Speaking Of Business

A sampling of the wisdom of Americans from Ben Franklin to Cameron Crowe

All the perplexities, confusions, and distresses in America arise… from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation. —John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, August 25, 1787

 

Nothing but money is sweeter than honey. —Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1735

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Inventing The Commercial

THE IMPERIUM OF modern television advertising was born in desperate improvisation

It was 1945, and everybody needed everything. If you knew how to build a car, a house, or a washing machine, you could sell it faster than you could make it. Car dealers, including fine old names that soon would be history—Hudson, Nash, Packard, and Studebaker—all had long waiting lists. Many dealers bluntly Quoted not the price of the car but the price of getting on their waiting lists. Read more »

Rat Sheets

The last few years have seen the growth of what is known as “comparative advertising”: commercials that, rather than flogging a product with simple hyperbole, actually name competitors and specify their deficiencies. This trend has whipped up an enormous amount of controversy in the advertising industry, but in fact it is merely the timid revival of a century-old American circus tradition. Read more »