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Australia offers us, by means of the Sydney Gazette of August 1825, an advertisement worth perusal:—
T\ If RS BROWN respectfully thanks the community of thieves for relieving her from the fatigues and wearisomeness of keeping a chandler's shop, by taking the following goods off her hands; viz. —35 yards of shirting, 12 do. of muslin, 40 do. of calico, and various articles, as the auctioneer terms it, "too many to mention in an advertisement." But the gentlemen in their despatch of business forgot that they had taken along with them an infant's paraphernalia, two dozen of clouts, so elegantly termed by washerwomen. If the professors of felony do not give a dinner to their pals, and convert them into d'oyleys for finger glasses, Mrs Brown will thank them to return them, as they would not be so unmagnanimons and deficient of honour to keep such bagatelles from a poor mother and four children. This is to apprize the receivers of stolen property, that she will sooner or later have the pleasure of seeing their necks stretched, and that they will receive a tight cravat under the gallows by their beloved friend Jack Ketch. As the old saying is " The better the day the better the deed," the fraternity performed their operations on Sunday night last. 17, Philip Street
Another from the same source, though of somewhat later date, refers to a failing not at all peculiar to the ladies and gentlemen of Sydney, as most owners and collectors of books have doubtless discovered ere now to their cost:—
T T is requested that those Ladies and Gentlemen who have, from *■ time to time, borrowed books from Mr. S. Levy, will return them to the undersigned, who respectfully solicits all books now in possession of persons to whom they do not belong, to comply with the above—a fresh supply may be had. Among the number missing are the Pastor's Fire Side, Tales of my Landlord, Kenilworth, Princess Charlotte, Secret Revenge, Smollett's Works, Ivanhoe, Tales of the Times, Paradise Lost—so are the books until found by B. Levy.
No. 72, George Street, Sydney.
The solicitation to the books themselves "to comply with the above," is no doubt an Australian figure by which, in order to avoid an obnoxious accusation against the borrowers, the books are supposed to be unwilling to return to the rightful owners. Between forty and fifty years ago it would have been very unpleasant in Australia to imply that any one had a desire to take that which belonged to any one else with a view to its permanent detention.
As we have said, the advertisements of more modern times call for no particular mention, and the papers published in New South Wales and Victoria—excellent journals, some of them capitally illustrated, and all equal to anything at home—contain nothing in their columns of a kind different from what has been already given under some one or other of the various chapter heads of this volume. In Canada the contiguity of the States is now and again apparent in the advertisements; but after the full-flavoured samples of the latter, anything from the Dominion would seem poor indeed.
DURING the progress of this book towards completion, we have now and again stumbled across something which would not consistently fit under any of the chapter heads in our plan, nor stand well by itself, and though at first rather puzzled what to do with these trifles, they have in the end accumulated sufficiently to form a chapter of varieties which will fitly conclude, and will doubtless prove neither dull nor uninteresting. In advertising there seems to be always something new springing up, and no sooner do we think we have discovered the last ingenious expedient of the man anxious to display his wares, or to tempt others to display theirs, than another and more novel plan for publicity arrests the attention, and makes its predecessor seem old-fashioned, if not obsolete. At the present moment the plan of an energetic Scotchman is the very latest thing in advertisements. Whether it will be considered a novelty six months hence, or whether it will be considered at all, it would be hard indeed to say, so it will perhaps be enough for us to give the plan to our readers, with the remark that after all the idea is not unlike that of the old newsletters to which reference has been made in an earlier portion of this work. The Scotchman's notion is to substitute advertisements for the intelligence contained in the ancient letters, and thereby reap a rich reward. For sixpence he sells twenty-four sheets of letter-paper, on the outside of each of which is an embossed penny postage-stamp. He fills the
two inside pages with sixty advertisements, for which he charges one guinea each, leaving the first page for private correspondence, and the last page, to which the stamp is affixed, for the address. As the stamp will carry an ounce weight, another sheet of plain paper maybe enclosed. He guarantees to the advertiser a circulation of five thousand copies. For the advertisements he receives ^63, from which he pays five thousand stamps at one penny each—^20, 16s. 8d.— less received for copies sold (twenty-four for sixpence), £$, 4s. 2d.; total, ,£15, 12s. 6d., leaving the difference, ^47, 7s. 6d., to cover the cost of paper and printing. It will be remembered by many that the plan of giving advertisement sheets away has been often tried—notably with metropolitan local newspapers, some of which at first thought to clear the whole of their expenses by means of the charge for notices, &c. It is remarkable, however, that these journals invariably did one of two things. They either got a price fixed on themselves, or died. It is hard to make advertisers believe that it is worth while paying for a notice in a paper which is itself not worth paying for, and no arguments as to increased circulation seem to have any effect.
Parisian advertisements form an item worthy of attention here. Within the past few years a great change has taken place in the system of advertising as known in the capital of France—in fact, as known in all the chief towns of the empire, kingdom, republic — whichever our readers like best or consider the most correct word. Between twentyfive and thirty years ago advertisements were charged at very high rates in the Paris papers, and there were comparatively few of them. The proprietors of journals did not themselves deal with the advertisers, but farmed out their columns at so much a year to advertising establishments or agencies. This was both convenient for the papers and profitable for the agencies. The rates they fixed for advertising in some of the most prominent journals were—Presse, one franc per line for each insertion; Stick, one franc fifty centimes per line each insertion for four times, for ten times and upwards one franc per line, special notices three francs per line, editorial items five francs per line; Nation and Debats, four lines seventy-five centimes per line, advertisements above 150 lines fifty centimes per line, special notices two francs per line, editorial items three francs; Galignants Messenger, seventy-five centimes a line each time, one advertisement above 300 lines fifty centimes a line, editorial items three francs. Other papers were lower, some taking advertisements for from twenty-five to forty centimes, and charging from one franc to two francs a line for editorial items; but their circulation was very limited. What are called broadside advertisements were very frequent in Paris papers; they were very ugly affairs to the eye of an Englishman; set up in sprawling capitals, like a handbill, a single advertisement frequently covering half or the whole of a page of a newspaper. This style of advertisement obtains now, but under different principles. The Presse and the Steele used to make more money than any of the other papers by means of advertisements; in the year 1847 the income of the Presse for its two advertising pages was 300,000 francs. The advertising of the Dtbats and Constitutionnel was also profitable.
Things have very considerably changed since then, and Parisian advertising may fairly be said to have become developed into a flourishing, though at the same time a very unique, system. The remark, " Show me the advertisements of a country, and I will tell you the character of its inhabitants," is not yet current among the choice sayings of great men, yet it or something similar might well be said with regard to modern Parisian notifications. Perhaps in no country so much as in France are public announcements and advertisements so thoroughly characteristic of a people. An important law recently introduced compels all announcements fixed or displayed in public places to bear each a ten-centime stamp, and the Government reserves to itself