( Originally Published 1898 )
Any one who looks through the advertising columns of the average newspaper cannot help seeing that much of the money that is paid for advertising in them is wasted.
The money is wasted, not because the space is not good, but because it is not utilized to good advantage.
The space is as fertile as the richest bottom land, and it would yield immense crops of business if it were only cultivated properly. There is no use in expecting the impossible. The age of miracles is past. The age of mystery about advertising is rapidly passing. The time is coming when all business men will think of their advertising in the same common-sense way that they think of the rest of their business.
Advertising is amenable to good business rules.
The trouble is that people have gotten into the habit of saying that advertising is uncertain—that you cannot tell anything about it, and that it is a very mysterious thing altogether. This sort of talk may be expected from the publishers of various advertising "schemes." It is to their advantage to have advertising considered more or less of a gamble, because advertising in such a media is a gamble, and a very unsafe one at that. Compared to it, a "bunco" game is an innocent joyous amusement.
Newspaper advertising is certain if it is properly done.
It is as certain as any other business transaction.
Everything in business - has to be done right, or it will not pay.
Buying advertising is as certain as buying carpets, or coffee, or coal.
You can lose money in doing either.