Nation/World


Infomercial pioneer Becher dies at 71

THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 2012

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The marketing mastermind and infomercial pioneer best known for introducing American TV viewers to Ginsu knives, the miracle kitchen tool that sliced through tin cans and chopped wood, has died. Barry Becher was 71.

But as Becher’s commercials promised, “Wait, there’s more!”

Becher also brought viewers the Miracle Slicer, Armourcote Cookware and a bevy of other products he pitched with his business partner Ed Valenti. The duo’s signature style of advertising coaxed consumers to act fast because supplies were limited. Satisfaction was always guaranteed.

Becher and Valenti eventually shifted their business to become mainly a media buying firm, PriMedia, but their legacy was sealed. They helped popularize the use of credit cards and 800-numbers for over-the-TV sales and their work is seen as a precursor to extended 30-minute infomercials and round-the-clock shopping channels.

Becher, who had been suffering from kidney cancer, died Friday of complications from surgery. His funeral was held Monday. Becher’s family is considering etching on his tombstone “But wait, there’s more.”


 

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