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Ron Popeil

Ron Popeil

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The field of television direct marketing includes both infomercials and home shopping networks, was dealt a sad blow today with the death of pitchman Billy Mays.

As the ubiquitous infomercial hawker, Billy Mays' bearded face and distinctive voice sold millions of containers of oxiclean and orange glo.

So, to remember and honor Billy Mays, you can pick up these books.

March 2009 saw a new book by journalist Remy Stern come out on the subject of infomercials, "But Wait…There's More!" The book is subtitled, "Tighten your Abs, Make Millions, and Learn How the $100 Billion Infomercial Industry Sold Us Everything but the Kitchen Sink." This expose on the $300 billion dollar direct marketing industry is a fun and entertaining lesson about the field and its star players, most notably Ron Popeil of chop-o-matic fame.

Billy Mays figures in the book.

If infomercial products are more your thing, you can check out the 2002 publication, "As Seen on TV: 50 Amazing Products and the Commercials that Made them Famous." This book by Lou Harry examines the products and the pitches, debunking some of the myths.

The story of Billy Mays and Oxiclean merit several pages in the text.

As you might expect, Ron Popeil wrote an autobiography back in 1995 (it's out of print now, but copies can still be found on line for very reasonable prices) titled "The Salesman of the Century." This book combines Popeil's rags to riches story with a blueprint for starting your own direct marketing business.
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