Letter from William Randolph Hearst to Mr. Mortimer Berkowitz, complaining about cigarette ads in comics section of newspaper. States, "These cigarette ads in the comics seem to be a direct effort to teach the children to smoke cigarettes." Recounts that he has urged moderation to liquor and horse racing industries. States, "It is [in] consideration for their interests as well as our own which leads me to urge the tobacco people to put their color ads into the grown-up's American Weekly instead of into the Children's Comic Weekly."
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COPY William Randolph Hearst
La Cuesta Encantada
. San Simeon, California.
Dear Mr. Berkowitz:
There is one thing I distinctly do not like in
the color advertising, and that is the intrusion of cigarette
advertisements into the comics.
While the comics are generally read, they are
nevertheless peculiarly a favorite with the children, and much read
These cigarette ads in the comics seem to be a
direct effort to teach the children to smoke cigarettes.
If it is bad for us to lend ourselves to that
effort, on account of the resentment which will be aroused among
families, it is just as unwise for the tobacco advertisers and for
the same reasons.
Therefore it is consideration for THEIR interests
as well as our own which leads me to urge the tobacco people to put
their color ads into the grown-ups' American Weekly instead of into
the children's Comic Weekly.
It is excesses, steps beyond the ednfines of
propriety, that bring discretiit on enterprises.
It was the obstinacy of the liquor people that
brought about Prohibition. Time and again I urged the liquor people
not to go to unreasonable extremes.
It was the excesses of horse racing that caused
the tracks to be shut out of mdny States for nany years. Many a
time we vainly tried to reform horse racing. '+
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Mr. Mortimer Berkowitz ----- 2.
It was lack of judgment, lack of popular psychology, that
caused Lhe uprising against the films. I had written personal
editorials warning my friends in the fi lm bus ine ss that this was
bound to occur.
If the cigarette people go too far, they are going to meet
with ezac tly the same si tuation.
And when a movement of that kind starts, the time is past
when it can be stopped.
No mat ter how good the offenders suddenly bec ome, it is
too la te. The movement goes to unreasoning lengths, too.
But the way to prevent the unreasonableness of these movements
is to prevent the movements, and to refrain from Aoing the things
which cause these protests.
I think somebody ought to tell the tobacco people, in the
friendliest way and with honest consideration for their interests,
not to try to make cigarette smokers of the children, not to try it
openly and obviously, and in a way to arouse the protest of the parents.
A stitch in time saves nine stitches in the small of the back.
Of course I know that advice very seldom does any good, but
at least we wi ll have done our duty to people who have been very
decent to us.
(Signed) W. R. Hearst.