Barry Becher died at the end of June, an adman of the sort we in the industry seldom if ever herald. You can read his "New York Times" obituary here. It's the least you can do for a guy who, very likely, kept you amused. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/business/media/barry-becher-a-creator-of-ginsu-knife-commercials-dies-at-71.html?hpw
Becher was the writer of the original Ginsu steak knife commercial. The one that opens with this seminal line of copy: "In Japan, the hand can be used like a knife." This is said as a wooden board is karate chopped in half. "But this method doesn't work with a tomato." At this point a hand karates into mush a plump tomato.
Becher and his partners invented, pretty much, the modern infommerical. Complete with "order now," "but wait, there's more" and "operators are standing by."
It's easy to criticize Becher. His work was dreck. Crass. Tasteless. Ugly.
But it sold product.
He sold $30 million's worth of Ginsu knives alone. And then his company was acquired by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway.
Here's something for the effete in our industry to think about. Someone once asked Becher what "Ginsu" meant in English. He replied, "it means I never have to work again."