( Originally Published 1898 )
People generally read advertisements more than they did a few years ago. The reason is to be found in the advertisements themselves.
Advertisers are more careful than they used to be. They make the advertisements more readable. Some of them even become in a way a department of the paper, and people look for them every day with as much zest and pleasure as they turn to any other feature.
This is true of many department stores all over the country. In many cities there is just one man who appreciates the value of such interest.
He breaks away from the old set style. He tells something interesting in his space every day.
There are lots of interesting things in business. Look over the miscellany page of any paper—look at its local news columns, and its telegraph news, for that matter, and you'll see that the majority of the items are more or less closely related to some business fact.
Dress these facts up in a becoming garb of words, and they will find readers even though they be in a "mere advertisement."
Let the merchant come down off his pedestal and talk in his ads. He needn't be flippant—far from it, but let him not write as if he were addressing somebody afar off, and telling him about something at even a greater instance.
The newspaper goes right into its reader's house—goes in and sits down with him. It is on the table when he eats, and in his hands while he. is smoking after the meal. It reaches him when he is in an approachable condition.
That's the time to tell him about your business—clearly, plainly, convincingly—as one man talks to another.