Source: September 1997 "Local Information On The Net" data provided by Scarborough Research, Arlen Communications Inc. and Find/SVP.
Approximately 80 percent of the calls generated by commercials and infomercials occur within the first five minutes after the commercial has aired. These "call spikes" make setting up an in-house center for receiving telephone orders impractical and expensive.
"800" service bureaus that specialize in handling spot TV and half-hour infomercial-generated calls present the advertiser with an effective and relatively inexpensive resource for handling a high volume of calls.
In selecting an inbound call center or fulfillment house, the advertiser must determine if the number of lines and staff available at the times when specific ads are scheduled to run is sufficient to handle the expected number of calls. Advertisers should expect to pay the following costs:
AT&T American Transtech 800 Baymeadows Way Jacksonville, FL 32256 (904) 636-1000
Neodata 833 W. South Boulder Road Louisville, CO 80027 (303) 666-7000
Precision Response 1505 N.W. 167th Street Miami, FL 33169 (305) 626-4600
The Product Line 2370 S. Trenton Way Denver, CO 80231 (303) 671-8000
Sitel 5601 N. 103rd Street Omaha, NE 68134 (402) 498-6810
Teletech 15355 Morrison Street Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 (818) 501-5595
MATRIXX Marketing 2121 N. 117th Avenue Omaha, NE 68164-3000 (402) 498-4000 West Telemarketing 9910 Maple Street Omaha, NE 68134 (402) 571-7700
Guidelines for using environmental marketing claims such as "recyclable," "biodegradable," "compostable," etc., have been established by the Federal Trade Commission. The guides themselves are not enforceable regulations, nor do they have the force and effect of law. These guides specifically address the application of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act -- which makes deceptive acts and practices in or affecting commerce unlawful -- to environmental advertising and marketing practices. Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims provide the basis for voluntary compliance with such laws by members of industry, and are available from the EPA and the FTC.
In 1992, the Federal Trade Commission issued its Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, which are based on data from FTC investigations, hearings, and public opinion. While these guides are not legally enforceable, they provide guidance to marketers in conforming with legal requirements. The guides apply to advertising, labeling, and other forms of marketing to consumers, and do not preempt state or local laws or regulations.
The FTC guides specify that whenever marketers make objective environmental claims -- explicitly or implied -- these must be proved by competent and reliable evidence. The guides outline four general concerns that apply to all environmental claims:
Certain environmental marketing claims are addressed specifically:
In general, unqualified general environmental claims are difficult to interpret, and may have a wide range of meanings to consumers. Every express and material implied claim conveyed to consumers about an objective quality should be proved. Unless they can be substantiated, broad environmental claims should be avoided or qualified.
In general, unqualified claims of compostability should be proved by evidence that the product will completely break down and return to nature, that is, decompose into elements found in nature, within a short period of time after consumers dispose of it in the customary way. Such claims should be qualified to the extent necessary to avoid consumer deception about: (a) the product or package's ability to degrade in the environment where it is customarily disposed of; and (b) the extent and rate of degradation.
In general, unqualified claims of compostability should be substantiated by evidence that all the materials in the product or package will break down into, or otherwise become a part of, usable compost (e.g., soil conditioning material, mulch). This should take place in a safe and timely manner in an appropriate composting program or facility, or in a home compost pile or device. Compostable claims should be qualified to the extent necessary to avoid consumer deception:
In general, a product or package should not be marketed as recyclable unless it can be collected, separated, or otherwise recovered from the solid waste stream for use as raw materials in the manufacture or assembly of a new product or package. Unqualified claims of recyclability may be made if the entire product or package, excluding incidental components, is recyclable.
Claims about products with both recyclable and non-recyclable components should be adequately qualified. If incidental components significantly limit the ability to recycle a product, the claim would be deceptive. If, because of its size or shape, a product is not accepted in recycling programs, it should not be marketed as recyclable. Qualification may be necessary to avoid consumer deception about the limited availability of recycling programs and collection sites if recycling collection sites are not available to a substantial majority of consumers or communities.
In general, claims of recycled content should only be made for materials that have been recovered or diverted from the solid waste stream, either during the manufacturing process (pre-consumer) or after consumer use (post-consumer). An advertiser should be able to prove that pre-consumer content would otherwise have entered the solid waste stream. Distinctions made between pre- and post-consumer content should be substantiated. Unqualified claims may be made if the entire product or package, excluding minor, incidental components, is made from recycled material. Products or packages only partially made of recycled material should be qualified to show the amount, by weight, in the finished product or package.
In general, an unqualified claim of refillableness should not be asserted unless a system is provided for:
(1) the collection and return of the package for refill; or
(2) the later refill of the package by consumers with product subsequently sold in another package. The claim should not be made if it is up to consumers to find ways to refill the package.
In general, a product should not be advertised as "ozone safe," "ozone friendly," or as not containing CFC's if the product contains any ozone depleting chemical. Claims about the reduction of a product's ozone depletion potential may be made if adequately proved.
For copies of the FTC Environmental Marketing Guidelines in their entirety, and the environmental assessment of these guidelines, and news releases on FTC cases in the green-marketing area, contact:
FTC Public Reference Branch Room 130 Sixth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20580 (202) 326-2222
A Video New Release is simply a press release in video form. It is generally a 90-second video piece that is paid for by corporate sponsors and then distributed, via satellite or mail, to stations around the country to be included in local newscasts. They are, in effect, paid advertisements in a news format. When they are well made, it is almost impossible to distinguish them from a regular news segment.
Presidential candidates use them for air time on local news channels. Fortune 500 companies create them to inform the public about their latest product research. And, in the last decade, a growing number of small companies have begun to use them as an effecive public relations tool.
A timely VNR takes advantage of a newsworthy event to get across a company's ideas or products to the public. The advantage of a timely VNR is that there's a good chance it will be picked up by stations that may be looking for news filters. The disadvantage of a timely VNR is that it may become obsolete very quickly.
The "evergreen" VNR, on the other hand, is produced to have a longer shelf life; it typically deals with human interest stories that can be used by stations on a slow news day. Recent studies conducted by Nielsen Media Research, however, reveal that "evergreens" were preferred by 25 percent of all news producers, while just under 50 percent preferred timely pieces.
Most commonly, VNRs try to tie a company's new products and/or services to one of the following topics:
Creating an effective VNR can cost $20,000 or more including production, distribution, and follow-up costs. The emphasis should be on the video's newsworthiness. Also effective are issue-oriented videos.
A Medialink-Nielsen survey suggests the following rules to keep in mind when producing a video news release:
Medialink, a major satellite distributor of VNRs and other video public relations services, suggess the following "litmus test" when choosing a production firm to create a VNR:
Medialink has a variety of free reference books about VNR, as well as a listing of production companies nationwide. Contact Medialink at these locations:
708 Third Avenue, Ninth Floor New York, NY 10017 (212) 682-8300 1401 New York Avenue, Suite 520 Washington, DC 20005 (202) 628-3800 6430 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1205 Los Angeles, CA 90028 (213) 465-0111 The Time and Life Building 541 N. Fairbanks Court, Suite 2010 Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 222-9850
Source: Upside March, 1997 pg. 107