The Advertising Specialist
( Originally Published 1902 )
In reading over the advertising columns of the various advertising and trade journals, the eye runs across the many ads of many ad writers, and it does not take a great deal of thinking to arrive at the conclusion that the ad writer is now a recognized institution in the business world of today. He is the product of modern business methods. That he has come to stay, goes without a murmur.
It is not so many years ago that the advertising specialist was an unknown quantity. Business men never thought of him. He was engaged in other lines of endeavor. Business men struggled with the advertising problem as best they could with the limited sources of advertising information at their command.
But advertising became of such vital interest to almost all phases of commercial and professional life that the wisdom of making the advertising department a separate and distinct department under the guidance of a good head, became very apparent.
Thus began the evolution of the advertising specialist. Some became famous by reason of the good advertising they prepared and set forth for their houses.
The contrast between the good advertising put forth by these few concerns and the ordinary or very poor publicity of other houses, stimulated the latter to the betterment of their adver tising until almost every man or firm who did advertising to amount to anything, hired a man especially talented for that work.
Some concerns could not afford to pay for an advertising man's entire time, but could for a portion of his time. Hence arose the practice of an advertising man dividing his time and effort among several houses. Of course, these advertising specialists, knowing so well the value of advertising, were not slow to use advertising in their own cases.
The first qualification of the advertising specialist is common sense. If he will put that homely but important quality into whatever he plans and writes, he is much more likely to succeed than if he tried to sell a business man a nicely plated gold brick, which is composed of nothing but a few words deftly strung together without consideration of the goods to be sold or the people the ad is supposed to reach.
The business world is now educated around to that point where it believes that the successful ad writer must be a man who has seen considerable practical experience in preparing ads that have proven their worth by selling goods, and by his evolving advertising plans that have been successful. If lie has done these things with reputable, well-known houses, then it is fair to assume he can do it again with other concerns.
There has been quite a lot of abuse heaped upon the head of the ad writer-especially when he first began to push himself to the surface-but within the last year or two this mud slinging has largely disappeared. This abuse has been the result of ignorance pure and simple on the part of these captious individuals who could never see any good in anything unless it was hoary headed with conservatism. But now as the ad writer has been in the field several years and proven his usefulness several thousand tunes to an army of business men, all opposition to him has about died away.
The most successful business men were the first to recognize the value of the advertising specialist's services to their own cases and they are today his stanchest friends.
Personally I like to see the general ad writing field being filled up with first-class men. I believe it makes things better all around. It helps to crystalize a profession, that a few years ago was in a vague nebulous state, into a concrete, definite force that means much in the great battle of business.