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Field Reports

1 Sep, 2009 By: Thomas Haire, Jacqueline Renfrow Response


Thane Recalls Half-Million Steam Cleaners Due to Burn Risks

By Juontel White

i4WASHINGTON — The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is recalling about 580,000 H20 Mop Steam Cleaners made by Thane International.

The recalled mop is white with a purple water tank and delivers steam through microfiber cloths placed on a cleaning head. The power cord on the appliance can unexpectedly wear down, exposing bare wiring, which can cause electric shock or painful burn to those using the cleaner on their floors, according to the CPSC.

The company has so far received 18 reports of users being shocked or burned by the steam-cleaning machines.

"Even though the H20 Mop is a UL-approved and tested product, Thane felt it was in the best interests of our customers to provide an attachment to the product that would increase the life of the product and eliminate damage to the electrical cord," says Mark Taylor, president of Thane Direct.

According to the CPSC, the recalled units were made in China and sold directly through TV infomercials, on QVC, online at http://thane.com/ and by nationwide retailers between June 2007 and December 2008.

CPSC representative Cathleen Riley says, "Thane ... they took the right action sending repair kits to consumers."

She continues, "We do an announcement because the public needs to know ... they can also sign onto our recall alerts and then get them by E-mail."

The product models sold for about $100 from the La Quinta, Calif.-based company.

Model numbers affected by the recall are 808.092 and OEM-TV-001 with the following reference numbers printed on the back: 200709198 to 200803148 or H20M1000 to M-H20M1198.

Consumers who have recalled steam cleaners are advised to stop using them and immediately contact Thane for a free repair kit.

TV Upfront Sales Wrap Up

By Juontel White

i5SANTA ANA, Calif. — Due to the economic climate, this year's upfront market was an ongoing bartering match between TV networks and advertising companies.

Many major advertisers remained on the sidelines of upfront deals, intending to fervently seek deals in the scatter market — the period much closer to the start of fall TV when advertising costs are expected to decline.

Several broadcast, cable and syndication ad buyers held back nearly an additional 10 percent of their upfront dollars for the scatter market. Simultaneously, networks like ABC were forced to hold back inventory for scatter.

Despite such penny pinching, a few high-rated cable networks and syndicated shows emerged as leaders in the upfront market.

The Turner network's TNT and TBS, along with NBC Universal's USA Network, had the smallest loss margins in pricing. According to Advertising Age, they averaged cost-per-thousand (CPM) decreases between 2 and 6 percent.

Because of their consistently high ratings, long-running syndications such as "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy" maintained strong pricing (CPM down between 2 and 9 percent).

Overall, the broadcast upfront secured a total volume of about $8 billion, down from last year's $9.23 billion. The big question for DR media buyers now becomes: will general advertisers scoop up discounted scatter rates and make a tight DR market even tighter?

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About the Author: Thomas Haire

Thomas Haire

About the Author: Jacqueline Renfrow

Thomas Haire

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