October 30, 1999 |
American Family Enterprises, which uses the familiar images of Dick Clark and Ed McMahon to promote its sweepstakes and magazine subscription businesses, on Friday filed for Chapter 11 protection in federal bankruptcy court. The Jersey City, N.J.-based company, which is owned by Time Warner Inc. and TAF Holdings Inc., described the voluntary filing as a key element in a proposed agreement in principle that would settle class-action suits lodged by disgruntled consumers.
January 13, 1986 |
Magazine subscription promotions are coming thick and fast, all apparently offering different rates. But which is better: $1.09 an issue of Sports Illustrated for 54 weeks ("50% Savings") or 22 issues for four payments of $5.99 each ("$32.80 Off")? Who knows? "I took a six-month deal from Time, 50% off," one consumer says, "but now that you ask, I have no idea whether it was a good deal or not." It's a valid question.
February 15, 1998
Thanks to The Times for "Elderly Subscribe to Contest Obsession" (Feb. 7). The story of Richard Lusk is a familiar one. For five years I followed the rules and mailed in orders for magazines or donated to organizations. Many times I was told I was a winner, but Super Bowl Sunday tops the list. Dave Sayer of the Prize Patrol of Publishers Clearing House sent a notice saying I was a winner, enclosing his phone number, telling me to call and let him know if I would be home, and that I would be on TV and would get an extra $5,000 for that.
June 12, 1994 |
Even in this economy, people still go out to eat. They're just spending less and demanding more. Savvy Southern California restaurateurs have finally caught on and are opening--or changing--establishments to suit newer, leaner times. The 30-year-old Beverly Hills the Bistro, which closed in January, was serious and expensive. Now the Bistro's owner Kurt Niklas is opening two new places that will both be casual and cheaper. Souffle Bistro next door to Dive!
December 11, 1999 |
Sweepstakes company American Family Enterprises has agreed to stop blanketing American mailboxes with letters claiming "You Are a Winner!" under a $33-million settlement of lawsuits claiming that consumers were duped into buying merchandise. The settlement covers up to 35 million people who were allegedly deceived by the sweepstakes plugged by Dick Clark and Ed McMahon, and resolves dozens of class-action lawsuits.
November 26, 1997 |
Federal authorities arrested an Orange County man Tuesday and accused him of bilking elderly people out of $70,000 with false claims that he represented nationally known publishers' sweepstakes. Gary Maddux, 36, of Santa Ana Heights was charged with one count of wire fraud at a federal court hearing in Los Angeles. He was held without bail pending his arraignment Dec. 15.
December 6, 1993 |
Some holiday gift suggestions for the person who has everything, courtesy of The Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Birthplace Gift Catalogue in Yorba Linda. Included in the catalogue is one section called "Elvis Has Been Spotted. He's at Nixonland!" It highlights various items featuring a picture from a visit Elvis Presley paid to Nixon at the White House during the early 1970s to receive an anti-drug award. For $18, one can buy a 22-by-28-inch poster titled "The President and the King."
May 26, 1994 |
The Little Sisters of Hoboken aren't the flying variety of nun played by Sally Field in the vintage television series. But they might as well be, the way they've been moving about Ventura County the last few months, taking over the bodies of various sets of actors in a multiplicity of productions of Dan Goggin's musical revue, "Nunsense." The newest, and easternmost, local manifestation opened last weekend at the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center.
March 9, 2001 |
Reader's Digest Assn. Inc., publisher of the world's most widely read magazine, has agreed to pay more than $6 million to settle allegations that its promotions were misleading to customers in California, 30 other states and the District of Columbia, state officials said Thursday. Reader's Digest will pay $4 million to about 7,500 "high-activity customers" who spent more than $2,500 annually in 1998, 1999 or 2000, said state Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer. That includes $1.
March 9, 2000 |
Gary Soto has a knack for telling stories that shimmer. His latest, an interlocking series of novellas called "Nickel and Dime," focuses on three Mexican American men who live beneath the radar, outside the hyped-up realm of Internet sweepstakes, lotto fever and instant millionaires. The protagonist of Soto's first novella, "We Ain't Asking Much," is Roberto Silva, whose days as a security guard at Oakland's Walnut Bank are numbered.