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of the combine, so that he can give his fullest allegiance to the advertiser. No one publisher can so far ignore the common interest as to say to an agent: “My commission constitutes you primarily my agent."
And that's the end of that fallacy.
The Commission Right and Natural Moreover, that truer view shows why it's right for the magazines to pay the agent's commission, leaving the agent perfectly free to give his most conscientious service to the advertiser.
The publisher always has the right to discontinue the payment of commission to an incompetent or unreliable agent and thus divert the advertiser's appropriation into worthy and able hands. Next, it's the natural way for the magazine
pay the commission, for the simple reason that the "burden of proof” rests with the magazines. To illustrate: it is not usually the advertiser that induces himself to advertise, but it is usually the magazine that creates in him the confidence that he would succeed if he should advertise. Faith is started by the magazine, rather than by the advertiser.
pay the agent, there wouldn't have been any agent.
The only ones to pay the agent were the men who could see ahead, and who also had the capital to back their foresight. They were the magazine publishers. They made the agents; and the agents made the advertisers.
is still the same. Human nature is the same.
The experienced advertiser knows that publicity is as real, as tangible an investment as stocks or bonds. To the uninitiated or pros. pective advertiser, however, it always seems like a speculation. Frequently he calls it a gamble.
Consequently, the new regiments of recruits have to be awakened, stirred and started, just as the veterans were. And it must still be the magazines that furnish the means for the new recruiting.
The Recruiting Process Whatever the conditions were long ago, when the few wide-awake advertisers walked humbly to the newspapers and said, “Please insert my card," today such volunteer advertisers wouldn't constitute a tenth of the successful advertisers now in the magazines.
The big array of advertisers who are now filling the magazines had to be recruited ninety-nine out of a hundred. They had to be aroused, encouraged, shown the way. Stirring examples had to be given them, campaigns mapped out, follow-up stuff prepared. Then, when they got "cold feet" just before they started, the whole stimulating process had to be gone over again. After they began, they had to be coached incessantly, lest they "fell by the wayside.” When they canceled their orders because some month's copy met with a "frost," they had to be cheered and started again.
We magazine men know what that means. The agents know what it means. And all the big advertisers who began in that small-faith, fumbling way years ago, remember well what it means.
Fallacy of Reducing Magazine Rates Another fallacy in that address I must point out: Mr. Richards said that if the advertiser paid the agent, the magazine could reduce its rates, and thus the cost to the advertiser would remain the same.
There, again, he neglects to take human nature into account.
Suppose we all dropped our rates ten fifteen per cent. On the start that would be recognized as a concession to the new plan. But how long would it be regarded as concession? In a few months the conceded rate would be only the regular rate. The agent couldn't forever keep on saying that the rate was a lowered rate. Even if it wasn't arbitrarily raised again, there it would stand as the unit charged for space, and the tradition that it had once been higher wouldn't cut the least figure in the advertiser's mind. He would only argue: “this agent tells me I must pay him a premium for his copy and service. I will write my own copy, or have the magazine prepare it, and I'll select my own magazines."
The Bill for Recruiting Now who was to pay for all that education and encouragement of the advertiser?
Certainly not the advertiser himself; for he wasn't awake; and when he opened his eyes he was afraid; and when he started he wanted to stop. If the advertiser had been left to
Each Magazine Making “Copy". The first alternative would lead either to indifferent success or flat failure; the second would result in the Magazines conducting their own copy departments, and consequently unity of copy and the cumulative value of a steady, uniform campaign would be lost.
Also, this introduction of a copy department into the magazine outfit would inevitably boost their rates to where they were before. In some cases, indeed, the magazines would charge an extra fee for their copy service, as is already the case in some well-known in. stances.
Present Rules Best for Each Party Finally, the magazines would abandon their present wholesome modus vivendi with one another, which now assures fair play all around, and especially for the advertiser's advantage, and it would be "everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost,"—and then where would the advertiser "get off”?
balance-wheel and he becomes a "fifth-wheel." He eventually becomes a vermiform appendix, the atrophy of a once useful organ.
And all because of that one element which Mr. Richards has failed to take into accounthuman nature; for, where advertiser would concede the necessity for an agent's services to the extent of being willing to pay for them, a score of "penny-wise and poundfoolish” others would, in the interests of economy, undertake the job themselves, and charge their failure against what they "always knew was a gamble"-advertising.
And so, down goes the house of cards, and the tombstones in the advertiser's cemetery would multiply amazingly.
And in all this upheaval, with the present pooling of issues completely abandoned, with the present helpful self-limitations broken down, where does the agent come in? He gets "slammed” from both sides. The need for him seems less imperative. He is no longer a
No, no, friend Richards, the present rules of the game are better than they seem to you, far better and more productive than their originators ever imagined they would be.
Nurserymen to Meet
The 32nd annual meeting of the Every nurseryman in the country, American Association of Nurserymen whether a member of the association or will be held in Detroit on June 12, 13 not, is invited to attend, and President and 14. The program committee under Harrison is extending a special invitathe chairmanship of Judge Stark, of tion to editors and publishers of agriLouisiana, Mo., has prepared an unusu cultural and horticultural publications. ally valuable and instructive program The annual meeting of the association and the meeting promises to be the most ought to be made the occasion for a interesting and helpful that has been general reunion not only of men actually held in the life of the Association. engaged in the business but also of pub
President Orlando Harrison, of Ber lishers and editors who are so deeply lin, Md., is making a special effort to interested in the growth of this imhave a large attendance, and it is hoped portant industry. It is proposed to to have at least 1,000 nurserymen and make the 1907 meeting a profitable one their wives present.
for all who may attend.
National Corn Exposition
C. A. Shamel was elected Vice- Executive Board, as well as chairman of President and General Manager to fill the Special Premiums Committee. Servthe vacancy in
ing with Mr. these two offices,
Thain on this imcaused by the sud
portant committee den death of Mr.
are the following E. S. Fursman, on
well-known Chithe evening of
cago business April 12th. His
men : work and service
Charles A. Stecommemo
vens, of Chas. A. rated by the unail
Stevens & Bros. imous and hearty
Lindsay T. adoption of the
Woodcock, Genfollowing declara
eral Manager of tion:
Marshall Field & "Whereas, It has
Co.'s Retail Store. pleased Providence to
Alexander H. take from us our coworker and genera!
Revell, of A. H. manager, Mr. E. S.
Revell & Co., and Fursman, and
Elmer E. Critch“Whereas, It
field, Vice-Presilargely through his initiative
dent of the Longthat the National Corn Expo
Critchfield Corposition inaugu
ration. rated; therefore, be it
Sixteen thou"Resolved, that we, the Executive Board
sand dollars in MR. C. A. SHAMEL. of the National Corn
cash prizes will be Exposition, do hereby deplore this sad event, awarded to exhibitors, and it is the work realizing that we have lost enthusiastic
this Special Premiums Committee to supporter and a unique character. He probably more than anyone else had the welfare
add to this as many special premiums of the expcsition at heart. Ilis original ideas, as can be secured: Farm machinery, imhis unfailing good nature, and his optimism plements, vehicles, pianos, furniture, will be sadly missed. Be it further "Resolved, that we extend our deepest sym
watches, merchandise, in fact anything
that would be appreciated by farmers, pathy to his bereaved family; that these reso lutions be spread on our records and a copy
their wives and children can be used as sent to his relatives."
premiums, and the donors will be amply Mr. C. A. Shamel, who succeeds Mr.
repaid in the advertising they will reFursman, is editor of the Orange Judd ceive, both before, during, and after the Farmer, secretary and treasurer of the Exposition, which is to be held at the National Corn Growers' Association, Coliseum from October 5th to 19th. and is eminently qualified to fill the im- For particulars address National Corn portant position to which he has been Exposition, Great Northern Building, chosen.
From an Address Delivered Before the Class in Agricultural Journalism, Agricultural College of
University of Illinois, April 24, 1907
By Marco Morrow
\HE gentlemen who have pre- than exception in the content of the ag
ceded me in this course of lec- ricultural press today. The result is tures, no doubt, have fully im- that no class of publications has a closer
pressed upon you the importance hold, a more intimate influence upon its of the mission of the farm press, the ex- great mass of readers than has the farm tent of its opportunities for good or evil press. and the gravity of its responsibilities. And this has a most important bear
Had I time I should like to reiterate ing upon the opportunities, the responand emphasize again all they have said sibilities and the methods of the adveron that point, for certainly no editor tising manager. today has greater opportunities than has the agricultural editor-and naturally No doubt a great many readers of the none have graver responsibilities. agricultural press, in common with
I say this, I am sure not from any readers of magazines and other publicasentimental reasons, nor because I per- tions, and I suspect here and there an sonally happen to have a more or less enthusiastic editor, who is living a little intimate connection with the agricul- too far from everyday affairs, look upon tural press, but because of the unique advertising as a necessary evil-a thing position the farm paper of today oc- to be tolerated only because it must be. cupies.
It is nothing of the kind. It is, in a peculiar sense, an all 'round If you young men who expect to enfamily journal. True, it is first of all a gage in editorial work, do not remember technical journal, dealing with the tech- another thought which may be brought nical phases of agriculture, but it is out this afternoon, I beg you to rememmore than that:
ber this: It deals with farm life as well as The advertising department of yove farm work, and it appeals to every mem- paper, in the work it does, is of eq'.al ber of the farmer's family.
importance to the work of your ediEven its technical side should appeal torial department. to the whole family, because every mem- I do not mean merely of equal imber of the family is a farmer, having portance to the paper and its incomesome specific farm duty, and a greater of course it is that-but of equal imor less interest in every farm opera- portance to the subscriber. tion, from the seeding of the 80-acre field That is why the ideal agricultural to the planting of the 8-foot row of publisher is both editor and publishercelery in the kitchen garden.
he is able to maintain a proper balance But beyond this technical interest, the between the two departments, and aniaverage farm paper makes special ap- mate both with the same spirit, and acpeals to different individuals. Its depart- tuate both by the same aim. ments are many and varied: A "house- The farm paper is a trade paper. It hold department,” a literary page, a is therefore just as much its duty to Sunday School page, a youth's depart- keep its readers advised of improvement, a culinary department, a fashion ments in tools and utensils—the perdepartment—these are the rule rather fecțion of an improved corn-planter, or