The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, January 04, 1951, Image 3

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What happens when NEWSPAPERS DEPARTMENT-STORE SALES NOSEDIVE during newspaperless October. Comparisons are vs, 1948 since major coal and steel strikes in late 1949 make ’SO-’49 comparisons uninforma tive. Bars show change up or down in combined net sales of 10 key Pittsburgh stores as compiled by University of Pittsburgh’s Bureau of Business Research. Newspapers’ absence, reported a spokesman for one of Pittsburgh’s top retailers, “forced us into other media which haven’t come within miles of justifying their cost in terms of results,’’ an experience lew cities ever face. But from <C)ct. 2 through Nov. 17, the 1,000,000-odd people of the Pitts- Jmrgh area endured seven newspaperless weeks. “Lack of newspapers created a terrible vacancy in my 'life,” one woman summed it up. In a thousand different Ways, close to a million Pittsburghers echoed her testimony |o the value of their strike-hound daily newspapers. People tried other ways of getting the news. Business tried other kinds of advertising. But all the substitutes were found wanting. Nothing could take the place of newspapers. Department-store sales lagged, despite all-out emergency promotion efforts. Scores of other downtown stores — adver tisers and non-advertisers alike — felt the loss of the mass traffic-building power of daily newspaper advertising. Foot ball games, theaters, night clubs saw boxoffice hopes go glimmering. Heal estate men waited for prospects who never came. Men sought jobs and jobs sought men with little luck: there were no classified ads to bring the right man and the right job together. Business, big and small, took a Heating. National advertisers with big campaigns afoot found no practical alternative for the newspaper ads they’d scheduled. Promotion after promotion was canceled or postponed till newspapers hit town again. Pittsburgh’s experience proves once again that a city without its newspapers is a city in the dark. With its news papers, our city or any other possesses an informative force and a business-building power for which no substitute exists. "MY BROTHER’S IN SERVICE IN KOREA, and I miss the story of what’s happening over there,” says Mrs. Gloria Fabiano, ahown with her son Casey, 3'/j. “I just can’t get it anywhen hut in the papers.” Here at home, she adds, ‘‘somehow I’m buying only bare necessities, because there are no ads to tell Sac where the bargains are.” TAMED OILMAN MIKE L. BENEDUM echoes Pittsburghers’ unvarying plaint: ‘‘Here in Pittsburgh we didn’t realize the newspaper’s in- dispensability until publication of our dailies was suspended.” “WHEN SOMETHING’S REAL VALUABLE, you never know till you’re withr but it how much you can miss it,” says Mrs. Henry Eltringham. “Without newspaper ads, I’ve done far less shopping, too.” AD DIRECTOR FRANKLIN BELL of Pittsburgh’s H. J. Heinz Co.: “Absence of newspapers left an unfillable gap in our individual and com munity lives. As a national advertiser, I know, too, that newspapers’ absence has been an irreparable loss to Pittsburgh business.” FOOD EXECUTIVE GLENN KNICKERBOCKER, of Kroger: “No paper here should have any trouble selling space after this. For us, radio doesn’t do the job, nor TV. I say if you want to prove newspapers’ value, just do without them.” MAYOR DAVID L. LAWRENCE speaks for all Pitts- burgh: “The newspaperless city is deeply hurt by. people’s inability to get the news accurately and fully. Their effectiveness as citizens is restricted. Our loss is seriously real. No news is really the worst news we can have.” "I NEVER KNEW I COULD MISS a paper so much,” testifies Traffic Officer Ted Walters. More than 9 of 10 Pittsburghers surveyed during the strike declared newspapers more im portant to them than ever before. "WE’RE LOST WITHOUT OUR PAPERS," says Mechanic Thomas Abbott, of Gulf Oil. “I want lots of de tail—more than I can get anywhere else. Every body I know is complaining.” 85% of citizens surveyed found themselves without “as much information as newspapers give.” Pin CO-EDS MISS WAR NEWS “most of all,” says Clare Starrett (left), whose boy friend is in Korea, as is Mrs. John A. Woodside’s husband. But local news ranked far and away as the most-missed service of newspapers during the Pittsburgh strike, survey conducted by Ketchum, MacLeod 8s Grove Inc. showed. DROVE 65 MILES TO GET THE PAPER. “It was just like losing an old friend,” says Construction Foreman John Boris. “I missed the papers so much I drove to Wheeling to get a paper to read. I’m a guy who reads his papers several hours every night.” DRUG BUSINESS GETS DOUBLE SETBACK, avers Rand-Rexall chain’s General Manager H. L. Gefsky.* “With no newspaper ads, sales of heavily pro moted items dropped to nil. Less traffic downtown hit us hard, too.” UMBRELLA KING SAM COHEN (“biggest urn- brella store in U. S.”) symbolizes bad luck from no newspaper ads. “70% of my business comes from newspaper advertis ing,” he says. “Without it, we just could not continue to do business.” FOOD BROKER NORMAN FLANAGAN points to food product hard hit by lack of newspaper adver tising. “It had a critical effect on many plans,” he says. “We’ve lacked the support of the most important medium both our cus tomer* and our manufacturer* have.” 25-YEAR HABIT HARD TO BREAK. “You sure miss the newspapers when they’ve been a habit for 25 years,” says Taxi Driver Arthur J. Parry. “I miss the sports and war news and my wife misses the comics and the ads.” All over Pittsburgh, shoppers testified that absence of newspaper ads robbed them ot their No. 1 shopping guide, COMMUNITY CHEST DRIVE FALTERS. R. Templeton Smith, fund chairman, had to extend 1950 drive period. “On the day newspapers resumed,” he reports, “we should have had 95% of our goal, but we were under 75%. We lacked our chief publicity medium and also uel to 10,000 campaign workers.” Like electricity or running water, newspapers are so much a part of life and living they’re seldom fully appreciated except when absent. That’s why Pittsburgh’s experience has meaning for every citizen, every busi nessman. If you’re in business, send for the documentary booklet on the Pittsburgh story, including its objective evaluation by the Ketchum* MacLeod & Grove advertising agency. Write to the Bureau of Adver tising, 570 Lexington Ave., New York 22, or to this newspaper. ^ A AMERICAN NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION