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Old October 3rd, 2007, 09:01 PM   #1
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how much to pay for infomercial testimonials

Although the rules allegedly prohibit paid testimonials, it's very obvious people are getting compensated to use the products. Any know the real world compensation amounts? How are "real people testimonials usually compensated?
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Old October 10th, 2007, 07:02 PM   #2
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I was the Exec Producer and head editor for a national infomercial for about 4 years. Our air buy expenses back then were on average between $600,00 and $850,000 a week.

What did people get for their testimonials ? Lunch, thats it. Real testimonials about the product or service do not get paid.

I don't know why you think its so obvious that people get paid for those. there is a difference between a testimonial and a spokesperson.

K
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Old October 11th, 2007, 04:58 PM   #3
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Brian didn't really say that people were getting paid. He stated, "it's very obvious people are getting compensated to use the products." And he asked, "How are "real people testimonials usually compensated?

I watch infomercials from time to time but mainly just to see how they produce them. Some have very good production behind them. Others..... ehhhhh!

I have noticed that many of them do state, usually in small letters during the credits and muddled in with a pageful of text, that participants have been "remunerated" for their appearance in the production.

Remunerated is one of those $5 words that most people don't use or know the definition of. Maybe not everyone who participates is remunerated. I don't know. I don't have priviledge to view their arrangements.

But even if they haven't been paid in cash, they have been remunerated. That is, they have been compensated for their "unsolicited" testimonial. They got lunch in Kyle's instance. Sounds kind of like a barter to me.

Sometimes receiving something other than cash is beneficial to everyone involved.

To me, however, whether the compensation is in the form of cash, a new car, or a grilled cheese sandwich, the person giving the testimonial is still getting paid.

How much "payment" do they get? No one can answer that. How much are you willing to pay? How much are they willing to accept?

Jeff

Last edited by Jeff Emery; October 12th, 2007 at 04:00 PM.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 07:36 PM   #4
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Jeff,

You did notice I very specifically said "real" testimonials.

A lot of people have problems in the beginning because they lack testimonials so they fudge the line, heck some just out right make things up. Thats not an area you want to get into. I have watched people get nailed for it.

What you get into with "legal compensation" are things that don't even need to be mentioned in the show. Air fare, hotel, meals, for bringing them to a location to shoot. Another one of your products or services as a thank you. Sometimes, especially with diet and/or exercise programs, you get the product to use on the contingency that you will provide a testimonial at the end of a certain period.

Pay someone $500 for their testimonial and you better be able to prove everything they said.

What you see mostly in the renumeration are people who are teetering on the line of offering a testimonial and being paid spokespersons. Something like ProActive, where you see Vannesa William and Kelly Clarkson on the screen giving testimonials and appearing in separate commercials. That has to be noted in someway that they are receiving something.

Basically unless your getting into a spokesperson type position they get nothing, especially no money.

It can be a slippery slope. There are a lot of things that can slip you up if your not careful and they want to come after you. Remember Charles Givens? what the jury convicted him of was saying that he had made his fortune by using his financial system when it was shown he made most of his money by selling his system. They called it fraud. You want to stay as clean as you possibly can when getting into these things.

K
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Old October 19th, 2007, 11:24 PM   #5
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Great post Kyle. The infomercial industry needs more like you.
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Old November 29th, 2007, 08:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Cascio View Post
Great post Kyle. The infomercial industry needs more like you.
Yes, but unfortunately Kyle's post reflects a position that is the exception not the rule. The company I worked for paid, in every instance, a minimum of $100 for each testimonial. Additionally, about 90% of the claims are flat out lies. That's why testimonials stink of insincerity. People really will say anything you want them to. They're fake. It's really that simple. It's also simple to parse language and couch things in a way that skirt the laws regarding product claims.

As a public service announcement to this community, never buy anything from a n infomercial. There's inefficiency built in to the DRTV business model that requires huge markups. It's not gouging, they simply have to have ridiculous markups to make a profit.
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Old December 21st, 2007, 11:29 PM   #7
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It's no secret that ProActive paid Jessica Simpson $1.5 million for her testamonial. Do you think she ever used it one single time? I doubt it.

I would not worry about paying someone $100.
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