that zero reliable sources contradict the claim that it's the largest manufacturer of knives in the US, it is obviously the majority view. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:11, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, I cannot find anything to the contradictory, but this information should be taken with a grain of salt. This is only source and occurrence of this bold statement. The source itself is behind a paywall, so how can we know that the next few paragraphs might contradict this statement? And per Brima's concerns: "When newspaper in name fails to act as an active participant in a story, which very much appears to be the case here, then I do not see how that particular article in that particular newspaper can be viewed as a reliable source for the statement being made.".
Other then that, its a positive, although likely to be disputed further when contradictory statements turn up. Phearson (talk) 02:02, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
If contradictory sources of an equal (very modest) quality turn up—which I honestly don't expect; have you tried to buy American-made knives recently?—then we can deal with it then. In between now and then, we should follow the sources that we have. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:14, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Students Against Vector Exploitation (SAVE)

I'd like to propose removing the following line from the article text: "The company's alleged unethical actions created an activist group called Students Against Vector Exploitation (SAVE)." SAVE is an obscure organization without a website. They only have a Facebook group with 80 members. I don't see how their mention is worth including. Any thoughts? Chicago2011 (talk) 00:20, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

One of the founders of the group brought a successful lawsuit against Vector in the state of New York and its documented in Ref 16 & 19. I think that its inclusion (as brief as it is without too much detail) should be allowed. Just because it doesn't have a website doesn't mean it isn't worth mentioning. Phearson (talk) 04:57, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Agreed, I think the sentence should be kept. I removed the redlink to the group's name as it does not appear they will be independently notable any time soon. VQuakr (talk) 15:38, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't think I'd keep this. The lawsuit, sure. The mere fact that the group exists, no. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:52, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
Then merely for the lawsuits it is. Phearson (talk) 04:30, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
So I looked at the linked source, and now my questions is... What lawsuit? The source says,
"Vector even inspired a group called Students Against Vector Exploitation (SAVE) who meet monthly to discuss proper injunctions. But they only have such groups on the east coast."
That's it: No information about actual lawsuits, no information about anything, except for the mere fact that it exists (in some places) and has monthly meetings. Is this really WP:DUE? I can provide an equal source for a similar little anti-abortion student group, but I'm not sure that I'd add the mere fact that it exists to Planned Parenthood. There are thousands and thousands of ad hoc student groups like this.
The sentence as currently written is obviously wrong (think about it: it says that the company's actions created the group), but I'm not sure that it should be included at all. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:21, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
There is currently only one group that is documented in two reliable sources, and that is SAVE. There are not thousands of groups that are opposed to one large issue, as you have compared it to a very, very, hot-button issue, and makes this argument very one-sided if we were to just go on that.
From what is read in consumer affairs: "Lauren, the co-founder of SAVE just recently won a case with the NY Dept. of Labor alleging Vector to have breached the independent contractor- client relationship making her an employee, and Vector has sent her a check to compensate her work during unpaid training." It says a lawsuit was brought, but whether it was supported by the group is unknown. The news has reported a lawsuit occured, and the plaintiff won. It also would make sense that the group is on the east coast, as Vector's main office is in the New York state. Whether its tiny or not makes no difference, its brief mention is used to show that there is contempt amongst the public for the subject.
Now, a re-write may be in order to reflect thebottomline source, "Vector even inspired a group called Students Against Vector Exploitation (SAVE) who meet monthly to discuss proper injunctions." But what of the lawsuit by the co-founder? Surely that cannot be ignored? Phearson (talk) 01:46, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
The fact that a group of people exists is unimportant. The fact that the individual's lawsuit was successful is far more important than the fact that a group of like-minded people talk to each other.
For comparison: I can find more, better, and more detailed third-party, reliable sources that discuss WP:WikiProject Medicine than anyone believes to exist about SAVE. WPMED has lasted longer, involves more people, and has a bigger effect on the world than SAVE. (Actually, now that I think about it, WPMED might (barely) meet WP:ORG.) But I wouldn't mention WPMED's existence in the article on Wikipedia, because the mere fact that a group of people exists is really unimportant (and boring).
So I'd mention the lawsuit here, assuming that the lawsuit itself is described in more than one source, but I'd focus on its substance (e.g., unpaid training should have been paid). I might mention the fact that the plaintiff co-founded SAVE, but I wouldn't mention only that SAVE existed (what we're doing now). That's uninteresting, unimportant, de-contextualized information. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:11, 15 June 2011 (UTC)


Facepalm "The fact that a group of people exists is unimportant." So, SAVE is not relevant, is unimportant, uninteresting, and should not appear in this article whatsoever because it is De-contextualized? Got it. Guess what? Sounds like WP:IDONTLIKEIT. While I agree that it needs to rewritten to match it's source documents, its complete removal from this article cannot be tolerated. They are or were there, And its presented in a historical context. Removing it would be like removing the fact that the Tibet monks attempted to protest against china's occupation. I am sorry, but I don't think that should happen. I do want to stress that a rewrite is certainly in order. But I am not convinced by your argument that it should go away completely. Phearson (talk) 05:46, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

KGNS-TV article

KGNS-TV in Laredo, Texas: "Teen Finds Job Not What He Signed Up For". Mostly a personal account. tedder (talk) 03:45, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

I'd give it a pass. It's a WP:PRIMARY source and thus of strictly limited utility. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:57, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
Not sure of the usability, enough of Vector's shenanigans is documented. but it shows that Vector may have "Lied" instead of "seldom explained" about the nature of the job. Phearson (talk) 04:28, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Not really: it shows that one person now says that what he believed the job would be was different from what he experienced the job to be. We don't know what caused the discrepancy, and I can think of multiple ways for that to happen. For example, it could be that the manager said something like, "Door-to-door sales aren't very effective and aren't very safe, so we don't recommend it. The best salespeople approach people they know, rather than asking complete strangers to open to door to a strange guy carrying a bunch of knives. We don't recommend door-to-door; we recommend that leverage your network."
Given my experiences with teenagers in community volunteer work, I would not be the least bit surprised if some teenagers mis-remembered a speech like that as something like, "I promise that our sales reps never, ever, ever go door-to-door." Among those teens whose families have put them under pressure to get a job that doesn't involve door-to-door sales and who don't want to spend the summer flipping burgers, I would not be surprised to hear that half of them would "forget" exactly what they were told. Wishful thinking is a powerful cognitive lever: I'm going to get rich quick, I'm not going to smell like hamburgers all summer, and I can "honestly" tell Mama that I didn't sign up for door-to-door sales.
There's just as much in this source to support a claim that the teen is lying about what the manager said as there is to support a claim that the manager was lying about the nature of the job—which is to say, nothing. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:39, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
I think that this source can be safely ignored. As for the claim the teen is lying, WP:PROVEIT. As I believe you have said before, if it is reported in a reliable source, who are we to dispute it? Not as exciting when its the other way around now is it? Phearson (talk) 13:21, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't believe that the teen is lying; I equally don't believe that the manager was lying. If you look carefully at the the source, it doesn't actually say that anybody told lies. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:06, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
I must of misread your sentence then, apologies. Phearson (talk) 01:16, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
No actually, he does with this sentence: "He claims the superiors lie outright about what the job entails from the start." Phearson (talk) 01:18, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
You're right; I somehow overlooked that line. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:32, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Misleading Sentence Revision Proposal

Under the Business Model section it states: "Students are hired to market Cutco products (mainly kitchen knives) to customers, typically their friends and family members via one-on-one demonstrations."

It seems a minor error, but an error nonetheless. Students are not hired to "market" Cutco products, they are hired to sell them. The article being cited states: "People who sign up to work with Vector Marketing start off by selling Cutco knives to their friends, family members and anyone else they can arrange appointments with." Link to article here: http://www.cbc.ca/streetcents/archives/guide/2001/10/s02_01.html

Therefore, the sentence in the Wikipedia article stating they are hired to "market" does not reflect reality nor the article it is citing. I would make the change myself, but this has been tagged as a controversial argue, so I brought it up to the group first for debate. (GeniusApprentice (talk) 23:05, 14 June 2011 (UTC))

I think that sounds like a reasonable change. It's probably just a case of someone trying to use the fancier-sounding word, without realizing that sales and marketing are materially different. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:08, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
No objection here either. Phearson (talk) 01:14, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Already  Done Phearson (talk) 22:20, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Good catch. Chicago2011 (talk) 02:12, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Wisconsin

Under the Critisism and Controversey section of the article it claims that Vector no long recruits in the state of Wisconsin. I tried to look up the article it cited but would have had to buy it, but i digress. I live in Wisconsin and work for Vector. I was hired this summer after responeding to a letter I recieved in the mail. So I guess disputing this really depends on your definition of "recruits" but it's food for thought. Oleson454 (talk) 19:57, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

The article does state that "Vector no longer recruits salespeople in Wisconsin." However, the article is 15 years old so it sounds like the situation may have changed. 72Dino (talk) 20:22, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

No fee

When I worked for Vector Marketing there was no fee for the kit, the only requirement was to make phone calls to people by either recommendations, 411.com, whitepages.com, etc. even if you knew them or not cause "they are your neighbors" to set up presentations, selling Cutco was a plus. If you could not fullfil the requirements then you are told to bring back your kit so the manager does not get charged $300 plus for a kit we are told we can buy for $84 after we have been making money or reached our first promotion and have been given a certificate that states you truly work for Vector Marketing selling Cutco. Cain2786 July 29,2011 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cain2786 (talkcontribs) 05:46, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

We need a reliable source for any of this information, unfortunately. tedder (talk) 07:32, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
I doubt vector would give that information to the media. Shill for a company you just began working for in exchange to get a demo kit? Not sure how one would want to present that for sourcing purposes. Phearson (talk) 16:52, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't think it's especially unusual for someone to take a short-term sales job for the purpose of getting a discount on the merchandise they're selling. I have known several young women over the years who sold Tupperware for a few months for the primary purpose of being able to outfit their own kitchens at a sizable discount (something like 30% off retail, if memory serves). That this happens in the standard retail industry is widely known, especially with respect to part-time retail jobs during the holidays. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:28, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
I must have misunderstood the statement. I thought you had to "recommend" Cutco on websites. Phearson (talk) 15:12, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Astroturfing? That's more "marketing" than "sales", since improving the company's overall reputation doesn't get a commission to the individual doing the work. I think that by "recommendations", he meant "potential customers who were recommended to you by name". WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:45, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Marketing is fun

Look at the audio version of the article here. The loud of the section "Controversy_and_criticism" is more than twice lower :) So, listen it with high volume http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vector_marketing_spoken_word.ogg -- Andrew Krizhanovsky (talk) 19:03, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

The user who made the audio recording has invested a lot of time defending this article against marketing representatives who have tried to remove/rewrite the section entirely. Perhaps one's voice gets tired over time if you aren't used to making such recordings? ThemFromSpace 22:13, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
I do apologize, I will be redoing some of my earlier audio recordings, but an exact date I cannot give to when I will do so. Phearson (talk) 17:22, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
EDIT: I can explain why both Youtube and Vector's recs are low. I have Both Linux and Windows OSes on my computer, and I switch frequently between them. Both use different drivers and have complicated settings (especially when it comes to linux). Quality of recs. vary and I do try hard to make them as the same as possible. Apparently, I sacrificed quality out of the necessity of time and do apologize again to those who believe that this was done purposefully. However, if you look over my edits pertaining specifically to Vector Marketing, you will find that I have spent most of my energy do what exactly Themfromspace has said, I have invested a LOT of time reverting misguided representatives. Check the archives for our most volatile encounter with user:AkankshaG, it was the furthest and most uncomfortable thing I have ever done to ensure this article maintained a Neutral perspective. Phearson (talk) 17:41, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Why not request page protection if the page is consistenly being vandalized? I think the audio recording is kind of neat, but I'm not sure using it to preserve the record is the correct purpose.  Leef5  TALK | CONTRIBS 17:25, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Because it requires proof that the vandal is going to keep it up. I cannot comment whether or not the recording should stay, but it is of historical interest, as it was current at the time. See the disclaimer. Phearson (talk) 17:41, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Audio Updated

To address the concerns, the audio file has been replaced by an updated one. Feedback is requested. Phearson (talk) 20:36, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for taking the time to do that! I'll check it out. Chicago2011 (talk) 03:58, 17 August 2011 (UTC)