Through the American Fiction Guild, the key man of a large advertising firm has become interested in pulp ads. The Guild offered to conduct a reader survey, offered to bring all publishers together. The Guild is meeting with some success in this and even those publishers who have not bothered to take the course through the Guild (which is all the same to the outfit) are gradually working out the problem.
They are afraid, those publishers, (and this is strictly my idea) that their big accounts will be jerked away from them by other houses. Each house is working separately under this delusion, failing to see this evident fact.
National advertising will become a concrete fact, raising profit and rates, only when every good pulp on the stands, whether it be published by POPULAR, STANDARD, MUNSEY, DELL, or STREET & SMITH, banishes this foolish copy forever and does away with the only bugaboo which is keeping national advertising from their pages.
All houses have to pull together in this. No dog eat dog about it.
The Guilds part in the affair was merely starting the ball rolling and the program is already becoming an accomplished fact.
It takes nerve to go at this thing. One house has already gone at it and I havent permission to mention its name. It found, in the first real survey it ever conducted, that their readers averaged thirty-five years of age. Not fourteen to nineteen.
This house banished all the ads it could (though a lot of their copy is still bad because of contracts which they cannot break). For a long time advertising brought in nothing although specialists were hired.
But just when this house was about to throw up its hands, several good, national accounts fell their way. They are on the road. Gradually theyll put a little more dignity into the space and quit this comic-strip attack advertisers think they have to use in pulp.
Several accounts, big money, and the other houses will soon be following. This first house will realize more money on their space when other houses do follow suit.
And so, from the stand of the crusader, I become a prosaic reporter. But the fight is not won, it has to go on. Someday we hope that you wont be ashamed of the pages in which your yarns appear. Theyre good yarns, theyre excellent books. Men with intelligence read them and thrill to them.
Things are still slow. But shortly youll see steam roaring out of the kettle and well be in better shape, all of us.