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Old September 5, 2003, 04:46 PM
Michael S. Winicki
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Default Gary Halbert saint or sinner?

"The risk of insult is the price of clarity."

You're probably thinking that's sounds like something Gary Halbert would write. Those that admire Gary--will applaud... those that don't--will boo.

The trouble is Gary didn't write it. Copywriting expert Roy Williams did in his first of many books, "The Wizard of Ads". You'll find it on page 12.

Roy Williams adds, "To be clearly understood, one must speak the simple, essential truth as plainly as he is able. While many of those listening will say "Such refreshing candor! So bold and direct!" others will say, "He is tactless, blunt, rude, insensitive, and unrefined."

Yep, that's pretty much the response Gary's latest newsletter has gotten on the various forums I visit.

Here's another quote:

"You can't afford to be humble... the bigger your ambitions, the more likely you are going to offend people while achieving those ambitions. And your opportunity to have meaningful impact will be in direct proportion to your willingness to offend."

No, that is not a Halbert quote either but a Dan Kennedy quote from his book, "How to Succeed in Business by Breaking All The Rules--A Plan for Entrepreneurs."

You see a lot of marketers hold Gary's point of view. You may not agree with the it but it gets results. It stops us cold.

It causes consumers to leave the catatonic state they constantly walk around in.

Gary's great at what he does because he is a master at eliciting the emotional response. Good or bad, love him or hate him, he is indeed great at what he does. Gary creates a copy-writing "car-wreck" that you just have to slow down and gawk at.

Go visit any of those web sites trying to sell a variety of Internet marketing products from traffic builders to search engine optimization. Much of the copy has absolutely no emotional appeal. It's deadly, dull and boring.

Gary Halbert is perhaps the best of his generation when it comes to writing emotional copy. You may hate his style but it gets results.

I'm sure folks are going to say "Yeah, but I think it's low class and I wouldn't ever do it"... whatever.

Now on the other side of the coin is the young lad that originally wrote Gary. I've got to admire him. Taking on Gary H.--now that's ballsy!

I can almost picture it...

...all those Internet guru's sitting around a table sipping their espresso and one say's, "Hey, I've got an idea let's have the kid bust Gary Halbert's balls--what do you think?" Now that's good!

The trouble with the attempt was the youngster just didn't have the lumber to finish the job. Sort of like what Sean Connery says in the movie the "Untouchables"..."Just like a Wop to bring a knife to a gunfight."

If nothing else it's good theater.

Mike Winicki

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