Riding Out the Storm
"I keep looking in the mirror to find the M on my forehead for moron," Sal Orlando wrote, in February ([Article link]). His mistake: using an infomercial just before the genre was targeted by a news-show exposÃ©. Now customers are staying away, and other advertising media are telling Orlando to stay away.
Orlando overestimates the power of the press. The TV shows that muckraked infomercials reached at most 20% of U.S. households, and most probably didn't pay close attention. As for media refusing his ads, with the economy lagging, they'll soon lose their pride in the search for ad dollars.
Jay L. Tenebaum
Orlando should forget about it and move on. Why not repackage the infomercial as a videotape for trade shows, or have a PR consultant use it to pitch his story?
Lisa Chipolone Romeo
Cedar Grove, N.J.
Cindy Herrick's company buys overruns and closeouts of glassware, and sells to general merchandisers in the Pacific Rim (Glass Act, February 1991, [Article link]). As her company grows, she must expand her sources. She asked Network readers where to look.
Herrick should refer to the Thomas Register of American Manufacturers. But one of the best sources of information is the local newspaper. She should read the employment section, looking for columns headed "Marketing" or "Manufacturing Sales." Of the companies there, 90% have no experience with international sales. She could introduce them to the possibilities.
J.T.A. America Inc.
Export magazine (708-296-0770) publishes a buyers' guide for exporting consumer goods. Herrick should also look through Money Making Opportunities (818-980-9166), Opportunity (212-925-3180), and Spare Time (414-543-8110). These magazines publish lists of companies trying to close out products.
George Y. Yang
Focus, Focus, Focus
John Starrs bought a stagnating dental-pharmaceuticals company. His challenges: reestablishing its distribution network and licensing formulas to manufacturers (Tooth Decay, February 1991, [Article link]).
For a quick market entry, Starrs should implement a phased sales program using independent manufacturers' representatives, scaling product volume to distribution needs. To find contract manufacturers, he should look in medical trade publications. He should also consider private-labeling his products to increase sales volume.
Pamela G. Goforth
Santa Ynez, Calif.