ALL multi-level-marketing schemes are unethical by their very nature. They concentrate wealth in the hands of a few, without fairly sharing the effort to generate that wealth. The pyramid model is very popular, but it charges customers a non-competitive premium in order to fund all the middle men up the chain. It is a scheme to motivate network marketing for inferior products at high cost.
Among dubious Multilevel Marketing corporations like AMWAY and ACN, Avon or Marry Kay, are a few good people trying to figure out how to make money. These entrepreneurs are taught how to sell other people's products and services, because they don't have anything else. But beware, the scheme teaches unethical practices, because you treat people as a means to an end, instead of an end in themselves. Any company that asks you to invest YOUR money up front to gain a 'business opportunity' where you will earn 'residual income' without producing a product or service, is a BAD CORPORATION.
I've written this because of a threat to my own industry (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy). American Communications Network, Inc., a phone service company, has begun selling people renewable energy appliances. Beware of ACN collecting homeowner's personal financial information to sell them unnecessary products without properly assessing their building safety or energy needs. All ethical photovoltaic businesses do full home energy audits and building safety inspections, then recommend and encourage energy efficiency remodeling on existing real-estate before installing any renewable energy appliances, like solar panels.
As customers should know ACN, Inc. is not a publicly traded corporation, it is a privately held corporation, so it is beyond SEC control. American Communication Network, Inc. doesn't trade on any SEC regulated stock exchange (note the ACN stock symbol is for a different company, Accenture ).