I recently finished reading My Life in Advertising by Claude Hopkins. Hopkins is recognized as one of the “founding fathers” of modern advertising. Although this book was written over 85 years ago it contains important lessons for those of us doing business in the twenty-first century.
Hopkins was hired by Albert Lasker, owner of Lord & Thomas advertising at a salary of $185,000 a year. That’s a good salary, right? Well, that was in 1907. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics that’s the equivalent of roughly $4.2 million in today’s money.
Why would an ad agency pay one man $4.2 million a year? After you read this book you’ll understand the reason why.
And if you don’t have time to read the book right now you’ll find some of my favorite quotes below.
On Higher Education
“To poverty I owe the fact that I never went to college. I spent those four years in the school of experience instead of a school of theory. I know nothing of value which an advertising man can be taught in college. I know of many things taught there which he will need to unlearn before he can steer any practical course. Then higher education appears to me a handicap to a man whose lifetime work consisted in appealing to common people. (more…)