The Electronic Retailing Association

ERA Global UK Chapter: Simon Hinton's new role for ERA in the UK

by Simon Hinton

The UK Chapter is there as a regional support for our members in the UK

The ERA UK Chapter has existed for a good few years now. One of the great things about the people in our industry in the UK is that they are a really sociable bunch and everyone knows everyone! We meet up once or twice a year in central London. The last drinks event we had was the best attended for some time with around 65 people there. We had a really good time with ERA CEO Julian Oberndörfer in attendance and ERA Chairman Ken Daly who told us all about the new, exciting developments at ERA Global and the extra benefits membership will now bring. Many thanks to our sponsors Dormeo, JML, SKY and Mango!

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Simon Hinton

Simon Hinton is an award winning Creative Consultant who works with Direct Response companies to create infomercials, shortform spots and product films for web, specialising  in scriptwriting and broadcast compliance.

Simon has over 20 years’ experience in DR and in creating films from script to screen. He has been involved with some of the UK’s most successful TV campaigns and wrote, co-produced and directed one of the ERA Global Longform Films Of The Year 2019 (EMMA Award for Best Longform).

Simon is a fan of classic infomercials, is an average but enthusiastic golfer, married to Poppy and is father to Rose.

Contact details:

Responsive TV

Responsive TV Ltd
13 Brimstone Drive

Tel: +44 7429626368

New Role as Secretary of ERA Global's UK Chapter

As Secretary of ERA Global's UK Chapter, I will continue to organise the 'infamous' drinks event and, along with the ERA Global Team, will be doing all I can to increase membership throughout the year. The more members we have, the better for everyone!

ERA Global's Representative at BCAP

I have also taken up ERA’s position as a member of BCAP – the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practise. BCAP are responsible for writing and updating the UK broadcast advertising codes. I’m looking forward to getting involved and updating ERA members on the latest developments and updates to the Advertising Codes.

Personal Background

I’ve been around DR for over twenty years, starting my career at JML. I was at school with Ken Daly (fun fact: he and I were born on the same day!) and Ken introduced me to John Mills - I will always be grateful to John for giving me my first job in DR. I was fascinated by products such as the Universal Spanner, the Duzzit Handy Hanger and No Wet Wonderfoam.

Some 16 years later, I joined Thane Direct as Commercial Manager and then set up my own business, Responsive TV. We create shortform and longform DR commercials as well as product films for web.  We specialise in Broadcast compliance and getting the very best scripts and films we can approved.

Involvement with ERA Global

My involvement with ERA Global has traditionally been through the shows. I was fortunate to attend in Las Vegas on a number of occasions, and in Europe Berlin, Barcelona and most recently Budapest.

As a film producer, it was great for me to attend shows and meet other people in the same industry, to see how other companies worked and to see their products and their creative.  I met people whose work I admire and learned from those with more experience and knowledge than me.

The value of these shows to my career and my enthusiasm for the industry is huge....and now I get to be a part of the ERA Global organisation and I am really happy and privileged to do so.

Adapting to the Changing Landscape

My personal hopes for our UK industry are that we are able to adapt and thrive along with the changes in the way that our customers consume their media. We have to be aware of the changing landscape and adapt accordingly – indeed, stay one step ahead! 

An organisation such as ERA Global is vital in giving everyone an opportunity to share ideas and experiences so we can maximise our revenues in today’s omnichannel world.  

Opportunities and Threats in an Uncertain World

We are currently in unprecedented times in the UK and around the world.  However, the news is not all bad.  With so many people in lockdown, retail of course is virtually non existent, but some of our colleagues are reporting increased revenues online and on TV especially in the household goods and fitness categories. The immediate future is uncertain for everyone but the present is actually looking favourable for sales.  Let’s hope this continues for as long as possible! 

Film production has ground to a halt, but this is giving us an opportunity to look at scripts and existing films and tweak and improve them so they are performing as well as they possibly can!

A Moment for Reflection - some things don't change

I am a self confessed infomercial geek and I love to revisit classic infomercials from time to time.  The Ronco Six Star Showtime Knives and the Magic Bullet are personal favourites.  If you remember the Magic bullet first time around, you won’t thank me for telling you it’s now around 17 years old!

When I revisit these classic infomercials I am often reminded about really how little has changed in the infomercial sales technique.  When creating films today, we still solve the everyday problems, show how the product will save time, effort and money.  We offer guarantees and trial periods, there are the all important testimonials, we still look for the wow demo and in the Call To Action section we build the offer and the value until the viewer can resist no more and dashes to their phone to order the deal of the century! 

And we can still trace the modern infomercial DNA right back even further to the market pitchmen of years ago. 

The UK Industry get together at the well attended 'DRTV drinks', London 2019

The Not Too Distant Future

Of course, I have no fixed date for the next ERA UK Chapter get together, but now we are all getting more familiar with video conferencing, perhaps we could have a virtual meet up in the not too distant future!

I am sure I speak for all my colleagues in the UK when I wish all members of ERA Global, their friends and families our very best wishes in these difficult times.

We hope you all stay safe, well and healthy and we look forward to seeing you all in the not too distant future.