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Field Reports

1 Dec, 2007 By: Thomas Haire, Courtney Beth Pugatch Response


Trudeau Found in Contempt by Federal Court Judge


CHICAGO — On Nov. 19, famous infomercial host and marketer Kevin Trudeau was found in contempt of a federal court order barring him from misrepresenting the contents of his popular books in a television ad. The Chicago Tribune reports that U.S. District Court Judge Robert Gettleman concurred with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that Trudeau was guilty of deceiving viewers of the long-form DRTV ad for "The Weight-Loss Cure 'They' Don't Want You to Know About."

The book s not the problem — it s Kevin Trudeau s statements in the ad promoting the book, says the FTC.
The book s not the problem — it s Kevin Trudeau s statements in the ad promoting the book, says the FTC.

In the show, Trudeau calls the diet plan described in his book as "the easiest method known on planet Earth." He also contends that if readers follow the diet plan, they will be able to eat "anything you want." However, the FTC contended — and Gettleman agreed — that the diet plan was anything but simple and did not allow readers to eat "anything," putting Trudeau squarely at odds with an order prohibiting him from misrepresenting the contents of a publication in a DRTV ad.

The book's weight-loss program requires colonics, forbids eating in chain restaurants and limits dieters to as few as 500 calories per day during stretches. While banning other items, such as meat, poultry and artificial sweeteners, the diet also called for readers to take injections of a hormonal product not approved by the U.S. government for weight loss.

"Kevin Trudeau is one heck of a salesman," the judge's opinion opens, according to the Tribune. "He is also a prolific author, self-described consumer advocate and 'exposer of corporate and government corruption.' He is also an ex-felon and ... [in contempt] of this court's orders."

While Trudeau's legal team argued that the FTC was attacking his free speech rights, the judge disagreed. A hearing date to decide on the Trudeau's punishment for the contempt finding is expected to be announced soon.


Jack Myers: Broadcast and Cable Network Upfront Costs Up 8 Percent


NEW YORK — The Jack Myers Research Report is estimating that costs-per-thousand (CPM) from 2007-08 broadcast and cable upfront sales are up about 8 percent — a major turnaround from the 2006-07 season's 1-percent decline. However, the Myers Report says that while the increase is "inflationary," it remains a "bargain" compared to current scatter market pricing.

The report also contends slackening ratings for the broadcast networks are pushing more ad dollars into the cable, syndication, out-of-home and emerging broadband video markets. Because the market transitioned this year to account for the "TiVo effect" (ratings once based on live airings are now based on the live+3-day ratings), the Myers Report says estimates were more difficult to make than in past years.

On the broadcast networks, CPMs rose 11.5 percent during morning news time slots and 9.5 percent during evening news. Primetime CPMs on the broadcast networks are up 7 percent. Cable entertainment network CPMs are up 8.5 percent, with cable news up 7.5 percent. Hispanic network CPMs jumped 10 percent.

"Although in many cases the marketplace seemed to have commanded high CPM increases, the net gains to the networks when the 'C3' gap is factored in resulted in only modest upfront inflation," Andy Donchin, director of national broadcast for media agency Carat US, tells the Myers Report. "This, coupled with the presently strong scatter marketplace, reaffirms our commitment to the upfront negotiation process."

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