This little item is especially interesting if read within the context of the political climate of the year. I found it while researching Socialists in Caddo. There were many Socialists in Oklahoma during this time period. There was a lot of controversy, and the editor of the paper was quite outspoken against Socialists. Which led a fellow researcher to ask me if I thought the editor had considered that he might offend some business people or even lose advertising business. Perhaps he did lose business. This little article indicates that something was amiss. I will post some of the material about Socialists when I'm finished researching this weekend.
Caddo Herald, January 22, 1915
A Word to the Merchants
The Herald is indeed grateful for the patronage it has received from you in the past, and we believe our efforts toward building up Caddo have been appreciated, and we shall continue to boost for Caddo.
We believe our people should trade at home, and thus help to keep the town in a position to take care of the needs of the people at all times. But there is a truism that has not yet been repealed: “You cannot do business on the advertising you have done in the past.” People are continually looking for the best places to trade, and while we believe Caddo has those places, the buying public will not believe it unless they are shown. Therefore, we think it a bad business policy to cut expenses by cutting out your advertising. Advertising is no more an expense than is the purchase of goods. You can’t sell as many goods without advertising as you can with it.
Again, there are merchants in other towns who are reaching out after trade, and they do it by consistent and judicious advertising. If you want to hold your own in the efforts for more business, by all that’s good, don’t discontinue your invitations for trade.
Our efforts to get the people to trade at home are belied when we have an article on that subject and not a single mercantile advertisement in that issue of the paper. We believe that if the attention of the people is brought to the advisability of trading at home by articles in The Herald and by attractive advertisements showing just what the goods will cost them at home; the catalog trade will be very small, and the trade to other towns will be minimized.
No serious complaint can be brought if people trade elsewhere than at your store if they are offered attractive bargains elsewhere and you keep silent as to the bargains and goods you may have.
We are convinced that Caddo merchants sell goods as cheap or cheaper than merchants of other towns, but it seems they want to keep this fact a profound secret.
In stress of dull times you need more advertising stimulant than in flush times; therefore take a new grip, push your business. Advertise what you’ve got, and see if things don’t take a turn for the better.