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bugged before. So the cause of flotation languishes, and the promoters look to foreign investors, but of recent date with indifferent success.
Where the Farmer's Money Goes
“The point I want to bring out is this: If the bureau of corporations of the Department of Commerce and Labor had been organized long enough to give to the public an idea of the stability of corporations which are seeking for the confidence of the investing public, long enough to assure the farmers of the West that they were good and reliable investments, instead of salted mines,' they would supply the money to set them going. If the schemes of Wall street were not regarded with suspicion -not always well founded, if you please —the farmers' money would be invested there, and then, where would be all these predictions of a panic because water is squeezed out of the stocks? As it is, the farmer is going ahead attending to his business, putting his money where it will be safe, and he does not care whether they are squeezing water out of stocks or dumping it in.
“Steps are being taken to keep the farmers prosperous, even if some crops should fail. There are many questions that have to be seriously considered and solved. For instance, the boll weevil is threatening the cotton crop.
. ernment is undertaking operations to ascertain the cause of this pest and to stamp it out.
Keeping the Farmer Prosperous “Constant experiments are being made to show that there are other crops with which the American farmer is not familiar that can be raised at a greater profit than some of those he is now engaged in producing. The cultivation of the sugar beet is going to become much more general than it is at the present time. Six years ago the production of beet sugar in this country was 29,000 tons. One year ago the production was
220,000 tons. The production is going to increase, and it means a good paying crop for the farmer.
He is learning that his by-product, instead of being thrown away, can be used to great advantage for the feeding of the cattle and other live stock.
“Then, again, great progress has been made in proving that a large portion of the United States which has not sufficient rainfall to raise the ordinary crop plants can be used to great advantage in the growing of a peculiar kind of wheat. The land between the 100th and 120th principal meridians is thus affected and comprises one-third of the area of the United States. On this land as a result of our experiments year before last 10,000,000 bushels of wheat were harvested. Last year it was 25,000,000. In a few years the production will be 100,000,000 bushels.
“I have the greatest confidence in the agriculturist
the real sustaining power of the prosperity of the United States. So long as the crops are boundless the railroads will make money hauling to the market or to the seaboard. So long as the railroads make money they produce dividends and they keep the shops going. When the railroads cut
pass dividends the whole country takes alarm. Merchants curtail their stocks, manufacturing establishments shut down and contemplated industries are abandoned. Hence there is no question in my mind as to the important part the farmer is playing and will continue to play in the financial affairs of the United States."
The Advertising Agent of Today
GEORGE P. ROWELL
experience of half a century, the position of the advertising agent, in the United
States, remains practically what it was in the beginning. He is the agent of the advertiser, although the papers pay for the service he renders. As years pass by there are more agents and more papers. The commission allowed is smaller and there is a marked tendency, on the part of the agent, to remit to the advertiser some portion of the reduced percentage allowed him. Advertisers have increased enormously in number and buy more space, therefore, it takes a larger appropriation than_formerly to produce telling results. Publicity, however, appears to be susceptible of being put to uses that are still more profit-producing and it is noted on every hand that the largest advertiser gains the greatest profit and is more likely than a timid rival to be even more bold and profuse in his announcements next year than in the one preceding. Finding that the money comes back, he ceases to be appalled by large figures, yet he insists more closely than formerly upon knowing the capacity of the individual publication, he thinks of using, actually to render the service it promises and to be worth the price demanded for it.
Within the last score of years, the practice of maintaining a special agent at the commercial centers of New York and Chicago has had its inception and development. It has produced satisfactory results for the great dailies that inaugurated the system; the representa
tives have found the occupation profit| able, and the plan has been so greatly
extended that nowadays to be without a special representation is equivalent, on the part of a daily paper in a leading city, to relinquishing any claim to firstclass importance.
The wonderful development of the advertising pages of the monthly magazines is also a growth of the past twenty years and has influenced ideas and methods of the advertising agencies. The magazines go everywhere and reach the more intelligent among all the people in every state
and territory. There are
comparativly few of them, when a total count is made, and it is, therefore, possible, by using them, to cover the entire country with an investment that, although large in amount, falls far short of the cost of reaching all points by means of appeals in the pages of the daily papers, if printed in every issue and continued through several months or a year.
With the vast growth of the magazines and the active representation by the special agents of the merits of the great dailies, the weekly paper of moderate circulation, the religious, the village and county seat weeklies have all fallen into disfavor with general advertisers on account of their great number, comparatively small circulation and consequent dearness of the publicity they offer as compared with the cost of reaching an equal number of readers by using the magazines and great dailies.
As a consequence of the changes that have been noted, the advertising agent, though expending vastly greater sums than formerly, now deals with a smaller number of papers, considers their individual merits, influence, comparative dearness or cheapness more closely, does his work for a smaller percentage of profit and, in most cases, if he rises above the mass of unknown claimants to the position of general agent, makes more money than ever before, serves his customer better and holds his patronage with a firmer grasp.
The best agents are governed in the conduct of their business operations by some general rules, a sort of constitution that tends to keep operations within certain bounds and pathways. The following is a fair example of one such plan or outline.
Do not attempt to represent all papers.
Try to be exclusive agent for SOME papers.
Make up a list of papers sufficiently large to cover every State. In States—Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, for instance-one
papers may be enough. Try to be solid with those papers. Add new papers for sufficient reasons and drop old ones from the list
FRIEND recently pointed out an advertisement to me and said: “Now, look here, how
can any investment concern af. ford to pay that high rate of interest ? There is a plenty of rich men who would be glad to place any sum of money safely at half that guaranteed interest rate. Something, is wrong somewhere, and this paper's publishers ought to know enough to know it." The only obvious answer was, “Yes, they ought to know enough to know.” And doubtless they, like “Wee McGregor” at the Zoo, were “afeart' but hid their feelings when the decision had to be made, and let business decide in favor of inserting the ad. But was it business? Sitting in the seat of the Pharisee, I answer that it was not. That advertisement cheapened the paper more than it swelled its receipts.
When a sample copy of any publication comes to my farm home, and is a possible candidate for my hard-earned dollars, I can size it up more quickly by scanning the advertising pages than by looking over the reading matter. The editor may pose as
an apostle of the true faith-economic, agricultural, religious or Rooseveltian—but the advertising manager is the man who gives character to the publication. He stamps it with an index finger that shows to just what power it has been raised. If the advertisements are straight, then the subscription list has been made up from sensible folk and an honest class of merchants are asking for their patronage. If, on the other hand, there is much advertising by knaves, frauds and indecent folk, I know that a lot of fools are reading the paper, and that, on the average, the paper is made to please fools. Not wanting to make any admissions, I do not subscribe.
But what of the big lot of advertising that is on the border line? That is the matter that puzzles many a decent
man and paper. If one sets himself up as a guardian for others in all doubtful things he may have little else to do. A publisher can not go around asking every man to explain why he fails to dot his “i's” or cross every “t'—unless he is ready to let some one else have the publishing business while he degenerates into a mugwump. All this is very true, and yet I believe that the intelligence of any reputable paper's constituency is sufficient to make these borderland advertisements a doubtful business investment. The paper that admits deceptive advertising harms itself with reader and with reputable advertiser. It can not get or stay solid with its patrons.
Occasionally a paper that lacks the moral backbone to refuse doubtful advertising compromises by putting all the bald-headed stuff on one page only or in one corner. It is a poor compromise—a admission by the publisher that he is taking money to give publicity to men who are not fit company for decent and intelligent folk. Morally it is like shining the uppers of one's shoes and leaving the heels untouched.
If I were an advertiser, I should want my money's worth, and that can not be gotten in a publication whose readers have distrust bred into them by a parade of fraudulent ads. Much of the value of an ad in a paper going into farm homes is due to the readers' confidence in the publishers. If it were not so, some lettering on a board fence would do just as well. When a fraud ad. is admitted, two classes lose faith, the fools who bite and those who, not being fools, see the fraud. There is no de. mand that all advertisers should have been good Sunday-school scholars in their youth, but in every ad there should be reasonable evidence that something in the nature of a fair equivalent is being offered for the reader's dollar, and that there will be no sleight-of-hand performance in the transfer.