"You look terrible" New pitch?


This is the story of Salvatore D’Amico, an Avon Man with a new pitch, as reported by the New York Times recently:

“You look terrible,” he will say, or “You look like you haven’t slept in a week.” Then Mr. D’Amico, 32, will slip the potential customer a $10 tube of Avon ProExtreme Advanced Eye Cream for Men and reassuringly tell him,

“This will help.”

Is this a boy thing, leading with the insult?

I can’t imagine a woman saying, “You look terrible!” to her friend.


In case the NYT piece is pulled, here’s the PDF thereof.

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Yikes – I just read the entire article, Kim, and wouldn’t exactly consider this positive PR for our industry.

    Mr. D’Amico makes the statement “With men, you can be more rough – you don’t have to be as compassionate.” Duh! I just this morning wrote something here about how we make people feel. Granted, we are the determinants, ultimately, of our own feeling of self-worth, etc – yet feelings of endearment won’t vibrate from me if someone tells me I look like “Cr – – -“!

    Mr. DiAmico also ends with visions of having a statue fashioned after himself, and there’s a note about bashing a competitor. I’m glad I don’t live near Philly any more.

  • Yea, Judy!

    Guys are different – they seem to like to one up each other by insulting each other – certainly much more than women seem to.

    It was a totally different approach, an approach for guys only, which is why I posted it.

    It takes a village.

    Though I too, am glad I don’t live in that village.


  • Just had to chuckle because I once knew a marketer whose line to women was, “If you use my products, you will look as good as I do!” That would certainly not inspire me to buy — at least not from her.

  • Focused on customers, at least, eh? My hut wants to be on the far end away from his village!

  • >Mr. D’Amico doesn’t pamper the men he sells to, either. “With men you can be more rough,” he said. “You don’t have to be as compassionate.”

    Credit where due, from his sales volume the guy’s clearly identified a practical method of effectively reaching his target market. The no BS approach is a refreshingly real and genuinely authentic contrast to a lot of the patronising ways in which female markets are often approached.

    And, if the ‘you look terrrible’ remark is truthful – that’s not necessarily an insult.

  • Well, I’ve seen guys do this a lot – insult each other, like smacking somebody to show affection. Women can’t stand to hear “you look terrible.” To us, it’s a real insult. The comments reminded me, though, of a hair-fixing-up place in my neighborhood that sent out an ad that said, “Now, when your friends tell you your hair looks nice, they’ll really mean it.” It was funny because it was so bad! You just thought, “Who advised you to say that???”

  • I’m with Gulliver 100% on this one. Men and women are different :), I personally would rather get the truth than be patronized, and if someone ever hits me with that line and is sincere, I’d buy and be grateful.

  • ‘Sincerity’.

    Now, what a boon that’d be to this business.

    Honest question here to any and all who have ears to hear and a mind with which to consider… how sincere is your company? Or is it merely one among many cynically manipulating the gullible? And are you thus, by your ‘idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth’ pitch, merely complicit pawns in the duplicity?
    ‘Ain’t it hard when you discover that…
    He really wasn’t where it’s at
    After he took from you everything he could steal.’
    Did you, in the quest for ‘better life’ allow yourself to be duped? And, if so, did you know it’s alright to change your mind and say ‘I was wrong’ then step away? Many do.


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