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the new product — but it also put the
pressure on, as the campaign’s look and
feel had to have just the right amount of
personality and professionalism to live up
to those standards.
“There are a lot of good creative shops
in this business,” Pearson says. “But we
needed someone who could sync brand-
ing with selling, as well as working with
one of the biggest chefs in the world —
one that was able to roll with all those
punches and adapt all the creative inputs
into something that sells.”
Mixing the Ingredients
Indeed, the backgrounds and person-
alities of those involved in this project are
diverse. Start with Puck, who moved to
Los Angeles in 1975, after beginning his
cooking career under his mother in his
native Austria, before leaving for France
in his teens. Puck’s first notice in the U.S.
came for his work at Ma Maison, one of
Hollywood’s “It” restaurants in the late
But when Puck opened Spago on the
north side of Sunset Boulevard in 1982,
that’s when his legend began to soar. The
only chef to be honored twice with the
James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Chef of the Year, Puck’s empire
has grown to nearly three-dozen restaurants worldwide, plus a number of Wolfgang Puck Express locations throughout
Puck expanded into branded kitchenware in the 1990s and has spent the past
15 years as one of HSN’s most successful
product demonstrators. His success in the
home shopping space, however, never
pushed him to look at traditional direct
response television until the Wolfgang
Puck Pressure Oven came along.
Pearson, who joined DHG/Time-Life
in 2011, has long been a successful product marketer in the DR world, including
stints with Polygram, Sony Music (where
he helped launch the uber-successful
NOW! CD music series) and GAIAM.
“I was brought in to help lead a diversification for the company,” Pearson says.
“We wanted to diversify outside of Time-Life’s successful CD and DVD business
into more traditional markets — kitchen,
beauty and the like. I had first seen a
prototype of this product when I was at
GAIAM, but it didn’t fit the strategy
Six months later, Pearson spoke with
Andy Greenberg, who was consulting
at Time-Life, and connected him to the
product’s inventor. “At the time, this
product was exactly what it is now in one
key way — an exponential leap forward
in technology,” he says.
‘Over My Dead Body!’
Shortly thereafter, Pearson joined
the company as it was teaming up with
Florida-based Wolfgang Puck Appliances