Advertising in Newspapers
( Originally Published 1898 )
Do you advertise (God save the mark!) on the backs of restaurant bills of fare? Do you put a card in the book "for the benefit of the Fire Department?" Do you subscribe to the "Industrial, Progress" book and have your picture in it as a prominent business man? Does the "Society" programme catch you. Are you susceptible to the blandishments of the gentleman who puts beautiful charts in all the railway stations?
Do you take "a space—the only one left," in a thousand and one schemes that come around every year? Do you suppose you ever got a cent's worth of benefit out of any $10 you ever spent that way?
If all the dollars that are diverted from the newspapers into these and similar channels were used in buying space in the best paper in town there would be fewer merchants who say that advertising is a doubtful undertaking.
There's nothing doubtful about it. It is as sure as any other business transaction. The funny part of it is that it is generally given less attention than any other department of a business.
The contract once made and the space decided upon, the average advertiser's interest seems to die. Even a neglected ad in a good paper will do some good, in spite of the advertiser's apathy. A good advertisement will always bring profitable returns, if placed in a paper whose price for space is based on an honest circulation statement.
And if I were an advertiser I would not use a paper that refused to prove its circulation. Circulation is what he is buying and he has the right to know the quantity. And bare assertion isn't proof—not by several thousands sometimes.