AdvoCare International, L.P. is an American multilevel marketing company which sells nutrition, weight-loss, energy and sports performance products. The company was founded in 1993 by Charles Ragus and employs around 250 people in the United States. Its corporate headquarters are in Plano, Texas.
The company distributes its products in the United States through a network of approximately 60,000 active independent distributors, who participate in a compensation plan based on a direct sales model.
Charles Ragus founded AdvoCare in 1993, as a direct sales company that distributes health and wellness products. Before AdvoCare, Ragus worked as a regional vice president for Fidelity Union Insurance, and as a direct sales distributor for Herbalife. He also played professional football for the Kansas City Chiefs. He died in 2001 at the age 58.
In May 2007, Richard H. Wright became president and CEO of AdvoCare. Wright had previously been working as Chief of Staff for US Representative Jim McCrery.
AdvoCare offers more than 70 general nutrition, weight loss, energy and sports performance products including Trim, Active, Well, Performance Elite, and the 24 Day Challenge.
AdvoCare is a multilevel marketing company that uses direct sales for distribution. In addition to profits from product sales, AdvoCare distributors can potentially earn additional commissions from sales by their 'downline' distributors. According to the company's 2013 Income disclosure statement, the average annual income, not including expenses, for AdvoCare independent distributors who have earned any compensation was $1,704.08.
In a 2010 court case Advocare said that it had around 60,000 active distributors, and had sold approximately 350,000 distributorships since 2003.[better source needed]
AdvoCare is a member of the U.S. Direct Selling Association (DSA), and participated in the 2010 DSA Code of Ethics Communication Initiative. AdvoCare President Richard Wright was elected to the DSA Board of Directors in 2011.
In July 2008, Olympic swimmer Jessica Hardy tested positive for the banned breathing enhancer, clenbuterol. Although other athletes had been banned for using clenbuterol, Hardy said she had never heard of the substance, attributing the positive result to either a tainted supplement or sabotage. Hardy took AdvoCare supplements at the time and said in a suit that AdvoCare's product was tainted. AdvoCare sued Hardy for making false claims. An arbitration hearing reduced Hardy's suspension after a scientific expert testified that the AdvoCare product was tainted. AdvoCare disputed the panel's findings, saying that two independent laboratories had not found any evidence of Clenbuterol in the supplements.
AdvoCare ceased offering KickStart Spark, targeted to youth age 4-11, when it was scrutinized by pediatricians for containing 60 mg of caffeine.
Health expert Wendy Miller said AdvoCare's cleanse is probably safe for many users, but she questioned if the same results could be achieved without the products.