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DR Hall of Fame: Marsh


Direct Response Hall of Fame: Class of 2016


Bob Marsh

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.


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