Oddity of the Week: Wartime Advertising Shortage

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It's not easy being an ad man. Just ask Don Draper.

Don't You Know There's a War On?

William Young, publisher of the Lititz, Pennsylvania, Record-Express, in 1942.

If you watch Mad Men, you know that advertising in the 1950s and 1960s was a high-pressure, glamorous profession with lots of perks – wild parties, three-martini lunches, and babes galore. But in the 1940s, it looked way too much like work.

It's so hard to get good help. Especially when the military is hiring.

Here's what the Library of Congress had to say about this photo from the Office of War Information:

Lititz, Pennsylvania. William N. Young, publisher of the Record-[E]xpress, is also its reporter and advertising man. The star shows that one of his usual four employees is already in the service. Many printers can get better wages in defense work, and the paper may fold due to lack of help and national advertising.

See? Even before the internet, it was hard to keep a good paper running. Good thing Mr Young was a dedicated worker.

We can't blame the ad boys for doing their bit. They probably wrote deathless propaganda information copy like the wonderful See Yourself as Jerry Sees You. It tells us all about the lies of 'Joe Goebbels'.

After that, we're sure they'd rather go back to advertising Joe Fenstermacher's Autobody Shop, Mr Young. Just wait for them to come home.

They'll probably want a raise, though.

Post Quiz and Oddities Archive

Dmitri Gheorgheni

17.06.13 Front Page

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