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