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Infomercials - Generally a half-hour program whose sole purpose is to sell a product. The infomercial started in 1984 after the Federal Trade Commission lifted restrictions on how much time a local TV station could sell.

Since that time, TV has been inundated with thousands of hours of lengthy testimonials and product pitches for such items:

  • Richard Simmons' Deal-A-Meal;
  • Kitchenmate Mixer,
  • The Psychic Network,
  • Carleton Sheets Real Estate Success Seminars,
  • Tony Robbins' Personnel Power Videotapes,
  • GripMaster tool,
  • Exercise equipment commercials such as the Flip Trak Tread Mill, the Nautilus Adjustable Slant Board and Bench, the Health Rider, the Power Rider and the Health Walker.

Ron Popeil, the King of Infomercials

Forerunners to the lengthy infomercial TV spots were Ronco products like the Veg-O-Matic ("it slices, it dices...") and the Pocket Fisherman marketed in the fifties and sixties.

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