For half a century, Ronco products — like the Veg-O-Matic, the Beef Jerky Machine, and Mr. Microphone — have been filling cheap, late-night and mid-afternoon commercial space on American TVs. Now the company that introduced “But wait — there’s more!” to the world is hoping it can sell the public on investing in the company by offering discounts and free stuff as rewards. [More]
Marketer Of “As Seen On TV” Products To Pay $550K For Allegedly Forcing Customers To Pay For Stuff They Didn’t Order
In 2014, the state of New Jersey accused Telebrands, a company that markets “As Seen on TV” products like the Pocket Hose and Instabulbs, of forcing customers to pay for items they did not want or order. Yesterday, the company agreed to pay more than half a million dollars to settle the lawsuit. [More]
Pet owners know that domestic animals have many uses around the home. Thousands of years ago, that’s why we welcomed them into our dwellings in the first place, and we’ve come to appreciate them for their other skills as well. Cats were originally welcomed inside to catch vermin, and now they are also alarm clocks and are fur-covered laptop cozies. Dogs now guard our houses and clean up crumbs on the floor. [More]
What did you do for the last 27 minutes of your life? It could not possibly have been as entertaining nor as fascinating as watching a 1949 informecial for a Vitamix that includes a recipe for a Carrot/Eggshell/Raisin smoothie.
We’ve covered so many sketchy fitness devices over the years that when we recently mocked the Ab Circle Pro for its obvious before/after Photoshop hackery, we’d forgotten that the marketers of this device were hit with a massive settlement in 2012 for falsely claiming that it could give you rock-hard abs if you used it for only three minutes a day. Well, we’re remembering now, because the Federal Trade Commission is currently sending out $9.3 million in refunds to Ab Circle Pro owners. [More]
Yesterday we were looking around at home exercise equipment when we came across the Ab Circle Pro, one of countless devices that supposedly target your core muscles while also making you look really silly. But looking at the “before” and “after” photos on the box, we realized that the Ab Circle Pro also apparently reshapes and shrinks your head. [More]
Back in November, TV pitchman, bestselling author and repeat offender Kevin Trudeau was found guilty of criminal contempt after continuing to make fraudulent weight-loss claims in the marketing of his book The Weight Loss Cure “They” Don’t Want You to Know About. Yesterday, they had their final say in the matter, sentencing the fraudster to a decade behind bars. [More]
Grout Bully, Rollie Eggmaster, Jay Glazer’s Perfect Punch, Lexus IS 250 Make List Of Year’s Worst Products
Our colleagues at ShopSmart recently published an expansive round-up of the year’s best products, which is all really good and helpful information. But what picqued our interest was the magazine’s shorter list, covering everything from questionable infomercial products to big-name luxury brands, of the worst products on the market in 2013. [More]
We’ve been following the saga of former bestselling weight loss guru and TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau for about six years, since he was found in contempt of court for violating a 2004 FTC settlement banning him from misrepresenting the content of his books. The Trudeau tale is nearing a final chapter now that he faces possible jail time after being found guilty of criminal contempt for misleading statements in his infomercials. [More]
Do you need money? Everybody does, am I right? But not everyone has time to become a Wall Street lawyer. That’s why you need a simple, 3-step system to guide you through the process of making millions from the comfort of your own home. Unfortunately, you won’t be hearing about that system from Russ “Winning in the Cash Flow Business” Dalbey or his wife Catherine, as they have been banned from stinking up your late-night TV watching with any of their infomercials. [More]
If there’s anything that I need in my life, it’s eggs cooked in a flexible tube like a sausage without casing. Here I am, cooking my eggs in a frying pan like a sucker. Then I learned about the Rollie. [More]
For every Snuggie and Slap Chop, products that transcend direct-response ads to become cultural touchstones, there are many, many more flops. Once they were new and exciting products that filled a need you never thought you had, but they never caught on. Their web sites sit empty and even the trademarks have been abandoned. But thanks to YouTube, the ridiculous ads will live forever. [More]
The best infomercial/direct-response ad products solve problems that you had no idea you had. The Chia Pet? The Topsy Tail? The Shake Weight? The Snuggie? The Comfort WipeAll things that your life would have continued just fine without, but they make so much sense that you simply must have them. We’re not sure that’s the case with the Wax Vac, which combines the glamor of an ear thermometer with all of the fun of sticking an electric sucking machine in your ear while grinning. [More]
If those jeans you got as a gift this holiday season don’t fit because of the all the food you devoured in the last few weeks, you might be tempted to buy one of those exercise devices advertised on TV. But some of these products aren’t worth the price — or effort. [More]
Have you ever seen those ads for the Ab Circle Pro and said to yourself, “Maybe it will help be get rock hard abs with only a few minutes of workout a day”? Well, it apparently doesn’t, as the company behind the device has agreed to pay up to $25 million in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations of deceptive advertising.
As you may recall, everyone’s second-favorite infomercial pitch guy Vince Offer/ShamWow Shlomi resurfaced earlier this year, selling a reusable silicone roller called the Schticky that claims to pick up everything from pet hair to food particles to coins. Meanwhile, English pitchman Anthony Sullivan has been pushing the similar Sticky Buddy to people who can’t sleep and don’t feel like finding something on Netflix. But which of these items is better? And are either of them any good?
Every time I look at a TV during the last few weeks, I see ads for the Perfect Tortilla, a wavy mold designed to help you make lovely edible bowls out of a regular store-bought tortilla. At home, visiting family, even at a sports bar: the ad is everywhere. What makes it annoying isn’t the spokesman who resembles a bald Billy Mays. It’s that this product is useless, even by the rarified standards of as-seen-on-TV merchandise.
We don’t know why people still fall prey to infomercials promising easy paths to riches. And yet, the Federal Trade Commission says a trio of popular get-rich-quick programs — all backed by the same two people — took consumers for a total of $450 million by misleading them into believing they could quickly earn piles of cash in real estate or Internet marketing.