Lowell "Bud" Paxson, who co-founded Home Shopping Network — now known as HSN — with business partner Roy Speer in 1982, passed away on Jan. 9. He was 80. After three years in Florida, HSN went nationwide in 1985 and was purchased by Barry Diller in 1996. Paxson also founded Paxson Communications Corporation, now known as ION Media Networks. We will have more on Paxson’s death in an upcoming issue of Response This Week.
Retail e-commerce spending from desktop computers for the November-December 2014 holidays totaled $53.3 billion, up 15 percent from the corresponding days last year, reports comScore. Cyber Monday (Monday, Dec. 1) ranked as the heaviest spending day with more than $2 billion in desktop buying. The day after Cyber Monday ranked second for the season at $1.8 billion, followed by Green Monday (Dec. 8) with $1.6 billion and Black Friday with $1.5 billion.
Dial800, a provider of memorable toll-free numbers to direct marketers, acquires Seattle-based Custom Toll Free and will operate it as a wholly owned subsidiary.
OpenJar Concepts launches its new website, www.openjar.com, redesigned to be more responsive, informative and device ready.
Diray TV, a media buying and campaign management company, announces Diray Digital is providing digital advertising to clients.
Top Dog Direct hosted a meet-and-greet at Lake Placid, N.Y., to support Olympic bobsledder, Jamie Greubel. Greubel, who won an Olympic bronze medal in 2014, met with fans and autographed apparel and images.
Media Design Group announces Liz Kelly as its new vice president of media. She’ll lead both the media buying and client services department. Kelly has spent more than 30 years working with both small and major brands, driving sales and managing successful campaigns for clients.
WindStar Media® LLC wins the Health First Nutrition LLC account to launch the company’s EyeComplexCS nutraceutical product. WindStar will handle all media planning and buying responsibilities.
Onyx Productions Direct announces the creation of its new Concierge Consulting Service and offers it to a select list of marketing, advertising, production and media companies in DRTV.
Ava Seavey, president and CEO of Avalanche Creative Services, celebrates 25 years in direct response. She’s spent the past two decades as a marketing and production executive, generating sales for top brands and innovative entrepreneurs. The Seavey family spans three generations in advertising, and Avalanche recently expanded to include Ava’s daughter, Kelsea Seavey.
NBC Sports Group says the Super Bowl is 95-percent sold out and that there are 15 new advertisers. Among them: long-time DRTV advertiser Wix.com, Avocados from Mexico, glue-maker Loctite, and smartphone accessories maker Mophie.
Twitter is developing a new video ad unit to support its soon-to-launch native video tool. Twitter is apparently leaning toward a “pay-for-play” cost structure, which would include a six-second preview video that automatically plays in user feeds, and the option to click to view the entire video.