Products that I have declined include:
• Multi-level marketing schemes (also known as network marketing). To be clear, some are legit. But generally in MLM, the product is secondary; what's really for sale is the unattainable dream of quickly building a downline, getting rich quick, and quitting your day job after just a few months. The only people who get rich in these schemes are those who enroll in them early. Later enrollees are their prey.
• Alternative medicines and alleged nutritional products. Most are flimflam. If you don't believe me, read their disclaimers. Those that aren't flimflam can interfere with other medications and have side effects, so they should be used only under the supervision of a real doctor. (Note: a real doctor. Not a chiropractor, naturopath, acupuncturist, aura manipulator, psychic healer, etc.) Never mind the so-called clinical studies. If I wanted, I could produce a clinical study showing that listening to Prokofiev instead of Mozart will make you live longer. (Come to think of it, though that's not true, it should be.)
• Purported stock market prediction products/systems. They don't work. All they do is encourage people, many of whom can't afford to lose, to risk foolishly.
• Weight-loss hypnotherapy. There is still only one proven weight-loss method: eat less, eat smarter, and exercise more. Trouble is, there's not much money in that plan. No valid test has shown hypnosis to be of any effect.
• Astrology. It's bunk.
• A lobbying group that would scare the daylights out of anyone who thinks highly of the First Amendment.
• Subliminal self-improvement CDs. You know, the kind you play while you're asleep. Bogus.
I am sorry to say that, a few times, I have been duped into selling products which I later learned didn't work. Here are a few:
• Stock market prediction software. I took on this client before I knew better. They were great people, most of whom I think believed their product worked. Though, looking back, it is curious that no one in the company used the software to get rich—except by selling it.
• An antioxidant product. Never mind what you've read to the contrary. Antioxidants don't do anything but cost you money. I didn't know that at the time.
• A high-tech device. Devices of this type work. But, three years after the account moved to another agency, I learned that the engineers of this one had lied to me about their patented chip's advantages. Evaluating their claims required expertise and high-tech toys unavailable to me, so I believed the PhDs and wrote ads based on what they told me. I'm still mad. (I lack sufficient documentation to fend off a lawsuit, so for now I must be silent on the details.)
Thank goodness there are still plenty of legitimate products for my agency to sell. Otherwise, I'd have to return to my first job at age 16. Don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with busing tables at Denny's. It just wasn't the long-term career I wanted.