Response Program PinPoints Broadcasters

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The Product Information Network, Englewood, CO, after testing its PinPoint Response program regionally since June, has forged partnerships with 81 local broadcasters who will roll out the program during the first quarter.

The PinPoint Response program sends infomercials by videotape to local cable broadcasters with a guaranteed check that is equal to a share of a projected number of units sold during a certain time period. During this time period, typically a week to a month, broadcasters have total freedom over the frequency and times in which the infomercial is shown.

The PinPoint Response program works as a reverse per-inquiry agreement; instead of paying the share of profits after orders have been processed, PinPoint Response does it upfront in order to cement a trusting, fruitful relationship with broadcasters at the grass-roots level.

Carey Davidson, director of PinPoint Response at the company, said this program and others like it are turning the tide against those broadcasters who feel that DRTV is either dead, too much of a financial risk or simply unprofitable.

"So many of these smaller cable broadcasters have been ripped off by either per inquiry that never pans out or by infomercial producers who have gone broke and left them footing the bill for ad time that can never be salvaged," Davidson said.

The most attractive feature to the broadcasters is that they can choose when and how many times to air an infomercial.

"If they consistently air the spot at productive viewing times and orders equal the amount of the first check quickly, we will send them out another check immediately," said Davidson. "This way, the more they air the ad and the more sales there are, the more money we will send them. We effectively become partners."

Davidson also added that if a station is unsatisfied with the infomercial, either because of low response or regional product exclusion, PinPoint Response will simply send them another one and see if it works.

"We are in contact with each of these stations on a weekly basis. We don't know how many times they show the spots and they don't know how many are sold, so communication is vital," said Davidson.

Some say the obvious flaw in the system is that broadcasters may choose to keep the checks and sporadically air the infomercial. But Davidson said it would be stupid for broadcasters to try and bilk the company.

"If a broadcaster wants to keep the check and not follow through with the program, it's their loss," said Davidson. "One thing is for sure, unlike the other 81 cable broadcasters who see this as a way to increase overall profits, they will not be getting another check."

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