lin, Jean Vernor, and my life-long partner Lori Zeller. I send a
heartfelt thank you to the many other people that have extended confidence, trust, and love my way throughout my career.
Mirchandani: The team I have assembled, the willingness to
take chances and face challenges head on, and choosing the
right products to market.
Mitchell: I am always true to myself. That is key in this and
any profession. I stick with my personal ideals of truth in advertising and will only endorse products that I personally like and
use. I will always represent a product effectively and with my
Netzley: I attribute it to drive, determination, amazingly supportive client relationships, and an incredible team of Edge co-conspirators who have challenged, supported, and inspired me
for 25 years.
Szot: Well, it started with a $900 ad in
Response Magazine back in 1994. I asked if I
could pay for it in three installments because
I just wasn’t sure it would work. But it did
— and I was able to pay it off immediately.
I also thank the word-of-mouth advertising
and recommendations I have received over
the years. Plus, I’ve been blessed to work
with some extremely talented producers.
Wechsler: I attribute my success to my clients and my employees. Without them, I’d
be flipping burgers. But there are a few others that should be mentioned. First, Arthur
Lockard, who invited me in as his partner
in 1991. Second, John Caples, whose book,
Tested Advertising Methods, has been my
professional bible for more than a quarter
century. Third, my willingness to delegate to
others, to allow them to make mistakes, and
to learn from them.
What have you enjoyed
most about working in the direct response
Altman: It has allowed me to work with the true giants and
pioneers of the industry, like Mike Levy, Ron Popeil, Martin
Yan, John Gray, HBO, and the U.S. Olympic Committee. I have
been privileged to participate in many of the largest telethons,
including Live Aid, HBO’s Comic Relief, Farm Aid, Hurricane
Relief, Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans, and Imagine with
John Lennon; and work with personalities like Michael Jackson,
Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, and many
Lee: Making a difference. Getting to mentor the next direct
response rock stars. I am passionate about using my knowledge
and experience to move the needle, keep things nimble, and
disrupt the status quo for creative innovation and operational
Mirchandani: The people. I have developed some very close
friendships, solid partnerships, and a tight-knit family of individuals whom I depend on every day. I also loved working with
Jack LaLanne. His juicer introduced the world to the power of
juicing and revived the juicing category for retailers. He lived by
his motto — “Anything Is Possible” — and he was a true inspiration.
Mitchell: I honestly love what I do, and I hope and feel that
the consumers see that shining through in each and every
infomercial I shoot. Sharing my love of cooking coupled with
sharing insights into great products and simple recipes for people
who might not otherwise enjoy cooking is a joy. I enjoy creating
recipes right in my own kitchen and using those recipes to demonstrate the latest kitchenware and cookware items.
Netzley: How relationship-centric it is and has always been.
I’ve met so many incredibly talented,
intelligent, and driven people where my
relationship may have started with them in
their professional capacity … but quickly
evolved into a relationship with a trusted
friend. I tell people regularly that my favorite part of being in this industry is that I
get to work with my friends every day.
Szot: Being at the forefront of a burgeoning industry. After 20 years working at
big ad agencies like Foote, Cone & Belding, J. Walter Thompson, and McCann, it
was thrilling to be part of relatively new ad
category. And, of course, being someone
who only writes — I don’t produce, I don’t
do media — it was exciting to be one of
the original pioneers of this industry.
Wechsler: There is no greater thrill than
starting every day and knowing in hard
quantifiable measures exactly how you did.
You can’t beat the excitement of opening a
What do you believe to be the industry’s
client report and knowing how many items
you sold, how many new customers you acquired, how much rev-
enue you generated — and then figure out ways to make those
campaigns even more successful.
greatest asset, and why do you believe brands
continue to gravitate toward the industry?
Altman: The industry has seen almost a complete rebirth
in the past five or so years with the addition of social media,
digital media, mobile response, Amazon, Google, You Tube,
and the importance of retail sales. Walmart, Target, and
Costco are just a few of the retailers that can make a program
or product a success.
Lee: The industry’s greatest asset is a clear understanding
of how to engage a consumer for a selective journey that is
DR HALL OF FAME ROUNDTABLE