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A Salute to History: 2016 DR Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

10 Feb, 2016

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Response Magazine and its Advisory Board are proud to announce the inductees for 2016 class of the Direct Response Hall of Fame. The group features eight legends in the DR marketing world. They are: John Cabrinha, Dan Danielson, Leeza Gibbons, Linda Goldstein, Jack Kirby, Toni Knight, Jeffrey Knowles, and posthumous inductee Bob Marsh.

“This group of inductees to the DR Hall of Fame is as powerful an octet as one could imagine, “ says Thomas Haire, editor-in-chief of Response. “Our nominating committee —the Response Advisory Board, previous Hall of Fame inductees, and Response’s executive leadership — has chosen a group of leaders that measures up to the high standards of our three previous classes, and we are thrilled to welcome them.”

The group will be honored during a series of afternoon events at Response Expo at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront on Thursday, April 28. The events will include a special panel discussion with a group of inductees on hand, as well as the official induction event. More information on these events can be found at

In 2013, Response Magazine and its Advisory Board created the Direct Response Hall of Fame in order to honor those individuals whose careers in the marketing business stand as a beacon of success. The creation of the DR Hall of Fame was years in the making and championed by long-time Response Advisory Board member Richard Stacey of Northern Response Intl. Ltd., in Toronto. Throughout the past decade, as the Response team sought a way to honor the greatest careers in DR marketing history, it became more and more clear that not only was a Hall of Fame the best option, but the only option.

“Our fourth class of inductees to the DR Hall of Fame showcases the pinnacle of leadership and success in the long history of direct response marketing,” says John Yarrington, publisher of Response. “With nearly 50 nominees submitted by our Advisory Board and previous Hall of Fame inductees, the array of talent featured in this group truly reflects the high standards required to be considered for DR Hall of Fame membership.”

Here are brief biographies of this year’s inductees:

  • John L. Cabrinha, co-chairman of Los Angeles-based Mercury Media, has enjoyed a successful career in the direct marketing industry for more than 30 years. He first entered the industry in 1982 as a telemarketing operator for a home shopping program. He later joined SyberVision in 1987 as a standout media buyer and planning strategist. It was at SyberVision that John met his current business partner, Dan Danielson. In 1990, after leaving SyberVision, he and Danielson formed the highly successful Direct Ventures Marketing. In 1991, Direct Ventures merged with Mercury Media, where the duo took over the leadership of the company as co-CEOs. EOS Partners acquired Mercury Media in 2006. Cabrinha and Danielson initially remained on as co-CEOs and now serve as co-chairmen of the agency. In 1993, Cabrinha formed and chaired the Media Council, the first of its kind to operate in the National Infomercial Marketing Association (NIMA, now known as ERA). In 1996, Cabrinha was recognized as one of the 25 most influential people in the industry by Response Magazine. From 1996-1999, Cabrinha served as a member of the Board of Directors for ERA.
  • Dan Danielson, co-chairman of Mercury Media in Los Angeles, is a 30-year media-buying veteran. He got his start in the infomercial industry in 1986, while working at SyberVision Systems Inc. The company helped pioneer the use of long-form advertising to sell products. During his tenure there, Danielson helped launch a string of successful direct marketing television campaigns and strategies. In 1990, Danielson partnered with John Cabrinha to form Direct Ventures Marketing, an infomercial-buying firm. The “media hot shop” caught the attention of Marilyn Carr, then owner of Mercury Media, a mid-sized media buying agency. The two companies merged in 1991 under the Mercury Media banner. Since that time, Danielson has served as co-CEO — and presently as co-chairman — along with Cabrinha. With offices in Los Angeles, Boston, New York City, Princeton, N.J., and Philadelphia, Mercury Media will bill more than $300 million in media in 2016. Danielson has received many honors over his career, among them being named one of the 25 most influential people in the industry by Response Magazine. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) as treasurer and chairman of the board.
  • Emmy Award winner Leeza Gibbons is one of the most well‐known pop culture icons on the air. In addition to her impressive background in the field of entertainment and news media, Gibbons is an instrumental advocate for healthcare, wellness, and caregiving. Her on‐camera hosting dominance ranges from the most popular entertainment news show in history, Entertainment Tonight, which she co-hosted for 16 years, to her award‐winning daytime talk show Leeza, which ran for seven years. More recently, Gibbons spent four years as co-host of the syndicated news magazine show America Now, while simultaneously hosting the PBS show My Generation, where she won the 2013 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host. Gibbons’ book about personal growth, ‘Take 2,” became a New York Times bestseller. Her follow up book, “Fierce Optimism” (Harper Collins) makes its debut on April 12. Gibbons recently passed the $1 billion mark in direct response sales. As a pioneer in the infomercial world, Gibbons has hosted at least one hit infomercial in each of the past three decades. Her nearly 25-year partnership with Guthy-Renker is the longest studio/talent partnership in the history of direct response and has produced some of the most successful infomercials of all time — from “Tony Robbins Personal Power II” to the groundbreaking mineral make up line, “Sheer Cover.” Their latest collaboration, “Dr. Denese Skin Science” is set to debut in the summer 2016.
  • Linda Goldstein has represented companies in all sectors of the direct response industry for decades. In a world of intense competition, clients rely on Goldstein’s in-depth knowledge of the laws that impact their direct-to-consumer business, her intimate understanding of the complexities of the industry, and her longstanding familiarity with its key players to help provide them with a competitive advantage. Goldstein has been a member of the DRMA since its inception, contributing regularly to its monthly online news publication, The DRMA Voice. She’s also a long-time member of the Response Magazine Advisory Board. Goldstein is a former chair of the board of directors of the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) and was one of the key architects of the organization’s Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP). As chair of the Advertising, Marketing & Media division of Manatt Phelps & Phillips, Goldstein devotes much of her practice to advising clients on how to minimize the legal risks associated with digital marketing and online retailing, and representing them in investigative and enforcement proceedings. She is an expert in the legal issues surrounding mobile commerce and apps, social media marketing, native advertising, loyalty and continuity programs, and automatic renewal services.
  • Jack Kirby is considered one of the most successful direct-to-consumer marketers in the world today. A product of our ever-evolving media age, Kirby’s rapid career trajectory has spanned virtually every modern media platform: print, radio, television, Web, and — more recently — the development of mobile media platforms. Beginning in his native Boston as a precocious 12-year-old, pre-teen TV talk show host, Kirby’s fascination with media began a 30-plus year odyssey that put him at the forefront of a culture-shifting media explosion. In a broad ranging career that brought him success as a TV journalist, network television executive, innovative marketing pioneer, and Internet entrepreneur, Kirby has helped change the way people watch and consume media, buy products — and, in the process, change their lives. Currently, Kirby serves as president of the creative, marketing, and television production units of Havas Edge, the largest, integrated direct marketing advertising agency in North America. He is also co-founder and chairman (along with actress/TV talk show host Ricki Lake) of, the breakthrough program for kids and families struggling with childhood obesity.
  • A pioneer in direct response advertising sales, Toni Knight founded WorldLink in 1997 specifically to focus on ad sales representation for infomercials and direct response. Today, WorldLink continues to be one of the world’s leading and fastest-growing multiplatform advertising sales firms — and it is one of the largest woman-owned businesses of its kind. One of the first to identify the potential of direct response marketing in the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets, Knight created WorldLink en Español in 1998 — a division that is now the largest independent direct response representative serving the growing area with numerous Spanish-language platforms. In recognition of her achievements, the National Association of Women Business Owners’ (NAWBO) Los Angeles Chapter honored Knight with its 2004 Business Leader of the Year Award. She has also been named a finalist for the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Greater Los Angeles region, and a finalist in the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Women Making a Difference honors. Knight is also a member of the Annenberg School’s Board of Councilors at USC. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) and as chairperson of its Latin American Council Media Committee. She has also served on the Editorial Advisory Board of Response Magazine.
  • Jeffrey Knowles is one of the nation’s foremost advertising attorneys, and a pioneer in the legal issues related to direct-to-consumer marketing and e-commerce. He manages Venable’s Government Division and heads the firm’s Advertising, Marketing, and New Media Practice Group. He is also a member of Venable’s executive committee, compensation committee, partnership selection committee, and expansion committee. Knowles founded and served for 13 years as general counsel to the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA). He is a member of the board of directors and past chairman of the ERA, as well as and past chair of the association’s government affairs committee. He represents clients before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Postal Service (USPS), state attorneys general, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and self-regulatory bodies such as the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulatory Program (ERSP) and the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Knowles is an active member of the Antitrust Section of the American Bar Association (ABA), the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA), and the Brand Activation Association (BAA). He also serves as vice-chairman of the Board of Trustees of New York Law School.
  • When Bob Marsh established the American Telecast Corp. (ATC) in 1975 with business partner Steven K. Scott, it’s hard to fathom that he knew what a massive effect it would have on the direct response industry. A World War II veteran — he earned a Bronze Star — who had spent time in the ad business and as a small business owner, Marsh started American Telecast as a media agency, taking a $5,000 test budget for a new acne product and — within nine months — growing sales to $1 million per week. It wouldn’t be long before ATC expanded became a direct response product-marketing giant, with more than $3 billion in total sales across its product lines. With Scott and, eventually, sons John and David as partners, Marsh oversaw such hit products as Victoria Jackson Cosmetics, Richard Simmons Deal-A-Meal, Where There’s a Will, There’s an A, and — of course — the still ubiquitous Total Gym. Marsh and American Telecast have worked with more than 90 celebrity endorsers over the years, with the best-known partnership being, of course, with Christie Brinkley and Chuck Norris on Total Gym. Marsh passed away in 2008.

To be a part of the induction ceremony on April 28, please register to attend Response Expo today at

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