Of Salad Dicers and Spray-on Hair: 'But Wait ...There's More!'

Cityfile.com Founder Remy Stern Reveals the Players and Products of the $100 Billion Infomercial Industry

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If you've ever listened to a friend rave about the life-altering benefits of a PediEgg, a Magic Bullet or a certain fleece blanket with sleeves, you've witnessed the magnetic, mystifying pull of the $100 billion infomercial industry. If you own a PediEgg, Magic Bullet or Snuggie, consider yourself part of it. Since cable deregulation in the mid-1980s opened the door for endless product programming, insomniac TV audiences have tuned in to late-night promises of whiter teeth, spotless bathrooms and washboard abs. We've fallen for obvious camera tricks and melted at the words "throw in a second" -- and not just because we were tired.

In his addictive take on the gimmickry that is direct-response TV, Remy Stern explains why we buy into products with false promises and celeb spokesmen with even falser tans. We hate to say it, but you probably won't believe your eyes. From the screenwriter who gets paid $15,000 a segment to push tabletop grills to the 80-acre QVC studio that fielded more than 200 million callers in 2007, let's just say no part of this business is wired to refuse what's inside your wallet. In fact, somewhere near you an operator probably is standing by.

Stern's book doesn't pub for a few months, but preorder a copy now and it should arrive at about the same time as your back-ordered Snuggie.