Boycott Watch  
May 1, 2009
TV Pitchmen: Billy Mays and Anthony Sullivan Vs. Vince Shlomi
Summary: New TV series reassures consumers in a tough economy
Update June 30, 2010: Boycott Watch retracts our complements to Anthony Sullivan - His products are no longer recommended. Click Here for more information.
    Boycott Watch is, in essence, a consumer advocacy organization, looking out for the consumer by making sure people have all the information before making purchasing decisions, or as in the case of boycott calls, before refraining from making a purchase. You have probably seen our reports and video about Vince Offer Shlomi and his Sham Wow / Scam Wow commercial designed to deceive the public.

    The Sham Wow deceptive advertising practices have left many consumers skeptical about all products advertised on television. While we at Boycott Watch are generally skeptical about product claims which appear too good to be true, we also have to give credit where credit is due. Most products advertised on television are as good as or better than advertised. Take, for instance, the George Foreman Grill. We have found this product to be of superior quality and it performs better than advertised. Ron Popeil of Ronco does excellent job marketing quality products as well. One thing that stands out with these pitchmen is the fact that they use their names and stake their own reputations on the line with their products. These companies also make it very easy for consumers to contact them, listing their corporate addresses, phone numbers and email contact information.

    When a company makes it easy for potential customers to do business with them, consumers become more comfortable with those companies. On the other hand, businesses which make receiving customer service difficult drive away new, repeat and referral business. Business people will tell you it is often easier to retain a customer than replace one. With direct response TV, however, one bad experience by a single telemarketer can turn that customer away from buying from all direct response marketers, thus television stations which air deceptive ads such as Sham Wow, which we call Scam Wow, have the potential to hurt other direct response marketers, be it radio, television or print ads. Therefore, publishers and broadcasters of scam product ads are effectively hurting their own business by limiting the sales potential of good direct response marketers including Telebrands, the people featuring pitchmen Billy Mays and Anthony Sullivan.

    When Discovery Channel first announced their new series Pitchmen, we at Boycott Watch were inherently skeptical about what we would see. After watching the show, were pleasantly surprised at the care and detail the people involved displayed when picking a product and assembling a marketing campaign. First and foremost, the pitchmen and Telebrands have demonstrated they believe in the product they market, and most importantly, they represent the attributes of the products and without exaggeration and offer those products at a reasonable price.

    The "Pitchmen" show on Discovery Network, which is inherently the king of all infomercials, was surely in development long before the arrest of Vince Shlomi and it came at the right time, reassuring consumers that legitimate television marketing exists. The show will also inherently contribute to consumer trust of the products pitched by both Billy Mays and Anthony Sullivan, regardless of who they work for. Consumers will also see Telebrands as being careful to only market quality products. In a time when consumers are looking for the best value possible, previous skeptics about direct response television marketing will unquestionable now feel comfortable about buying products Pitched by Mays and Sullivan.

    Boycott Watch contacted Mr. A.J. Khubani, President of Telebrands, and we asked him about his commitment to customer service. Mr. Khubani said "Our consumer is the most important part of our business. Once they've had a positive experience with our products they are more likely to buy from us again." In fairness, Boycott Watch has made several attempts to contact Vince Shlomi and his Sham Wow company for comments, but we have yet to receive a responses.

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