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    Was Ed McMahon ever affiliated with Publishers Clearing House?

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    Question: Was Ed McMahon ever affiliated with Publishers Clearing House?

    Answer:

    Contrary to popular belief, the late Mr. Ed McMahon was never affiliated with Publishers Clearing House. He formerly worked for a competitor, American Family Publishers, which is no longer in business.

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    'Mandela Effect': Ed McMahon and Publishers Clearing House

    Here are several reasons why so many Americans think they remember entertainer Ed McMahon working for Publishers Clearing House.

    ‘Mandela Effect’: Ed McMahon and Publishers Clearing House

    ‘Mandela Effect’: Ed McMahon and Publishers Clearing House Here are several reasons why so many Americans think they remember entertainer Ed McMahon working for Publishers Clearing House.

    Jordan Liles

    Published 20 May 2022

    Updated 24 May 2022

    Image via Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

    Claim

    Entertainer Ed McMahon was a spokesperson for Publishers Clearing House.

    Rating

    False About this rating Context

    There’s no evidence that McMahon ever worked for Publishers Clearing House. He was, however, a spokesperson for American Family Publishers. In old television commercials for American Family Publishers, the word “Publishers” appeared much smaller than “American Family,” perhaps because the company knew that so many American households had confused the two brands, believing that McMahon worked for the competition.

    Fact Check

    Entertainer Ed McMahon was never a spokesperson for the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. However, there appears to be a large number of Americans who believe that he was. This is an example of a false memory, known as the “Mandela Effect.”

    It’s called the “Mandela Effect” because of the false memory of so many people who believed Nelson Mandela died in prison in the 1980s. In reality, he died in 2013.

    The false memory that McMahon worked for Publishers Clearing House likely existed in the minds of many Americans for one or a combination of several reasons.

    Reason #1: Old Television Commercials

    Some readers might fondly remember Publishers Clearing House television commercials from past decades where sweepstakes winners were notified at their doorsteps by PCH Prize Patrol that they had won large cash prizes, sometimes with a big check. However, McMahon never appeared in the ads. Here’s an example of one such commercial:

    Reason #2: American Family Publishers

    McMahon appeared in television commercials for a company similar to Publishers Clearing House that was named American Family Publishers. The word “Publishers” appeared smaller than “American Family,” perhaps because the company knew that some American households had confused the two brands.

    Reason #3: McMahon’s Face on Envelopes

    While working as a spokesperson for American Family Publishers, a drawing of McMahon’s face appeared on envelopes that were sent to American households. However, his face never appeared on Publishers Clearing House envelopes, because again, he never worked for the company. McMahon hinted at the competition (Publishers Clearing House) and his face on the envelopes in this old television commercial:

    Reason #4: 1994 Television Commercial

    In 1994, McMahon and fellow spokesperson Dick Clark participated in a television commercial for American Family Publishers. This was the only footage we found that showed the pair with what appeared to be a real winner. A woman in the ad said that McMahon showed up to her door to present the check. We were unable to find any footage that documented the celebratory moment:

    Reason #5: Picture of McMahon with Big Check

    A photograph shared online appears to show McMahon holding a check that reads, “Big Win.”

    Source: Unknown

    Thanks to help from several readers, we confirmed that this was simply a guest appearance by McMahon on the 2004 reality television series titled, “$25 Million Dollar Hoax.”

    Reason #6: Neighborhood Watch Television Commercial

    In an unknown year, McMahon took part in a commercial for Neighborhood Watch. The idea for the humorous ad was to have McMahon visit people’s doorsteps to sign them up for the program. The script called for the actors who played homeowners to pretend as if they believed they had won a cash prize, simply because McMahon was standing in front of their houses:

    Reason #7: Appearances on Sitcoms and Late Night Shows

    McMahon appeared in several television sitcoms and on late night talk shows where he would show up at doorsteps (albeit with nondescript checks).

    According to screenshots gathered by a YouTube user, McMahon appeared at front doors with big checks on “Roseanne,” “Who’s the Boss?,” “The Nanny,” “Boy Meets World,” and several other shows. The checks sometimes said “Jackpot” or “Sweepstakes” and did not show a company name:

    Reason #8: Additional References and Media

    On an episode of “The Golden Girls,” actor Betty White once mentioned McMahon working for Publishers Clearing House, even though he never had any association with the company:

    We also found three more references. A picture showed that McMahon once handed out a small check as a joke on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Former late night talk show host Johnny Carson once visited “The Late Show with David Letterman,” where he delivered a big (and apparently fake) check with the Publishers Clearing House name, apologizing in jest that McMahon couldn’t be there to present it. There was also a photograph that showed him preparing to present a big check to winners of the MegaBingo Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2003.

    Source : www.snopes.com

    The Curious Case Of Ed McMahon And The Publishers Clearing House

    Publishers Clearing House winner with Prize Patrol, and no Ed McMahon When those of a certain age think of the Publishers Clearing House, they tend to remember TV ads featuring Ed McMahon knocking on a door while holding a big check. Even the Obama administration made reference to these advertisements according [...]

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    The Curious Case Of Ed McMahon And The Publishers Clearing House

    Larissa FawFormer Contributor

    I write about millennials, workplace trends and career mavericks.

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    Nov 21, 2012,09:42am EST

    Publishers Clearing House winner with Prize Patrol, and no Ed McMahon

    When those of a certain age think of the Publishers Clearing House, they tend to remember TV ads featuring Ed McMahon knocking on a door while holding a big check. Even the Obama administration made reference to these advertisements according to Michael Grunwald’s recent book The New New Deal. Former Obama chief-of-staff (and current Chicago mayor) Rahm Emanuel argues that a stimulus bill is “denying ourselves an Ed McMahon moment…the grateful squeal of Publishers Clearing House pleasure that would greet an envelope arriving from Obama.”

    Yet, Emanuel like nearly everyone else gets it wrong.

    Ed McMahon never worked for Publishers Clearing House. He was a spokesman for American Family Publishers. McMahon never left the studio to ambush families, and he never held a giant check.

    Similarly, Publishers Clearing House never hired a celebrity to serve as a spokesperson, and it was the Prize Patrol, not McMahon, that showed up on doorsteps with a giant check.

    So what happened that makes everyone remember these ads incorrectly? It’s not as if they are misremembering a few details. They are entirely rewriting separate million-dollar marketing campaigns created by two companies.

    PROMOTED

    “American Family Publishers was set up to directly compete with us,” says Publishers Clearing House’s Todd Sloane. “They were always a ‘me-too’ company. When we ran TV commercials, they would go on air with TV ads. They would do everything we did. So during the 1980s when there was a tremendous amount of TV advertising, people got these ads mixed up. They thought they were one-and-the-same.”

    At the time, Publishers Clearing House really didn’t make any real effort to correct this misconception. “It was kind of a blessing. It was free advertising since people thought McMahon was working for us,” says Sloane. “It certainly didn’t hurt us.” And as a result, the association between McMahon and Publishers Clearing House became an enduring myth. “It was the combination of the well-established company and the well-established spokesperson,” says Sloane.

    While this campaign switch-up serves as entertaining cocktail fodder, it also represents a missed opportunity, say brand consultants. “Great marketing is one upping your competition while maintaining your own brand integrity,” says advertising executive Bob Cutler of C3 Concepts. “The disappointing part of the story is that [Publishers Clearing House] having survived the business climate and still being around could not use parody or some other innuendo to turn the myth to their advantage.”

    Nonetheless, Publishers Clearing House continues to roll out the Prize Patrol, and is now focused more on Internet outreach than TV campaigns. It’s next grand prize sweepstakes takes place February 28. American Family Publishers went out of business in the 1990s, and McMahon passed away in 2009.

    Despite McMahon’s death, there are some that still hope this erroneous belief is just delayed fate. That McMahon and the Publishers Clearing House will finally come together.  “With all the mediums available to marketers today, a campaign to dissuade the myth could be rather fun,” says Cutler.

    Larissa Faw

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    Source : www.forbes.com

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