7.05.2005

This guy gives Snake Oil Salespeople a bad name

Courtesy of my expensively indispensable hard copy
subscription to PW comes the news of Kevin Trudeau's
"bestseller" Natural Cures They Don't Want You To Know
About.

The PW article leads with "it's not hard to see why (his)
self published (book) has hit the PW bestseller list
at #13..."

The guy ran a $500,000 per week infomercial campaign
for the book.

Sadly, Miss Snark missed seeing this infomercial
with her own four eyes, so if she's wrong about these details,
one of my beloved Snarklings must write in with the correct
info.

Here's the deal:

The list price of this book is $27.00 hardcover
Figure at BEST, he collects half the cover price
He's sold 1.5 million copies since last September
according to his publicist.

That sounds like a tidy little sum of ...-hum of
Miss Snark's inner abacus- about $20 million.

But $500,000 a week since last September is
38 weeks or 17 million dollars.

That leaves three million dollars at BEST
for 1.5 million copies sold.

Three million dollars sounds like a lot of money
doesn't it?

Too bad his settlement with the Federal Trade
Commission for claiming his supplement cures
cancer was two million.

Down to one million.

And the only things the FTC allows him to hawk
on TV now are books...not supplements.

Surprise, surprise, he writes a book.
And pays through the nose to get the word out.
Even though it probably is a break-even venture.

He makes his money on supplements and his
pay per view website. Two billion dollar global
empire according to PW.

I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry.
It's a free country ... you can buy what you want
I guess.
But it makes me sad to see books reduced
to the consolation prize in an FTC settlement,
and a loss leader product for a guy who
clearly has PT Barnum as his role model.

I hope he loses his shirt.
I'm not snarky enough to wish him a disease that
he claims to cure so he can feel the desperation
that drives people to believe these charlatans.

3 comments:

Martha O'Connor said...

The guy also claims he can cure Type 1 Diabetes using herbal supplements. If someone with Type 1 Diabetes stops using insulin... they die. Simple as that. That's what happened to Type 1 Diabetics before 1921, and that's what would happen today if someone took his advice. The man is dangerous.

I've read this book, which is so poorly written it's laughable (riddled with grammatical errors, and with two and three repetitions of entire paragraphs). What's really ironic is that it's basically one long commercial certain supplements only available on... you guessed it, his website.

JJ said...

I am exactly snarky enough to wish him a chance to understand the desperation of his clients.

Anonymous said...

Shameful confession time. I work for a magazine that shall remain nameless, but has something to do with garnering talk show interviews on radio and television. I write ads for many clients attempting to sell books. I will not say whom, but ads were written--by a writer--for this man, which were presumably effective in gaining him more publicity...

Oh, the shame. Perhaps we should watch a little more television in order to spot the charlatans BEFORE we write ads for them.