Use of Infomercials to Promote Products,
Services and Investments
An infomercial is a program-length radio or television commercial
which run for 30 minutes or less and fits within normal broadcasting
Many infomercials have the look, feel, and length of real TV programs,
often imitating the format of genuine talk shows or investigative
consumer news programs. The product being sold may be discussed
as part of the program and promoted by paid "experts," "moderators," or "reporters." They
also make extensive use of testimonials which you can never substantiate.
These "shows" may even be interrupted by realistic-looking "advertisements" for
the product along with ordering information. Because of these similarities,
you may find it difficult to tell the difference between an infomercial
and an independent TV program.
The unnaturally happy and enthusiastic audience is paid to applaud
and look dumbfounded as each new feature is revealed.
The types of products and services promoted and sold on infomercials
easy ways to make money in real
getting low-interest government
"big money" business
program materials ( books, audio & video
tapes, computer hardware and software)
kitchen utensils and devices
Thanks For Appearing On Our Show
Two such commercials were promoted as "The Danny Bonaduce
Show" and "A Closer Look." The Danny Bonaduce Show
appeared to be a television talk show similar to "Late Night
with David Letterman." The set consisted of a band playing
off to the side, a live audience, and a back drop of city skyline
silhouette. Danny Bonaduce performs a monologue before interviewing
a guest who was actually a promoter of a Mega Systems, Inc. product.
A Closer Look purports to be a television talk show similar to "Larry
King Live" with a set consisting of a similar desk. During
the "guest" interviews they talk about the products'
They present directly, or by implication, that these commercials
are independent television and radio programs and not the paid
commercial advertising they really are.
"So I found a combination of herbs, that, when mixed with
cleansers like witch hazels and alcohols, can deep clean underneath
the surface of the scalp, and clean out all the debris that blocks
the hair from reaching the surface."
"And the amazing thing is that after we cleaned, we looked
at the scalp and hair sprouted out." "Hair that's been
growing under the scalp for five years sprouts out."
"I should be in most of the major medical journals in the
next few months for finally ending baldness in the human race."
"Everyone should have all their hair back in six months to
a year, permanently."
Despite such claims, Sable Hair Farming System will not stop,
prevent, cure, relieve, reverse or reduce hair loss, nor will it
promote the growth of hair where hair has already been lost.
"Every single person has a photographic memory right now
"One of the things about Mega Memory that's very unique is
the fact that it takes only a few hours to learn the technology
and when you do, you release that photographic memory ability."
"Can this work for people with learning disabilities, ADD, dyslexia,
or head injuries?"
"These techniques were perfected with blind and retarded
children back in the early 70's. Through research, we've found
that everyone can improve their memory with this program except
In fact, the Mega Memory System will not enable users to achieve
a photographic memory for it consists only of standard memory techniques.
Scientific studies do not substantiate any of their claims.
Dr. Callahan's Addiction Breaking System
"While studying quantum physics Dr. Callahan came up with
a breakthrough that in 60 seconds can eliminate your addictive
urges, any type of compulsive behavior, and eliminate all the stress
and anxiety in your body. Now this technique will take sixty seconds
to apply and works virtually 100% of the time."
"The treatments that you discovered, that you invented get
rid of addictions like food addictions so people can lose weight
easily. They can just lose the weight because they reduce the urge
to overeat. You can reduce smoking, alcoholism, any type of compulsion,
"That's right! If you have any addiction, whether it be for
food, a smoking addiction, if your children are addicted to drugs —any
compulsion, anything whatsoever, we recommend you call the 800
Dr. Callahan's Addiction Breaking System does not cure addictions
and compulsions, including smoking, eating and using alcohol or
heroin. Indeed, Dr. Callahan's Addiction Breaking System simply
consists of a video tape in which he demonstrates a series of tapping
one's face, chest, and hand, rolling one's eyes, and humming.
How to Spot an Infomercial
There's nothing illegal about using infomercials to advertise
products. But it's important to remember that product claims made
on such programs are those of the advertiser. They are not objective
or independent evaluations of the product. Here are some tips on
how to spot a paid ad.
Look for commercials similar to the program content. Infomercials
promote products or services in "commercial breaks" that
relate to issues discussed on the rest of the show. For example,
a "program" about credit problems may discuss services
that promise to repair a consumers poor credit rating or
a program about sunglasses may sell sunglasses.
As a general rule, assume that any "program" that
provides ordering information for a specific product or contains
commercial interruptions to promote products related to the "programs" content
is a paid advertisement.
Many legitimate television shows discuss and evaluate products
and services. Sometimes, however, this format is used in
infomercials that simulate the appearance of impartial evaluations
of advertised items. For example, the product may be recommended
by experts or celebrities but these people are often paid
for their appearances. These techniques are just part of
an overall sales pitch.
Don't buy an investment on the basis of a television "infomercial" or
radio advertisement. Too many people mistakenly believe that just
because a slick ad has been produced that there must be something
to the product that is being sold.
Just because an ad for an investment airs on television or radio
does not mean that it has been "cleared" or otherwise
reviewed by some federal or state agency. And don't assume that
a radio or television station has done anything to check out the
claims made by the advertisers; most broadcasters take no responsibility
for the accuracy of the ads they air.
The same is true for many investment-related radio talk show hosts,
many of whom do not check out advertisers and may receive a payment
for their personal endorsement.
Often infomercials are themselves promoted as an investment but
legitimate industry members estimate that only one infomercial
in thirty is successful in generating enough sales of the featured
product to make any money for investors.