SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Adult mail-order pioneer Hy Slepicoff passed away March 23 of renal failure at a hospital in Scottsdale. He was 75.
Born in Brooklyn, New York in August, 1932, Slepicoff ran numerous successful mail-order operations including ATM Marketing, Prestige Mailing Services and WOW Enterprises. Advertising in the back pages of men's magazines, he sold hundreds of thousands of films, videos, stills, pills and potions to consumers around the world.
"Hy was a genius and a pioneer in the adult business when it came to direct marketing," said longtime friend and business associate Rich Miller. "He had hundreds of companies with different P.O. boxes and names. Hy would write copy that made people think they were getting hundreds of dollars worth of product for one dollar. He had one brochure that sold about 500,000 videos at the time."
Slepicoff is remembered by friends not only for his extraordinary advertising skills but for his generosity and kindness.
"Hy was a gem," said friend Trez of Video Images. "There was nobody better; he taught me everything that I know right now."
"He was one of the classiest, most wonderful men I have ever met in my life," said Lorraine Weinberg of Leisure Time and Sunshine Films. "I did business with him and we had a good friendship. He was just a wonderful human being."
"If Hy thought you had a problem, he was the first guy there to try to help," said Joey Abinanti, who partnered with Slepicoff in ATM and WOW. "This is a tremendous loss for all of us."
'Swedish Erotica' founder and former Caballero owner Noel Bloom echoed his contemporaries' opinion that Slepicoff was "a mail order genius" and an originator in his field.
"Hy had the knack for putting things together where it was bigger than life, whether it was magazines, 8mm films or video," said Bloom. "When I sold my company and I was in between jobs and I was struggling, Hy heard about it, called me up and said, 'I’m going to do something for you.' The next thing I know, the mail showed up and there was a nice check – it brought tears to my eyes. He said it was the least he could do for me and my family. I’ve been depressed all day."
Christian Mann of Metro Interactive met Slepicoff in 1979 and interned for him in the summer of 1981.
“Hy was one of my father’s contemporaries, a sweetheart of a guy and a master of the psychology of the adult mail order consumer," said Mann. "As a businessman, he was a gem to deal with, an old-school gentleman who was always generous whenever anybody was in a bind. He was always the first in line to assist any of his colleagues during a time of need."
Slepicoff is survived by his wife Hedy and two children. Services will be held Tuesday, March 25 at 2 p.m. at Sinai Mortuary, 24210 N. 68 Street, Phoenix, Ariz. 85054.