Franchisor-fronted, franchise bar-controlled and franchise banker-enabled associations fit the sociological definition of Organized Crime

June 22, 2012

The rules are well-known and ruthlessly enforced in associations like the IFACFA, BFA, and FCA.

The price for defecting from the group is very high.

Organized Crime
Ashley Crossman

Definition: Organized crime is a social system distinguished by a complex structure resembling a formal organization rather than a loose-knit collection of criminals. Criminal organizations have a hierarchical power structure, a complex division of labor that includes a management system, a formal system for keeping records, and clearly articulated rules that everyone is expected to follow. As criminal organizations become more complex, so do the varieties of crime they engage in. Some criminal organizations are even organized as franchises, much like fast-food restaurants.

Source: Guide

It is a lot more complex than a traditional Cosa Nostra model.

Closer, perhaps, to an international cyber crime organization, trading  in intellectual properties and industry best (worst?) practices (see Cyber-capos: How cybercriminals mirror the mafia and businesses).

It’s the behavior, not what you call it that matters.

Salad Creations Canada: two time award-winning CFA franchisor?

August 9, 2010

Salad Creations Canada and the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA):

birds of a feather flock together.

MBE, The UPS Store executive behind bars

February 24, 2009

I started looking closely into franchising in 1998.

One of my first big system investigations was Mail Boxes Etc., MBE. Since then, that system has morphed into The UPS Store brand and can be followed on Blue MauMau’s thread called The UPS Store, Tales of Gore.

The photograph above is of the president of MBE Canada Michael Martino. He was chairman of the Canadian Franchise Association, CFA and spoke at the International Franchise Association’s, IFA 46th annual convention in 2006.

In December 1998, Martino appeared as a part of an article by John Lorinc in Canada’s monthly national business magazine (The Report on Business). Lorinc, an award-winning  journalist, wrote a very interesting 1995 book called OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: The Truth About Canada’s Franchise Industry which is still available on used book websites. I recommend picking it up.

The accompanying article was called The Sure Thing: Peter Thomas thought he’d bought into a can’t-miss franchise. That was $170,000 ago.

Here is a pdf of the article, courtesy of my Information Sharing Project archive.

Doug Forster took the photograph. We both agreed that franchise executives, as a general rule, should not allow themselves to be posed behind bars.

  • Especially when you read the contents of the article.

Peter and I were sitting beside each other in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario when our first franchise law was passed in 2000.

I sometimes wonder what happened to Peter and to Mr. Martino over the last 10 years.

Anyone know?

UPDATE: A direct link to Lorinc’s article is now available on I’ve also lost touch with Peter since the Ontario franchise law was passed. Hope he is well.

Dead Logos Walking

July 10, 2008

I founded the Canadian Alliance of Franchise Operators, CAFO in 1998 and killed it off in September 2005. I used to run a website called, too.

I still own the logo [left], the trademark and copyright.

Anyone that would like to use it, by all means, copy and reproduce as much as you want. You may choose to use it selectively but please report back as to its effects.

For some time, I had felt the need to compete with the Canadian Franchise Association, CFA which is the franchisor-only trade association. I guess it is the second oldest in the world, next to to the International Franchise Association in the U.S.

I stopped CAFO when it became apparent that it was being used to give false sense of a franchise investor voice. I’d rather be silent that feed into the misrepresentations, half-truths and silent lies. And these were from the people that claimed to be on the franchisee side [wolf in sheeps’ clothing lawyers].

Clever marketing. Useful for some time, I suppose.

  1. The death will never be acknowledged.
  2. It’ll start with single-unit investors.
  3. Liars believe everyone else lies (so they have lost the capacity to trust even someone who doesn’t).
  4. A hint of the desperation and that the law can only divide [not integrate] is shown when the main course fails to show [see 1 and 2].

Take a listen to St. Leonard of Montreal: Everyone Knows

  • But strictly on a good taste basis: Which logo do you like better?

Let me know.

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