LETTERS

LETTERS to the editor should be accompanied by a home and business telephone number so that they may be verified. The editor reserves the right to edit letters for brevity if necessary.Direct approachI read with interest Barbara Canning Brown's recent article...

LETTERS to the editor should be accompanied by a home and business telephone number so that they may be verified. The editor reserves the right to edit letters for brevity if necessary.

Direct approach

I read with interest Barbara Canning Brown’s recent article entitled ‘Direct Sales tv Hindered by Regulations.’

I couldn’t agree more with her statements that direct response tv offers mass market advertisers directly measurable advertising that is more effective and cost efficient than the media alternatives they’ve ‘entrenched’ themselves in for so many years.

I was disappointed, however, to see how few people seem to be aware of recent activities within Canada with respect to infomercials.

National Cable Network, a division of Rogers Cable tv, actively markets and sells nationally several information service channels, one of which is an infomercial product known as Value Plus Network.

Our infomercials are aired during daytime hours, so being a ‘chronic insomniac’ is not a prerequisite to viewing them, as Ms. Brown suggests.

While we are restricted by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to a still-frame format, it has not hindered the quality of product produced by such highly-respected marketers as Dave Nichol, president of Loblaws International Merchants.

Dave Nichol began advertising via full-motion infomercials on wutv in December 1991, promoting his Christmas Insiders Report.

He considered it successful enough to repeat in December 1992 and added Canadian cable channels via Value Plus Network to the mix.

He now airs solely on Value Plus Network in still-frame format, 52 weeks of the year. He runs in regular rotation on vpn and has a guaranteed airing every day at 6:30 p.m.

The quality of product his production team have been able to evolve within the confines of the crtc regulations is excellent.

I strongly believe the advertisers who are interested and open-minded about the changes afoot within the communications industry will remain one step ahead of their competition.

They won’t and aren’t waiting for full-motion infomercials to be regulated on cable channels. They are evolving with the industry as it exists today by maximizing the technologies available to them.

By the time dvc, dbs and interactive technologies are in full distribution, advertisers like Dave Nichol will be looking back, wondering why it took so long for the competition to catch up.

Jean Thomas

General Manager

National Cable Network

Don Mills, Ont.