Q & A with infomercial host Brad Pomerance

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DRTV News' senior editor Sarah Littman spoke with Brad Pomerance, lawyer, writer, TV personality and infomercial host about his role in DRTV.

You trained as a lawyer, worked as a business and legal affairs executive at Paramount Pictures Television Group and currently host the Local Edition of CNN Headline News in Los Angeles, as well as the syndicated radio feature Celebrity Crime Club. How did you end up in Direct Response?

When I was a lawyer at Paramount Television, I worked with Leeza Gibbons, who has enjoyed tremendous success in direct response. She opened my eyes to the world of DR.

Then when I started to work on-camera, I was encouraged by many a producer to pursue hosting work in the DR industry. They uniformly commented that I had the energy, the passion and the pitching prowess to work as an infomercial host. I could not be happier that I was encouraged to join the DR community. I love hosting infomercials.

What would you consider the top five dos and don'ts of being an infomercial host?

Top Five Dos

1. Do know the product like the back of your hand.

2. Do use the product yourself and ask any questions about its features when in doubt.

3. Do believe in the product you are selling. If you don't, the audience will know and they won't buy it.

4. Do engender trust in the audience. If the viewers trust you, they are more likely to trust and buy the product.

5. Do smile, keep your energy up and give your best for every single take.

Top Five Don'ts

1. Don't represent a product unless you know its claims have been substantiated.

2. Don't work for get-rich-quick schemers. If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.

3. Don't allow yourself to become over-exposed. You will loose credibility with the audience.

4. Don't be difficult on the set. You are but one of many people that are working hard to produce a compelling show. Be a team player.

5. Don't think that because you are an effective infomercial host, you will automatically be a strong home shopping host. The skill set between the two are different and should you be asked to represent a product on a home shopping network, get some coaching before you jump onto live television.

I'm new to the DR industry and I'm looking for someone to host an infomercial for my product. Got any tips about what I should look for?

1. Select a host that has experience in and is passionate about DR. The art of the pitch is a skill that is honed. It does not come automatically, even for seasoned television professionals.

2. Select a host that appeals to the audience you are targeting.

3. Select a host that hasn't been a host for too many different products.

4. Select a host that is fun to work with, is flexible, and can think on their feet.

5. Invest in your host. This is not an area to cut corners. They are the face of your product.

Does the Brad Pomerance Esq. part of you ever feel uncomfortable with some of the things that Brad Pomerance infomercial host is required to say in a DR spot?

That is such a great question. My legal background has taught me to keep my moral compass firmly in place. Fortunately, I have only worked with product developers and infomercial producers who place a premium on high ethical standards. And with the ERA's commitment to unwavering ethical behavior, I believe that I will be able to continually boast that my dedication to an ethical code is bolstered, not hampered, by the direct response industry.

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