Billy Mays' Family Considering Future of His Final Projects
Jul 7, 2009
The family of the late Billy Mays is weighing questions about the best routes to take with projects he left behind. "We've talked to the family. There will be an official statement coming out this week. Last week, we put him to rest -- an entrepreneur and a pitchman and nobody better," says Kevin Harrington, the businessman behind many of the products Mays advertised -- as well as being his longtime friend and the person who got Mays into infomercials some 22 years ago.
He, like Mays' family, "would like to see those projects out there one way or another -- wherever they make sense. What they're doing right now is deciding what those strategies are. For ESPN, you have to think it might be a stretch to have Billy pitch, but in our universe, I think that certainly as time goes on, there will be a lot of people remembering Billy, and most likely everything from our side will be out there."
Harrington's latest collaboration with Mays was a 30-minute infomercial -- the longest Mays ever did -- for Dual Saw. "We have his infomercial running; we slowed it down out of respect for his family last week."
The vastly successful marketing wiz -- who will be seen as one of the judges on ABC's Aug. 9-debuting entrepreneurial competition show "Shark Tank" -- recalls, "I ran into Billy 22 years ago at the Philadelphia Home Show, and I said, 'You should be doing infomercials.' And he said, 'What's an infomercial?' We did his first one back in the mid-'80s, and, of course, he became very successful in his own regard, going beyond our universe into, I'll call it, the real television universe, with ESPN and life and health insurance. He just signed a deal with Taco Bell. He transcended beyond gadgets and cleaners and into corporate America. I don't think there'll ever be anyone as powerful in this arena as Billy Mays was."
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