A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 23, 2016
“Who says a good newspaper has to be dull?” (NY Herald Tribune slogan)

"Who says a good newspaper has to be dull?” was the famous 1960s ad campaign for the New York (NY) Herald Tribune that attempted to take readership from the rival New York (NY) Times. Although the campaign (began in the fall of 1961) boosted the image of the Herald Tribune, the newspaper folded in 1966.

The ad campaign was the product of the advertising agency of PKL (Papert Koenig & Lois) and adman Carl Ally (1924-1999).


Wikipedia: New York Herald Tribune
The New York Herald Tribune was a daily newspaper created in 1924 when the New York Tribune acquired the New York Herald. It was viewed for most of its existence as the chief rival of The New York Times, and was widely regarded as a “newspaperman’s newspaper” for both the breadth of its coverage and the quality of its writing. The paper won several Pulitzer Prizes during its lifetime.

A “Republican paper, a Protestant paper and a paper more representative of the suburbs than the ethnic mix of the city”, the Herald Tribune, almost always referred to as the Trib, quickly became the major competition for the Times following its birth. The paper generally did not match the comprehensiveness of the Times’ coverage, but its national, international and business coverage was generally viewed among the best in the industry while its writing was considered vastly superior to its rival’s.

9 February 1962, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, pg. 13 ad:
Who says a good newspaper has to be dull?

14 May 1962, Broadcasting, pg. 30, col. 1:
The Trib’ uses tv to reverse a trend
NEWSPAPER RENEWS TV CAMPAIGN AS FINANCES END TEN-YEAR SLIDE
(...) (Col. 4—ed.)
All commercials emphasize the theme: “Who says a good newspaper has to be dull?” and relies on immediacy by taping the messages to coincide with what will be in the newspaper the next morning. The theme is repeated and put on posters displayed in metropolitan New York.

22 October 1962, Broadcasting, “‘Times’ takes to tv to counter ‘Tribune,’” pg. 43, col. 2:
The Herald Tribune, which preceded the Times into tv (its campaign started in the fall of 1961) uses a theme that some have interpreted to refer to the Times: “Who says a good newspaper has to be dull?” (BROADCASTING, May 14).

22 April 1988, Washington (DC) Post, “Cautious Votes for Competence” by Haynes Johnson, pg. A2, col. 5:
In the early 1960s, public-relations people came up with a clever promotional slogan designed to save a world-famous but failing newspaper. “Who says a great newspaper has to be dull?” was the message aired repeatedly in broadcast commercials and print ads for The New York Herald-Tribune.

The answer, of course, was no one, but the clever slogan didn’t work. Faced with a serious choice, readers continued to prefer the substance and grayness of the rival New York Times. The Trib died.

17 February 1999, New York (NY) Times, “Carl Ally, Hard-Hitting Adman, Is Dead at 74” by Robert McG Thomas Jr. , pg. 23:
Carl Ally, a hard-hitting, high-flying advertising man who helped show Madison Avenue the error of its genteel ways through a series of blunt ads that turned upstarts like Federal Express and MCI into industry giants and him into an industry legend, died on Monday. He was 74 and the founder of Carl Ally Inc. and its successor agency, Ally & Gargano.
(...)
The next year he joined Papert, Koenig & Lois, where, in a subtle preview of his later penchant for debunking clients’ competitors by name, he produced a memorable campaign for the old New York Herald Tribune. ("Who Says a Good Newspaper Has to be Dull?")

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Monday, May 23, 2016 • Permalink


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