January 22, 2017

SciMark Report from January Response

My SciMark Report in print for January is now available on the Response Website.

This month, I publish my annual good categories/bad categories list – this time with the help of the indispensable data from DRMetrix.

Check it out to learn what has changed and what categories are generating today's hits.

'Queen' Asieya in January Response

Asieya Pine – aka your DRMA Member of the Year, the president of Lockard & Wechsler Direct and our family's perpetual Wife & Mother of the Year – is featured in a Q&A in the most recent edition of Response magazine.

CLICK HERE to read the interview.

Our family is very proud of her. I am, of course, very proud of her. However, I do have one small bone to pick with the DRMA ...

Right at the top of the piece, they refer to her as "recently crowned." It's true she is my queen. But, sheesh, give a guy a break!

January 18, 2017

No, You Don’t Have the Next Hit in That Hot Category – But Here’s Why You Think You Do

If a DR marketer has an unexpected hit, that marketer and the rest of the industry will start to believe they have discovered a “hot” category and follow with a string of failures. I call it the "Siren" effect. Israeli psychologist Daniel Kahneman called it something else, and his work on the subject helped earn him a Nobel Prize.

To read more about how Kahneman's work sheds light on a common error in judgment, click here and read this month's Field Report.

December 17, 2016

In the News: Yours Truly

I was recently quoted in The New York Times regarding the laser-projector craze. The article is here.

OK, it was mostly AJ who was quoted, but I do get my own paragraph! Deduct another minute from my 15 minutes of fame.

December 13, 2016

In the News: My Pillow & False Advertising

Five years ago I wrote a pieced titled, "How to Predict the Future." The background was that several marketers had recently gotten into trouble for false or misleading claims. I shared proof that I had predicted their woes, but I also made it clear that I didn't think my predictions were anything special.

"In truth, anyone can be a swami when it comes to predicting the future of DRTV commercials that make such claims," I wrote.

I thought of that piece again when I read Venable's latest column in Response magazine. Here are the key paragraphs:

On Oct. 27, the Alameda County district attorney’s office filed suit against My Pillow in Alameda County Superior Court, alleging that the company made unsubstantiated claims that the pillow could help treat or relieve conditions such as allergies, asthma, fibromyalgia, insomnia, migraines, neck pain, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, and TMJ ...

In addition, the company allegedly advertised its pillow as the 'Official Choice of the National Sleep Foundation,' without disclosing to consumers that the company was providing material support to the foundation in exchange for the endorsement.

Less than one week after filing the My Pillow complaint, the district attorneys and the company settled the case.

My Pillow paid "almost $1 million in civil penalties" and will "donate more than $100,000 to certain California charities," according to the article (full text here).

I predicted something like this would happen the moment I saw the claims referenced on the My Pillow Website. I have no legal training, nor am I clairvoyant, but I didn't have to be either to see this one coming. Neither do you. In my original piece, I lay out three steps for predicting and avoiding this kind of trouble.

Better yet, read a real legal expert. Jeff Knowles' columns are always highly informative.