Feb 22

Response February: Growing Hair, Inside Jerry’s ‘Circus’ and a Rant on the DRMA’s 5th

Once again this month, rather than just putting links on Facebook and Twitter with my Response Magazine stories, I figured I’d transition the links to a single blog post that I could then link to said social media. Plus, this forum gives me a little space to expand on each story and give you some deeper background.

  • The February cover features Bosley’s Rob Spurrell. The story actually grew out of an initial call with Steven Aquavia, the director of marketing for the Beverly Hills-based leader in hair-loss solutions and medical hair restoration. Steven will be a featured speaker at Response Expo 2012 in San Diego this May. I was intrigued by the 37-year old company’s marketing story, and Steven kindly linked me to Rob, a 15-year veteran at Bosley. Rob was an intriguing interview, especially when discussing the company’s huge success the past two years, despite marketing a high-priced “vanity” service in a down economy. If you missed the story link above, here it is again: “No Splitting Hairs”

    Bosley, Jerry and a rant.

    Bosley's Rob Spurrell leads the way into the latest issue of Response.

  • Our February issue also includes an exclusive interview with TV talk legend Jerry Springer. Why Jerry? Well, aside from the obvious comedy of his over-the-top talk show that’s now in its 21st syndicated season, “Jerry” is a haven for DRTV advertisers. As NBC Universal’s Brian Levy, who pitched this story to me in autumn 2011, knows from his experience with that company’s syndicated program media offerings, “The Jerry Springer Show” has brought tremendous success to its advertiser base. Even more impressive than Springer’s self-deprecating sense of humor over the phone, however, was his own clear knowledge of why his show works for DRTV advertisers. Once again, if you missed that first link, here’s your second chance to read my one-on-one with Jerry Springer: “Springer’s ‘Circus'”
  • Finally, my monthly Editor’s Note column touches upon the fifth anniversary of the Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA), the magazine’s associated networking group that I helped found. We’re happy that the DRMA has, to this point, fulfilled its mission, and clearly our members and the leaders of our business deserve the lions’ share of the credit for that. However, we’ve experienced — first hand, time and time again — the high costs, the red tape and the petty politics most people experience when dealing with less-effective industry trade groups. There’s no doubt that the avoidance of these things has been a boon to the DRMA’s success thus far. Again, here’s the link if you missed it above: The DRMA at 5

Once again, thanks for reading and interacting with Response!

Jan 30

Response January: An ICON, a Roundtable, and a Rant on Real Value

Rather than just putting links on my Facebook and Twitter with my Response Magazine stories this month, I figured I’d transition the links to a single blog post that I could then link to said social media. Plus, this forum gives me a little space to expand on each story and give you some deeper background.

ICON's Eric Watterson was an excellent interview.

  • The January cover features ICON Health & Fitness’ Eric Watterson. The story’s genesis came on a September visit to R2C Group’s Portland offices, when agency leader Tim O’Leary took Response Publisher John Yarrington on a tour of their facilities, including the edit bays. A new version of the show for ICON’s ProForm Tour de France Trainer was being cut in one of the bays, so when our January sports & fitness issue rolled around, I dropped a note to R2C to gauge ICON’s interest in a cover story on its newest DR product success. Within days, R2C’s Lisa Calais had connected me with ICON  — and the resulting story can be found here.
  • Our January issue also includes a Response Advisory Board roundtable previewing some of the issues and opportunities DR marketers will face in 2012. Technology, politics, the economy and more are all major topics of discussion. And, in case you hadn’t noticed, we’ve changed the name of this group from Editorial Advisory Board to Response Advisory Board (see the board’s members here)to better reflect the group’s service across our product offerings, including assistance with Response Expo’s educational sessions and the initial nominations for the annual DRMA Marketer of the Year Award. These are the thought leaders in the industry, and to see their latest takes in the January issue, click here.
  • Finally, my monthly Editor’s Note column touches upon some of the magazine’s newest content to kick off 2012, including new Nielsen research and our efforts to make reading Response a more interactive experience. At the same time, making a point about the true value of our properties — the fact that we always use third-party verification of our opted-in customers let’s both our readers and advertisers know our commitment to real service — feels more crucial in a time where competition is tight for all of us. As committed as those in the DR space are to their clients and customers are, Response’s commitment to you is just as strong. To read my take, just click here.

Most importantly, thanks for reading and interacting with Response!

Sep 05

Response Award-Winners

During my 10 years as editor-in-chief at Response Magazine, four of my cover stories have earned MAGGIE Award finalist nominations for Best Interview/Profile in a trade publication from the Western Publishing Association (WPA). You can read them here!

July 2003, Tony Little






June 2006, Herb Ehrenthal, Schering-Plough Corp.







September 2006, Rich Thompson, DuPont







December 2010, Wayne Pacelle, Humane Society of the United States