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The Advertising Century

Cyrus H.K. Curtis

Published on .

Cyrus H.K. Curtis
Curtis Publishing Co., Philadelphia

Curtis saw advertising as an investment not an expense, and spent lavishly to build circulation and upgrade editorial content as he founded the modern magazine industry. His 1910 Advertising Code established standards that presaged the "truth in advertising" movement. He refused to pay agency commissions to advertisers that bought space direct. A former newspaper ad salesman, Curtis launched a weekly, The Tribune & Farmer, in 1879. Wife Louisa Knapp's popular women's section led to his 1883 spinoff, Ladies' Home Journal, which featured noted artists and writers and passed 1 million in circulation in 1900. Curtis bought a failing Saturday Evening Post in 1896; by 1907, its ad revenue passed $1 million.

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