Ranking City Online Population Users Percent
1 New York 18.1M 3.5M 19.1%
2 Los Angeles 15.4M 2.3M 15.0
3 Washington 7.1M 1.8M 26.2
4 San Francisco 6.5M 1.7M 26.3
5 Chicago 8.6M 1.5M 17.8
6 Boston 5.8M 1.1M 19.7
7 Philadelphia 6.0M 1.0M 17.1
8 Detroit 5.3M 0.8M 14.8
9 Dallas 4.5M 0.8M 17.1
10  Seattle 3.3M 0.7M 23.0


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:

  • A one time setup fee that will include normal program setup and any unique programming or training that may be necessary.
  • Call-processing fees based upon a negotiated per-call charge or actual usage, per minute, of on-phone conversation.
  • A monthly minimum fee credited against call charges.
  • Special transaction fees such as output, payment processing, etc.


Operator Centers with 100-400 Workstations

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


Operators Centers with More than 400 Workstations

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.

FTC Environmental Marketing Guidelines

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:

  • Qualifications and disclosures should be clear and prominent to prevent deception.
  • Environmental claims should make clear whether they apply to the product, the package, or a component of either. Claims need not be qualified with regard to minor, incidental components of the product or package.
  • Environmental claims should not overstate the environmental attributes or benefit. Marketers should avoid implying a significant environmental benefit where the benefit is, in fact, negligible.
  • A claim comparing the environmental attributes of one product with those of another should make the basis for the comparison sufficiently clear and should be proved.

Certain environmental marketing claims are addressed specifically:

General Environmental Benefit Claims

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.

Degradable, Biodegradable, and Photodegradable

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:

  1. if municipal composting facilities are not available to a substantial majority of consumers or communities where the product is sold;
  2. if the claim misleads consumers about the environmental benefit provided when the product is disposed of in a landfill; or
  3. if consumers misunderstand the claim to mean that the package can be safely composted in their home compost pile or device, when in fact it cannot.


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.

Recycled Content

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.

Source Reduction

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.

Ozone Safe and Ozone Friendly

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.

Two basic categories of VNR: timely and "evergreen."

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:

  • Health tips
  • Consumer affairs
  • Community services
  • Government issues
  • New regulations
  • Public service messages

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:

  • Create a package containing a news-story type release and a few minutes of background tape or B-Roll.
  • Time your VNR to be approximately 90 seconds.
  • Place audio signals on separate channels so that news producers may insert their own voice-overs on one sound channel with the natural sound of your VNR tape on the other.
  • When distributing a VNR, always clearly identify it as a public relations service in the materials provided.

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:

  • Ask your public relations firm or another that has had experience with VNRs to recommend a production company.
  • Ask the production company whether it has done any VNRs before, and for whom. Ask what results it has had and how those results have been documented.
  • Make sure the company has past experience in television news.
  • Ask to see a demo reel.

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


Aberdeen Group Inc. Boston, MA
Founders: John Logan, Peter Kastner and Thomas Willmott
Founded: 1988
Principal Executives: John Logan, President, Peter Kastner, Group Vice President, Thomas Willmott, Group Vice President
Description: User-oriented, considered by many observers to be similar to Forrester Research
Creative Strategies Consulting, Santa Clara, CA
Founder: Tim Bajarin
Founded: 1981
Principal Executive: Tim Bajarin, President
Description: Once was a major player but has dwindled to a minor operation
Dataquest Inc., San Jose, CA
Founders: Dave Norman, Bill Coggshall, Ron Miller
Founded 1971
Principal Executives: Manny Fernandez, Chairman, President and CEO, Gartner Group
Description: Historically the most visible market-research firm. Receives most of its revenue from vendors.
Dell'Oro Group, Portola Valley, CA
Founder: Tam Dell'Oro
Founded: 1995
Principal Executive: Tam Dell'Oro, CEO
Description: Concentrates on networking.
Disk/Trend Inc., Mountain View, CA
Founder: James N. Porter, President, Robert Katzive, Vice President
Description: Focuses on computer storage
Forrester Research Inc., Cambridge, MA
Founder: George F. Colony
Founded: 1983
1996 Revenue: $22 million (estimated)
Principal Executive: George F. Colony, President and CEO
Description: A user-oriented firm perceived as having independence from vendors.
Freeman Associates Inc., Santa Barbara, CA
Founder: Raymond C. Freeman, Jr.
Founded: 1977
Principal Executives: Raymond C. Freeman, Jr., President, Robert C. Abraham, Vice President
Description: Follows the computer-storage market.
Gartner Group Inc., Stamford, CT
Founder: Gideon Gartner
Founded 1979
Principal Executive: Manny Fernandez, Chairman, President and CEO
Description: The $400 million public company (GART) is the largest in the field. With its origins watching IBM, Gartner focuses on advising computer users about trends and companies.
Giga Information Group Inc., Cambridge, MA
Founder: Gideon Gartner
Founded: 1995
Principal Executives: Gideon Gartner, Chairman and CEO, Henry Givray, President and COO, David Gilmour, Senior Vice President, Research
Description: Formed to deliver research over the Internet.
In-Stat Inc., Scottsdale, AZ
Founder: Jack Beedle
Founded: 1981
Principal Executive: John Abram, President
Description: Follows the semiconductor industry.
International Data Corp., Framingham, MA
Founder: Pat McGovern
Founded: 1964
Principal Executive: Kirk Campbell, President and CEO
Description: Primarily serves computer and communications-equipment vendors; has a reputation for conservative forecasting.
Mercury Research, Scottsdale, AZ
Founders: Mike Feibus, Dean McCarton
Founded: 1994
Principal Executives: Mike Feibus, President, Dean McCarron, Treasurer and Secretary
Description: Focuses on the semiconductor industry.
Meta Group Inc., Stamford, CT
Founders: Dale Kutnick, Marc Butlein
Founded: 1989 (a spin-off of the Gartner Group)
Principal Executives: Dale Kutnick, CEO and Research Director, Marc Butlein, Chairman
Description: Gets high marks from its computer-using clients.
Pathfinder Research Inc., San Jose, CA
Founder: Fred Zieber
Founded: 1991
Principal Executive: Fred Zieber, President and CEO
Description: Concentrates on the semiconductor industry
Sherwood Research Inc., Wellesley, MA
Founder: David Thor
Founded: 1996
Principal Executive: David Thor, President, Research Director
Description: Provides data obtained by surveying end users to vendors and others.
VLSI Research Inc., San Jose, CA
Founder: Jerry D. Hutcheson
Founded: 1976
Principal Executives: Jerry D. Hutcheson, CEO, G. Dan Hutcheson, President
Description: Concentrates on semiconductor-production equipment.
The Yankee Group, Boston, MA
Founder: Howard Anderson
Founded: 1970
Principal Executive: Howard Anderson, Managing Director
Description: Built its reputation by concentrating on communications while its competitors focused on computers. The company has about equal revenue from users and vendors, which is unusual for a market-research firm.

Source: Upside March, 1997 pg. 107