It all started when a relatively unknown copywriter by the name of John
E. Kennedy sent a note to A.L. Thomas, the head of the Lord &
advertising agency. The note read:
"I am in the saloon downstairs. I can tell you what advertising is. I
you don't know. It will mean much to me to have you know what it is and
it will mean much to you. If you wish to know what advertising is, send
the word 'yes' down by the bell boy."--
Signed, John E. Kennedy
The note would have ended up in the trash if Albert Lasker had not been
in the office. Unknown to Kennedy, Lasker had been searching for the
to that question for 7 years.
Lasker was the rising star at Lord & Thomas, the third largest ad
in the world. It was 1904 when, at the age of 24, he was made a partner
and was paid $52,000. Yet, he did not know, to his satisfaction, what
was. Neither could he find anyone else who knew.
Lasker, starving for an answer, was quick to summon Kennedy to his
In that historic meeting three words were whispered. Three words that
the face of advertising forever. Those words were...
The concept was so basic and so effective that no one has since been
to improve upon it.
After being exposed to this powerful concept, Lasker commissioned the
Kennedy to write down the set of principles into a series of lessons
were then used to train Lasker and the Lord & Thomas copywriters.
Soon, Lord & Thomas became the training center for the advertising
world. Their copywriters were being paid $4000/year, a fantastic salary
for the time. Yet, other agencies were hiring them away by offering
up to $15000/year - just to get the magic of Salesmanship-in-Print into
their agencies. And many Lord & Thomas people left to form their
agencies - John Orr Young, co-founder of Young & Rubicam was one.
The lessons that were used to teach these copywriters are contained in
this book. Were they successful? As David Ogilvy said,
money than anyone in the history of the advertising business"
Lord & Thomas, under Lasker's direction and by using
became the most admired agency in the world. It helped to establish
well-known brands as Quaker Puffed Rice and Puffed Wheat, Palmolive,
Camp, Oldsmobile, Pepsodent and others. It quite literally created the
orange juice market which put the California orange growers in business.
But the real proof is found today in the fact that those who use these
principles are among the most successful business people in the
The world of business owes a debt of gratitude to John E. Kennedy.
Lasker said it best:
"The history of advertising could never be written without first place
being given to John E. Kennedy, for every copywriter throughout the
and breadth of this land is today being guided by the principles he
These two books teach the principles Kennedy laid down. Get your copy
Reason Why Advertising PLUS -- Includes Intensive Advertising and a
BONUS chapter by Kennedy: "How Shall We Know Good Copy?".