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Franchises Takes Center Stage in Reality TV

Viewers ought to be aware of the heavy-handed editing in reality shows. While the filming might not be so scripted, the franchise brand is usually shown in the best light.

"My fear is that there will be a general misperception among Americans about franchising. They'll say, 'Oh it's this easy. ... This is something that will feed me for the rest of my life," says Don Sniegowski, founder of BlueMauMau, a blog about franchising. "This is dangerous ground. A franchise can be a wonderful thing, but if you get into the wrong concept, particularly with these new franchise systems, some of which are featured, it's dangerous."

There is also a concern about a brand, such as Complete Nutrition, that is still unknown to viewers. While the show may be good exposure for newer or smaller brand, and ultimately result in higher sales, is it a proven business?

"This is really high stakes for a person who makes a mistake and gets a franchise system that is a dud," Sniegowski says. "If they're going to be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars, they need to get a sense of the bigger picture."

Ryan Zink, president of Complete Nutrition, says he and founder and CEO Cory Wiedel (both featured in Sunday night's premiere) had plenty of discussion internally and with the producers before they agreed to the show.
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