Earlier this week, I posted an article on Jillian Michaels’ affiliate program and how horrified I was at the commission percentages for referrals and what that could mean about the quality of her products. I am here to admit I was a bit off on my assumptions (thank you to the person in the comment section who wrote to them about this; you can read Jillian’s company’s response at the end of this post).
Despite my gaffe, this is an excellent opportunity to open a dialogue with them. Raymond Cole, the COO of the company that represents Jillian’s products, is doing exactly what he should do by taking an opportunity to clarify. I was wrong in how I represented the company and he politely and succinctly corrected me. Thank you Raymond. In return, what I would like to propose to you is to continue to clarify the confusion that surrounds Jillian’s products. This is a great opportunity for you to speak to a bunch of fitness-oriented readers about one of the most well-known trainers on the planet, but who still has quite a bit of controversy around her.
I’ve been a fan of “The Biggest Loser” since its first season in 2004 and have literally watched every episode since. I have always been inspired by the heart of the contestants as they have struggled heroically to lose the weight. I was upset when Jillian left the show in the third season because I loved her moxie, and was glad to see her return as a trainer a year later. I’ve been a fan of Bob Harper as well.
But as the show has gained in the ratings, I’ve seen lots of things that I consider flat out inappropriate and I’ve seen the commercialism of the show take off in very questionable directions. It’s one thing to push plastic baggies to store food in; it’s another for a trainer to endorse a group of supplements that results in a law suit. What this does is leave me with questions which I hope you could address. Even better, if I could have the opportunity to speak directly with Jillian, herself, and have her answer these same questions either for this site or for AOL’s That’s Fit where I’m also a writer.
For the record, I want Jillian to be a high-level trainer because she does have the ability to literally inspire millions. I want her to be the “Dr. Oz” of trainers with all of the credentials in her industry that he has in his. I trust what Dr. Oz says (and have even bought his books) because of his impeccable resume. I would love to have the same respect for Jillian. So here are the questions:
What exactly are your credentials for training?
The IDEA Fitness article last fall said that you only had two lower level certifications and that one of them was an online only credential. What do you consider to be adequate training for a personal trainer in a health club setting?
Do you have any specific training to work with the morbidly obese population? What are the challenges of working with this population? What are the increased risks?
How much training have you done with kettlebells? The people in the kettlebell community were quite upset with the videos that you posted on YouTube that have since been taken down. Why did you take them down? What are your qualifications for working with these weights?
How much training have you done with yoga? Most yoga training programs require between 200 to 500 hours of instruction. Which training program did you take? What did you like or not like about the program?
When did you first start working with clients as a trainer? Did you work in a gym or did you work in people’s homes?
You referred to your “chubby” past. What motivated you to overcome your weight issues and keep them off so successfully?
Why do you support a 14-day cleanse and a whey protein drink over just eating regular food? How are these products more healthy or helpful than eating a simple, proper diet?
If you can, would you care to comment on the lawsuits that have been filed about the supplements that you promote?
Below is Raymond Cole’s unedited response to my prior post (he left a comment on the article). Let’s continue this dialogue. I am know I am asking difficult questions of Jillian, but if her qualifications and other reports have been misconstrued, this is an excellent opportunity to clear things up in the public’s mind.
I’d love to know everyone’s thoughts, please chime in!
Raymond Cole’s response to my prior artilce:
I’m the COO of Empowered Media, which operates the Jillian Michaels brand. Your blog post was brought to my attention and I wanted to take the opportunity to explain the Jillian Michaels affiliate program.
The affiliate program is based on membership subscriptions to the jillianmichaels.com PAID website. Unlike the consumer product-based affiliate programs you referenced, the Jillian Michaels affiliate program is NOT based on the purchase of products. There are no affiliate programs for any Jillian Michaels consumer products.
To explain the aforementioned, I’ve copied below how the Jillian Michaels affiliate program works from jillianmichaels.com and also provided the direct link for your reference.
We appreciate you noting the richness of the Jillian Michaels affiliate program and welcome you and your followers to join.
Raymond C. Cole
Empowered Media, LLC
How the program works:
1. Sign up to be a publisher through Linkshare.
2. E-mail our affiliate team. Be sure to include your Linkshare member number and your website’s URL.
3. Follow the instructions on the invite to join our program through.
4. Place banners and text links on your site.
5. We will pay you 70% of the sale price for every paid subscriber. You have the opportunity to earn up to 90% of the sale price per subscription. A win, win situation!