Monday, May 24, 2010

Get Motivated to Investigate Get Motivated!

Well, it's finally almost time for the much-advertised Get Motivated seminar at the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis this Wednesday.

Today's Star Tribune had two stories about it -- one in news about expected traffic problems (there's a a Twins game, too) and the other in Variety about the seminars in general, giving a balanced journalistic look at the events.

David Brauer at MinnPost noted the Strib story on his BrauBlog, as well as an earlier story in the City Pages that I'd missed. Brauer also ran down some of the SEC work concerning the seminars, so that was helpful. It turns out Investools, one of the products pitched at Get Motivated, got a $3 million fine from the SEC. According to Brauer, "The SEC alleged that the two salesmen misrepresented themselves as successful investors, and that the company failed to police its salesforce or the use of a self-selected customer survey."

Nick Pinto, writing for City Pages, attempted a bit of forensic accounting: $5 a ticket in a 20,000-seat arena equals $100,000.... which is probably just about what Rudy Giuliani gets paid for his short appearance. Not even covering Colin Powell, Sarah Palin, or Brett Favre's fees, let alone the facilities rental, or the dozens of full-page ads they've run over the last two months (which Pinto helpfully tells us sell for $21,000 apiece).

I hope some of these journalists will be at the event to observe what's being sold and how, and how many members of the audience take the bait.

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