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By William A.

Mindak

Do Newspaper Publishers Suffer


from “Marketing Myopia”?
Are newspapers as marketing full-length movies. They were not or-
ganized and operated to think in terms
oriented as they might be? of the entertainment and convenience
The author suggests that their preferences of their customers. They
future may depend more on were product-oriented-not customer
oriented.
solving marketing problems
--circulation and advertising- Drucker talks about the railroads’
failure to understand their marketing
than production or labor ones. role :
As late as 1950 the American railroads
The newspaper business is a paradox! refused to accept that the passenger au-
It is one of the most powerful mar- tomobile, truck and airplane were here
keting tools ever devised for moving to stay. They considered it unthinkable
products and ideas of others. that railroads could be displaced as the
Yet in its own operations the news- backbone of the country’s transportation
paper business often seems to be suf- system.
fering from what Ted Levitt calls “mar- He goes on to describe how once
keting myopia.”l By this, Levitt means railroads accepted new forms of compe-
that many companies (and industries tition they were able to concentrate on
for that matter), become preoccupied things that they could do best-the
with production and immediate sales long-distance hauling of bulk commodi-
and do not pay enough attention to ties such as automobiles, grain, coal
riiarketirig their products and services. and iron ore.
Caught up in a “self-deceiving cycle of The trade press is full of case studies
bountiful expansion and undetected de- of industries who are becoming in-
cay,” these companies often define their creasingly “marketing oriented.” The
business too narrowly and insist that computer industry found out almost too
there is no competitive substitute for late that executives did not want to buy
their major product. Levitt analyzed ex- computers, but did want to store and
periences of railroad, oil and automo- process information. Airlines, insurance
bile companies and particularly those of companies and utilities are becoming
the motion picture industry: more consumer-oriented, and more in-
The motion picture companies believed terested in marketing products and serv-
that they were in the movie business ices rather than merely producing them.
rather than the entertainment business.
They were organized and operated to
F The author is associate professor of journal-
produce a specific kind of product- ism, in charge of the advertising sequence, at
’ Theodore Levitt, “Marketing Myopia,” Har- the University of Minnesota. This article is
turd Business Review, July-August, 1960. based on an address made to the International
Peter Drucker. Managing for Results (New Circulation Managers’ Association at St. Louis
York: Harper & Row, 1964), p. 168. in June 1965.

433
434 JO URNAL I S M QUARTERLY

Despite this, many newspapers seem to These conflicting views can lead to
be “marching to a different drummer.” management schizophrenia.
The author is well aware of the haz- 2 ) The greatest strength of the ncws-
ards and problems of generalizing about paper-that of being a unique shapcr
so widespread and heterogenous group and reflector of its local environment-
as newspapers. It is difficult to compare is often one of its potential weaknesses
marketing problems for small town in that it militates against publisher co-
“weeklies,” or “middle market” dailies, operation and exchange of informa-
or suburban and metropolitan news- tion. Some of this is breaking down on
papers. Nevertheless, collectively these the production side of the newspaper
different newspapers do constitute an in- business and the ANPA Research Insti-
dustry producing a “product” for a mar- tute has been organized to help pub-
ket which spends nearly $2 billion dol- lishers find more efficient methods of
lars per year. printing the newspaper. But according
There are many factors that could to Harold A. Schwarz, assistant circu-
contribute to this “marketing myopia.” lntion manager of the Milwaukee Jour-
nal and Milwaukee Sentinel:
1) Refusal of many publishers and
editors to consider their newspaper a Although the newspaper industry is en-
“product.” Although the newspaper gaged in extensive research activity, lit-
tle of it is concerned with character-
business depends on profit just as many istics of the newspaper’s market. The
other services do, it is one of our most Communications Research Center of
important social institutions. Publishers Michigan State University stated that
would find it hard to reconcile Thomas only 1 3 % of all newspaper research is
Jefferson’s opinion of newspapers: in the area of marketing analysis.5
. . . were it left to me to decide wheth- 3) Although the newspaper repre-
er we should have a government with- sents increasingly huge investments in
out newspapers or newspapers without capital, manpower and equipment, often
a government, I should not hesitate a the men who run them-especially the
moment to pr.efer the latter. . . . But I smaller newspapers-have had little for-
should mean that every man should re-
ceive those papers and be capable of mal management or marketing training.
reading them.3 Even the business manager who is play-
ing an increasingly important role in
with the business-like description of the newspaper management is a far cry in
newspaper found in Peterson, Jensen background and training from a brand
and Rivers:4 or product manager of a Procter and
Gamble or a General Mills.
. . . The publisher became a dealer in The situation is further complicated
both a product and service. His product
as always was a newspaper . . . his ser- by !he newspaper actually serving two
vice was giving advertisers the opportu- markets: the advertiser and the reader.
nity to reach a large . . . body of con- And so while the brand manager is sole-
sumers with their sales messages. . . . ly responsible for profit and revenue for
Both in procuring their raw materials a company, this responsibility is split
and in marketing their products, news-
paper publishers exhibit the familiar Edwin Emery, The Press and America (Engle-
behavior of monopoly and oligopoly, wood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1962). p.
167.
As buyers, they use the customary ‘Theodore Peterson, Jay W. Jensen and Wil-
pressures for keeping down costs; as liam L. Rivers, The Mass Media and Modern So-
sellers they maintain rigid advertising ciety (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston,
and circulation rates, discriminate by Inc., 1965). pp. 54, 67.
rate differentials, and practice block Harold A. Schwarz, “Applying Research Meth-
ods to the Solution of Circulation Problems.”
selling of space in morning and evening Address at the Journalism Institute of the Uni-
newspapers in combination. versity of Wisconsin, May 10, 1963.
Newspapers and Marketing 435
between advertising and circulation -is a profoundly “simple” but funda-
managers of newspapers. What happens mental change in business today.
when the circulation manager is un- The marketing manager learns early
sympathetic to the needs of advertising that there are many market forces over
and continues to increase circulation in which he has no control, such as social
areas which are neither desirable nor and consumer behakior, competitors’ ac-
profitable to advertisers? Or when an tivities, and economic and government
advertising manager attempts to increase influences. To these he must adapt.
linage without necessarily thinking of Hopefully he will try to anticipate these
profit maximization (which is often the changes but he realizes that in such a
case with local advertising)? dynamic world he can fail (A. C. Niel-
The reader may say that this is the sen says that as many as 8 out of 10
responsibility of the publisher or in new products fail either in test market
certain cases the general manager. But or do not survive the first two years.)
what if the publisher has had printing There will always be an Edsel! But as
or production experience primarily (as the marketing manager grows more ex-
is the case with smaller newspapers)? pert in marketing decision-making his
Or if the publisher came up through success ratio increases-and the same
the editorial ranks with little business company can bring out a Mustang seven
background and prides himself on not years later!
knowing anything about such “practi- What characteristics distinguish a
cal” considerations as record keeping, genuine2y marketing oriented company?
circulation, transportation, etc.? (As is We say genuinely because the concept
the case often with larger newspapers). has become so fashionable in the last
The newspaper business seems to be few years that many companies pay lip
emerging from what the Clark-Fisher service to marketing, but continue to d o
hypothesisfi would suggest is the second- business “at the same old stand.”
ary level of economic development cen- 1 ) Marketing should be at the begin-
tering upon mass production and at- ning rather than the end of the produc-
tempting to minimize unit costs to a tion line. The company adopts a can-
tertiary period, where more considera- sumer point of view. By this is not
tion is allocated to optiniurn scales for meant giving the customer only what
delivering services and where there is she wants-often the customer does not
need for more coordination, standardi- really know, or is inarticulate or unim-
zation of procedures and specialization aginative or contradictory. It does mean
of talents. One of the talents which being sensitive to the changes in socie-
needs injecting is marketing Orientation. ty, to customers’ needs and wants, and
What is this marketing orientation? taking cues from the buyer so that the
It is basically the frame of reference product or service is a consequence of
with which a company reacts and adapts the marketing effort.
to its environment when it produces
2 ) Decisions and planning are based
products and services. It is more than
on facts and research. Again this does
a business function representing all of
not mean that creative judgment and
the processes between production and
imagination are eliminated but knowl-
consumption of a good. Truly market-
edgeable managers do insist on some
ing oriented companies focus on meet-
ing the needs of the consumer, not the means of “feedback” or research to lo-
seller. This change in attitude--from
cate problems and opportunities, to ex-
producer-oriented to consumer-oriented periment with different possible solu-
tions and to measure or test how effect-
‘Colin Clark, The Condifions of Economic ive these solutions might be.
Progress, 3rd Ed. (London: MacMillan and Com-
pany, Ltd., 1957). 3 ) Someone is responsible for over-
436 JOURNALISM QUARTERLY

all planning and coordinating of the companies some 20 years ago or before
factors that go into the marketing mix. the marketing concept came into effect.
These factors, according to Borden,’ At that time sales managers were told,
encompass product planning, pricing, using Ted Levitt’s words: “You get rid
branding, personal selling, channels of of it-we’ll worry about the profits!” A
distribution, advertising, promotions, great deal of emphasis was put on sales
packaging, display, servicing, physical promotion, gimmickry, the seven “han-
handling, fact finding and analysis. The dy-dandy” rules for clinching a sale,
marketing manager would formulate etc. etc. Volume of sales often became
different mixes depending on the re- an end in itself rather than such con-
sources at firm’s disposal and how he siderations as efficiency and profit.
feels the firm can best respond to the Often there was little coordination be-
external market forces. tween the production and the advertis-
ing and the sales departments.
Now how would newspapers rate on Eventually this kind of sales man-
these criteria of marketing orientation? ager gave way to the marketing man-
l o make this analysis more realistic let ager or product manager who would:
us confine our attention to one kind of
“market”-circulation-and one kind a) furnish an intelligence center on all
of newspaper-the typical metropolitan aspects of the product line, includ-
daily. ing technical information, market
situations;
The circulation “market” was chosen b) create ideas for product improve-
purposely because too often it is over- ment, new product development and
looked as a potential revenue and profit promotion;
contributor. Or put in another way, if c) advise top management on market-
the circulation department could be ing aspects of product during its
made more productive and costs re- implementation through research
duced these could be passed on in form and development:
d ) prepare advertising and marketing
of profits. As John R. Staley said:
concepts; devise product strategy
You can’t cut prices, labor or mate- and goals;
rial, the only fat left in this business is e) stimulate interest in and support for
physical distribution.* product line among salesmen-dis-
tributors;
As products become more standard- f ) prepare sales forecasts; provide lo-
ized and research and development gistic guidance for production-dis-
more commonplace for all competitors, tribution;
a highly responsive, reliable distribution g) assume responsibility for strategy,
system actually can become an import- campaigns, profit.9
ant marketing tool. I n an increasing The circulation manager of a news-
cost industry, such as the newspaper, an paper has evolved considerably from his
efficiently run circulation department former preoccupation with the trans-
might provide margin for profit. portation function of mailing, address-
ing and delivering newspapers to the
So let us apply the marketing-oriented present state of knowing how to moti-
criteria to the circulation department. vate carrier boys, route men and dis-
1) What about marketing being at Neil Borden, “Concept of the Marketing Mix,”
the beginning and not a t the end of the Journal of Advertising Research, June 1964, pp.
2-1.
production line? What about consumer 8 John R. Staley. “19 ways to save time and
orientation? money in distribution.” Business Munagemenf,
To a great extent many of the circu- Vol. 26 (Sept. 1964), p. 43-46.
lation managers of papers today are QDavid J. Luck and Theodore Novak, “Prod-
uct Management-Vision Unfulfilled,” Hurvurd
given the role of sales managers for Busfness Revfew, May-June 1965, pp. 143-S4.
Newspapers and Marketing 43 7
tributors, as well as being promotion advertiser. As a circulation manager he
man, trained accountant, engineer and asks:
mechanic. How do we stand at the beginning of
But although he is closest to readers this period of modernization? What
in understanding their wants and needs, about our delivery techniques? Are we
he is usually powerless to communicate doing anything to improve efficiency
these to management. He may even find and provide better service at lower cost?
What about our sales techniques? Are
himself delivering copies of newspapers we using the same scatter-gun methods
to areas when delivery may be actually that American newspapers have used
unprofitable. It is inconceivable that for the last 25 years? What about our
circulation managers can become mar- price structure? Are we charging a fair
keting-oriented without some voice in price for our product-a price that re-
product development. flects to some extent, the cost of deliv-
Note this is not to say that circula- ering the paper to the customer? Or are
we still playing a numbers game, cut-
tion considerations would dictate edi- ting our rates and charging less for pa-
torial policy. This would make for eco- pers shipped outside primary delivery
nomic suicide. All parties concerned- areas? How many of us have asked our-
editorial, advertising and circulation- selves if we can afford the customers we
are looking for the best, most viable have? Are we incurring needless ex-
and distinctive product. But no one pense for little sales gain in an effort to
group has a monopoly on ideas or sug- distribute papers where we have no logi-
gestions. Unless there is more interac- cal business circulation?lO
tion, it is hard to see how the circula- Ray Gilliland, former president of the
tion department can become more mar- International Circulation Managers As-
keting oriented and in turn how the sociation, has this to say about research:
newspaper itself can be more market- If we can sell our publishers on
ing oriented. spending some real money in the next
2) What about basing decisions and few years on reader and circulation re-
planning on facts and research? search, the pay-off can be tremendous.
If we could just save one-third of a cent
Here too often the circulation man- per day by increasing the efficiency of
ager finds himself operating in a re- our departments it would increase the
search vacuum. He needs some feed- newspaper industry’s profits by $60 mil-
back mechanism which will alert him to lion per year.11
opportunities and problems surrounding Research could be, and by certain
him brought about by changes in com- leading newspapers is, profitable if ap-
petition, area makeup, emergence of plied to various components of the mar-
new highways, suburbs, etc. He needs keting mix:
some mechanism for quality control to
see if he is operating as efficiently and The product. For many newspapers,
productively as possible. He needs somc the pattern of success has been evolu-
means of experimenting or testing new tionary. They “just gowed”-getting
techniques preferably before having to larger, thicker, adding more depart-
introduce them on a wholesale basis. In ments and features, and in effect trying
short, he needs research. But as Harold to be all things to all people. It well
Schwarz remarks, most of the research might be that in a non-competitive situ-
conducted for newspapers is either pro- ation in which many large metropolitan
duction oriented or primarily for the newspapers find themselves, this is the
proper product to produce. But in light
‘OSchwarz, op. cit.
of increased inter-rnedia competition
’*Ray Gilliland, “Thinking Out Loud.” Ad- from radio, television and magazines,
dress to Central States Circulation Managers Con-
ference, March 22, 1964. and intru-media competition (suburban
43 8 JOURNALISM QUARTERLY

newspapers, “shoppers,” supplements) , per readers per 1000. He went on to


have newspapers really researched their predict further gains in circulation
product as well as they might? based on increased education in the
This does not mean a continuance of populace, broadcast media’s tendency
frequently sterile readership studies to “whet appetite for news,” and the
(although there are many newspapers activities of newspaper publishers who
that have not even done this). It does are currently investing over a hundred
mean more intensive reader reaction million dollars a year into moderniza-
and evaluation studies. These types of tion and plant expansion! l2
studies are not easy to do because often This may well be. But one might ask
one gets stereotypic answers (e.g., what newspapers are doing currently to
newspapers for news, television for en- make their product more attractive to
tertainment, etc., etc.) and because peo- such burgeoning markets as: young
ple’s attitudes toward a newspaper often people-a generation that has grown up
depend less on the characteristics of the with television. Half of the U.S. popu-
paper per se and more on their own lation is now 25 years of age or young-
personalities. But isn’t it possible to pre- er. Or what in today’s newspaper is of
test a newspaper either in concept, or interest to women who have more mon-
prototype or experimental editions? ey, discretionary buying power, educa-
A few newspapers have concerned tion and mobility? The late Pierre Mart-
themselves with “package research” ineau of the Chicago Tribune felt that
since to a great extent that is really the newspapers were slighting women in
function of a newspaper layout. The their attention other than presenting
management of the Minneapolis Star recipe columns and social news. The
and Tribune in choosing type faces for increasing importance of the Negroes in
its classified department experimented the large metropolitan areas-brought
with various type faces for legibility and on by Civil Rights legislation, economic
reading ease and comfort. In revamp- progress, plus Negro migration north
ing its morning edition-the Tribune- and into the cities and white migration
it reviewed its readership studies to to the suburbs-will offer a challenge to
maximize reader traffic throughout the newspapers to market their product
newspaper. more effectively.
But for a variety of reasons-tradi- There are other imminent changes:
tion, production orientation, lethargy- the increasing growth of leisure time,
newspapers have been reluctant to increased mobility of potential readers
change their make-up, especially front- (e.g., women today shop shopping cen-
page layout. Belatedly, some newspapers ters the way they did stores years ago),
are now revamping their front pages- the concentration of population into
the New York Herald Tribune, the inter-urbs, the development of new
Louisville Courier-Journal and the highways and expressways (which can
Christian Science Monitor have gone to change circulation and market areas
fewer and wider columns. How many overnight), etc. How many newspapers
others need “package testing”? have intelligence centers to alert them
to these changes?
b The market. In answering the ques- Channels of distribution. Today’s cir-
tion of “What’s Happening to the News- culation manager is often pre-occupied
paper Business,” Stanford Smith noted with carrier billing, bundle-tying equip-
circulation increases for daily newspa- ment, collecting money, scholarship pro-
pers of 22% from 1945 to 1963, 18% grams and renewal orders. With the
for Sunday newspapers, and an overall
I2 Stanford Smith, “What’s Happening to the
increase from 406 adult newspaper Newspaper Business.” Address at Syracuse Uni-
readers per 1000 to 436 adult newspa- versity, Dec. 1 1 , 1964.
Newspapers and Marketing 439
switch to emphasis on subscription sales jectible conditions. It well might be that
rather than newsstand sales, the carrier the circulation area for each newspaper
boy has become the keystone of the is different and that channels of distri-
newspaper circulation and delivery sys- bution must vary markedly, but there
tem. Is he really the most efficient must be certain marketing plans which
means of distribution today? can be generalized to different news-
Research from other industries indi- papers.
cates that it may take from three to six Sulcs promotion. Today’s newspaper
calls before a sale is actually made. The turns out a welter of promotional ma-
Milwaukee Journal found that if it terial and advertising in an attempt to
could hold a subscriber for six months increase circulation or to keep circula-
he would tend to stay with the newspa- tion from falling. Newspapers use a va-
per. Do carrier boys with their increased riety of sales promotion devices-sam-
independence and mobility and de- pling, premiums, contests for subscrib-
creased financial need really provide the ers and carrier boys, sales incentives,
sales talent needed for such long-range reduced prices, etc.-yet very little is
selling? Some newspapers are currently known through research about effec-
experimenting with adult salesmen via tiveness. There are isolated examples of
personal and telephone contact. Isn’t studies done by individual newspapers.
this a researchable problem? The Milwaukee Journal, for example,
Currently newspapers are being asked wanted to find out why contest sub-
to distribute samples of merchandise in scribers failed to renew their subscrip-
addition to delivering newspapers. Some tions. It found that frequently this type
publishers and circulation managers are of subscriber took the paper merely to
reluctant to d o this business because it help the carrier win a trip and that
would cheapen the “image” of the there was very little thorough reading of
newspaper and divide the loyalty of the the newspaper. Other studies were de-
carrier. Others are in favor of it as a voted to finding out why total Sunday
means of securing additional revenue. newspaper circulation had not kept pace
But where are the research data to sup- with population growth in certain areas
port one stand or the other? and the degree of pass-along circulation
What about permitting subscribers to possessed by a morning newspaper.
pay in advance? Could subscription More of these are needed.
cost be charged to local department It is interesting to observe that al-
stores or banks? Could a bill be sent out though suburbs as markets vary greatly
periodically as do utility and insurance in levels of education, age, community
companies? How can collection costs be spirit, temporal and spatial distance
minimized? Such questions lend well to from town center, etc., many newspa-
research and study. pers use the same promotional devices
Some newspapers are experimenting throughout. Certainly this is in opposi-
with telephones, walkie-talkie radios, tion to new marketing developments of
airplanes, even sleds. Is there a way to product and market segmentation.
evaluate which technique is most effi- A question which should be asked
cient? What about means of evaluating frequently is how d o you measure the
and locating the most profitable dealers, effect of promotion? What would hap-
vendors, agencies and carriers? What pen if we doubled the sales force or
can research tell us about this? canvassers or carrier boys and cut ad-
Although the literature and meetings vertising in half? How can one relate
of circulation managers are replete with specific promotional activities to spe-
isolated examples and anecdotes of suc- cific sales?
cess stories, there has been little re- The circulation manager if he is to
search done under controlled and pro- become more marketing oriented must
440 JOURNALISM QUARTERLY

have more information and data on his noted their implications for each
product, his package, his market, his of the newspapers;
channels o f distribution and his promo- field research-a group which
tional activities. would do field surveys, and tests
3 ) What about giving someone over- for newspapers and accounts;
all responsibility f o r the marketing mix? advertising services-supervised
all trade advertising so that it had
It is probably the lack of this charac- unity and a common “image”;
teristic which keeps the circulation de- external relations - responsible
partment (and for that matter also the for public relations activities with
advertising department) from becoming advertising agencies, vendors as
marketing oriented. Very little can be well as advertisers;
done if the principal decision maker- media interpretation unit-ana-
be he publisher, general manager or lyzed and interpreted media stud-
business manager-is not interested in ies, both Thomson and competi-
marketing. tive, for presentations;
Fortunately some of the leading research presentation-supervised
American newspapers are aware of this and directed the presentation of
need and are attempting to re-tool either data via slide, film or print.
by introducing new personnel who are A marketing manager was appointed
marketing oriented or by setting up for each of the regional newspapers.
marketing services which might aid the His function and authority would de-
present staff. pend a great deal on the capability of
the local managing director (the British
One of the most promising develop- term for our publisher). If the man-
ments along this line is being made in aging director was quite business and
the United Kingdom by the Thomson marketing oriented, the marketing man-
newspapers. The author was privileged ager would serve more as an aide and
to serve as a marketing consultant with consultant; if the MD were not, the
the Thomson newspapers where he had marketing manager would frequently
an opportunity to observe developments make most of the marketing decisions
first hand. for the advertising, circulation and,
Faced with a problem of a hetero- sometimes, the production departments.
genous group of daily and weekly news- The marketing managers in the re-
papers throughout the United Kingdom gional newspapers, as well as the head
varying greatly in profitability, size and of the marketing group in London,
growth potential, Lord Thomson of would often come from industry or
Fleet hired Harry Henry, an advertis- from advertising agencies and get train-
ing agency research man with little ing in the newspaper business, or from
newspaper experience but with a wealth the circulation or advertising depart-
of advertising and marketing experi- ments and would be given more mar-
ence. Harry Henry, in turn, set up a keting training.
marketing division in London (see Fig- There were, and still are, many prob-
ure 1) to service the various regional lems in introducing marketing in the
newspapers. This marketing division Thomson organization (as there will be
consisted of an account executive re- in all newspapers at the start).
sponsible for regional newspapers plus 1) Many of the editorial staff were
a number of marketing services: distrustful or wary about marketing.
Would it make more demands on what
a) economic and market intelligence went into the newspaper? Would edi-
-analyzed changes and develop- torial integrity be jeopardized?
ments in various markets and 2) The marketing men were essen-
Newspapers and Marketing 441
FIGURE 1
Dlagram of the Marketing Division of Thomson Newspapers, London
(Names of Individuals as of Summer 1964)

THE M A R K E T I N G DIVISION-THOMSON HOUSE

tially advisers and counsellors. Few had ways the problem of dealing with shop
direct control or were responsible for men and unions. It is one thing to sug-
profit and revenue. This authority with- gest a new technique for increasing ef-
out responsibility often made opera- ficiency (e.g., using a computer for
tional plans difficult to implement. marketing data); it is quite another to
3 ) Strangely enough, the advertising get some of the unions to permit this
department often did not work as co- change.
operatively as possible with the market- Nevertheless, marketing orientation
ing representatives. Some felt that mar- does make sense if it is given time and
keting would replace advertising or that management support.
the marketing men were some sort of This article was not intended to be a
combined “efficiency expert and man- jeremiad. Students of mass communi-
agement spy.” cation are fully aware of the different
4) Lastly, of course, there was al- roles that the various media play. They
442 JOURNALISM QUARTERLY

have noted the unnatural fears of media labor. John Diebold underlined this
in the past every time some new me- problem when he said:
dium came along: the predictions about I have never seen an industry that is
the demise of the book industry when going to be more completely changed in
magazines came on the scene, or the the next decade as a result of automa-
destruction of the movie industry or tion--or one which realizes it less.13
radio when television came along, or But it is the contention of this author
even those today who refer to the news- that the challenge of marketing will be
paper as a “dying medium.” History even more crucial. Prof. Fritz Machlup
has proved most of these gloomy prog- estimated the “knowledge industry” in
nosticators wrong IF (and this is a big the United States today to be worth
if) the media reacted intelligently and some $135 billion or nearly 30% of
quickly to their changing environment. total national effort. Will newspapers
It may well be that the future of get their proper “market share”?
newspapers depends on how well they 1.x John Diebold, address to American Society of
solve the problems of production and Newspaper Editors, April 1963.

The Enemies of Advertising


,Look for a moment, not at the criticism of advertising, but at
the critics. Whatever the ostensible reasons they give for opposi-
tion to advertising and whatever apparently rational arguments
they adduce for controlling, reducing, or even doing away with
it altogether, these people d o not carry with them convictions of
the genuine critic.
Of course, an obtrusive and public activity like advertising is
wide open to criticism of detail, much of it justified. But the
source of the criticism and its motivation are almost as important
as its content. A responsible and respected critic brings affection
as well as knowledge to his subject, and his comments and ad-
vice, though often bitter to receive are seen to be constructive.
By this criterion the people I shall describe here are not critics
at all; they are enemies of advertising. . . .
A man who attacks advertising because he dislikes and fears
mass communications or disapproves of the profit motive will
have little or nothing in common with the man who accepts the
existence of mass communications and favors the profit motive.
A universe of discourse within the bounds of which debate can
be continued is almost entirely lacking. Hence the frustration and
irritation on both sides. The defence is based upon knowledge of
the techniques of advertising and on an acceptance of it as a nec-
essary function in our society; a substantial part of the attack
seems to stem from a wide and deep dislike of the way in which
our society works or even from the critic’s own inability to inte-
grate himself with it.-BRIAN COPLAND, in Spectator.