Category Archives: In the News

ShamWhat?! ShamWow’s Vince Offer Weds Earth Woman!

Vince OfferFormer ShamWow champion Vince Offer has managed to use his legendary salesmanship to convince an earth woman to tie the knot. The salesman from another planet wed Melody Claire in Malibu, California, before friends and family. Continue reading

‘As Seen on TV’ Search: Lots of Promise, No Winners (Yet)

Direct-response TV product marketer Top Dog Direct did not pick any winners at last week’s Shark Tank-like pitch-a-thon in Philadelphia. But it did see lots of very creative folks with lots of creative—and often bizarre—product ideas. Such as a bib made for sloppy adults. Continue reading

Legendary Billy Mays Mentor Al Spino Dead at 78

Watching him in action in this video, you can see where Vince Offer gleaned much of his humor, if none of his bombast. Al Spino, the original pitchman for ShamWow, was a mentor not only to Offer, but also to the late, great Billy Mays and a slew of other industry big-mouths. On March 12, Spino, who was featured in the 1999 documentary Pitch People, left this world at the age of 78 to hawk As Seen on TV products in the great infomercial in the sky.

“Life’s a pitch!”

Fellow pitchman Andrew Sullivan posted this memorial on his Facebook page:

“Al Spino, my friend and one of the greatest pitchmen ever passed away today at 78 years of age! Al You are a legend, you will be missed, I love you! Thanks for all the one-liners and laughs. RIP my friend and go and find Billy and bally a tip! Life’s a pitch!”

True Detective’s Yellow King – The Secret Revealed

True Detective Rust VHS Tape The final episode of True Detective has aired, but the Internet is still asking: Who is the Yellow King? Errol Childress doesn’t seem powerful or evil enough to lead a cult that ritually murders women and children in the secret place called Carcosa. At most, he’s the last withered remnant of a clan that mixed voodoo, Santeria and witchcraft into a fearful Lovecraftian brew. So if Errol is not the Yellow King, who is? I think I know and soon you will too. Continue reading

Pitchman Kevin Trudeau’s Stuff Headed to Auction

infomercial king kevin trudeau

Troubled infomercial king Kevin Trudeau

Disgraced infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau’s personal belongings are to be auctioned off to help pay off a $38 million fine from a civil case related to his current federal case.

Auctioneers estimate the sale will bring in just $100,000. Items include an elaborate chandelier and gilt-framed portraits of Gen. George S. Patton and Winston Churchill, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

In a Facebook post, Trudeau calls the gaudy items from his former California vacation home “priceless,” and that they “have my energy infused in them. They are all like amulets.”

Trudeau had previously claimed he was broke, and was accused by authorities of hiding assets. The cases center on false claims he made while marketing the book The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You To Know About.

DRTV Firm Top Dog Direct Hosts ‘Speed Pitch’

top dog direct

Top Dog Direct hosts Philly ‘Speed Pitch’

60 Seconds and . . . Bring It On!

DRTV firm Top Dog Direct invited inventors to pitch the next potential As Seen on TV hit product at its Speed Pitch in Philadelphia. The country’s biggest direct-marketing manufacturer and marketer hosted the event at the Liberty Bell/Independence Mall Visitor Center on Thursday, March 6, from 9 a.m. to noon, as reported by NJ.com. It featured a panel of experts on hand to judge participants’ 60-second pitches. Winners were awarded contracts that could lead to their product being sold on TV. Stay tuned to this blog for a run-down on the winning pitches.

Top Dog Direct is the company behind proven products like Mighty Putty Purple and Night View NV Night Driving Glasses.

It’s a Bust: Jury to Decide Cami Secret Lawsuit

Breast intentions

The makers of the Cleava clip-on camisole went after the maker of Cami Secret with a federal suit in a claim of patent infringement. Now it’s up to a jury to decide which company had the breast intentions in mind.

“It’s a copy, definitely.”

“It’s a copy. It’s a copy, definitely,” BraNovations Inc. president Michelle De Sousa told Florida’s NBC-2. De Sousa and her business partner and husband, vice president J. D. De Sousa, claim a much larger company, Cami Secret maker Ontel, copied their product after they refused to sell it to Ontel.

The De Sousas want Ontel to stop selling the Cami Secret. They also want a piece of the millions in profits Ontel has made so far.

Ontel’s defense is that BraNovations’s patent was never valid to begin with, and that the De Sousas just “want to get money out of Ontel.”

“I want to move in the direction of getting it in the big box stores like WalMart,” said Michelle. “With [Cami Secret] being there, WalMart is not going to take a product they’re already selling.”

“It’s been a long road, a long journey,” said J.D. “Me and my wife believe we’re just starting.”

In the meantime, you can still buy Cami Secret and take advantage of this special double offer.

 

FDA Considers Ending Drug Commercials’ Long Drug-Risk Lists

Long risk lists may “reduce consumer comprehension”

The Food and Drug Administration is embarking on a study that could lead to major changes in how TV commercials for prescription drugs communicate health risks from using them. The FDA is concerned that those endless lists of warnings of insomnia, nausea, suicidal thoughts and diarrhea could reduce consumers’ ability to discern the most important, or actionable, risks, reports the New York Daily News.

The FDA is worried these lengthy risk lists are “often too long” and may “reduce consumer comprehension” to possible side effects. So it plans to survey 15,000 adults online by having them respond to four versions of a drug commercial.

 

Meet Lori Black, the Late Shirley Temple’s Heavy Metal Daughter!

Heavy metal and other Shirley Temple family revelations!

While the interwebs mourned the loss yesterday of child star and conservative political powerhouse Shirley Temple Black at age 85, a smaller but related story also made the rounds: The Dimpled One’s daughter, Lori Black, once played bass for sludge-metal titans the Melvins!

In fact, Lori Black’s scant Wikipedia pages sole entry, aside from a two-line bio, is about her time playing with the Melvins and dating its frontman, Buzz Osborne (also known as King Buzzo).

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