Infomercials Rise While Porn Goes Soft

imageWhile the fashion and retail industries are tanking, the infomercial industry is making bank. “Business is up, way up,” A.J. Kubani, President and CEO of Telebrands, a direct response marketing company, told NPR’s All Things Considered yesterday in a segment titled “Infomercials Thrive Amid Downturn.” And it’s nothing new. Throughout the last few decades, every time the economy has suffered, infomercial sales rise. But why does recession translate to Americans suddenly developing insatiable appetites for self-proclaimed miracle products? It’s all in the advertising, says Kubani.

The economy’s downturn has sparked a distinct decrease in prime-time advertising from traditional players like auto companies and chain restaurants, which leaves, as Kubani puts it, “a lot of open TV time.” Infomercials are essentially “buying beachfront property at trailer park prices,” adds Kubani. Which explains the recent ubiquity of ads for everything from Mighty Mend-It to the Snuggie. But while interest in paid programming has skyrocketed, America’s interest in porn has lost its hard-on. In fact, the latter is having such a hard time igniting the country’s desire for adult entertainment that the porn industry is asking the government for a $5 billion bailout. Perhaps Billy Mays should be giving Hef some pointers.

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