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By Douglas Ward

Charles Coolidge Parlin used to be thought of by way of many to be the founding father of industry study. operating for the dominant Curtis Publishing corporation, he revolutionized the by way of supplying additional worth to advertisers via information regarding the racial, ethnic, and nearby biases of readers and shoppers. via protecting touch with either companies and buyers, Parlin and Curtis guides have been capable of flip purchaser wishes into company earnings.     In a brand new model of industrial, Douglas Ward presents an exciting company background that explains how and why Curtis built its marketplace learn department. He unearths the evolution and impression of Parlin’s paintings, which understood how readers and advertisers within the rising client economic climate checked out magazines and ads. Ward additionally examines the cultural and social purposes for the advance and use of marketplace research—particularly in regard to Curtis’ readership of upper-income elites. the end result weaves the tales of Parlin and Curtis into the adjustments happening in American enterprise and ads within the early 20th century.

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Additional resources for A New Brand of Business: Charles Coolidge Parlin, Curtis Publishing Company, and the Origins of Market Research

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Instead, he was sent off on a project related to Country Gentleman, which was then losing money and was widely expected to fail. It must have seemed a safe prospect to Hazen. As Parlin later described his early days at Curtis: “I had nobody to bother me, nobody wanted anything, nobody had any information. . ”10 That afternoon in July 1911, after Hazen’s visit to Boston, Latshaw helped Parlin get started by arranging a lunch appointment with Grant Wright, editor of the Eastern Dealer, an agricultural trade publication in Philadelphia.

54 And though Smith “aroused a consciousness” among advertising representatives that day, the reports that he and others presented alluded to some frustrations that the entire advertising staff was having in making sense not only of the shoe industry but of most other industries. Because the staff was so scattered, so was the A NEW ERA OF BUSINESS 39 information it assembled. The facts, statistics, and observations were too regional, too parochial to be analyzed on a national scale. Curtis’s advertising offices might be in a better position to track the shoe industry if they would exchange information and observations about accounts, Smith told his colleagues.

The advertisement which willfully or carelessly defrauds becomes worse than the thief,” Curtis Publishing wrote in its Advertising Code in 1912. ” to the extreme to prove a point about the power of the Curtis organization. Responding in the name of Curtis service, they acted as salesmen for Warner Instrument Company, a maker of automobile speedometers. With Warner heading toward bankruptcy, members of the Curtis advertising staff in Chicago decided that it would be an excellent test case for what could be done with advertising in the Saturday Evening Post if that advertising was combined with skilled salesmanship.

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