I want to take issue with Donald R. Libey’s article, “Paid Catalog Advertising,” (DM News, May 8). The first attempt “at an organized approach to selling catalog space” was definitely not “in the early 1980s.”
I started Catalog Advertising Company in the mid-1960s. I signed up many catalogs interested in selling ad space. My company did succeed in making some sales. Securing an ongoing stream of advertisers proved difficult. So I terminated the company.
Now, based upon my experience, I believe that, in most cases, catalog advertising is self-defeating. Outside advertising in any form dilutes catalog effectiveness. It distracts the recipient from the catalog’s real purpose and reason for being: sales.
The exception to this might be the deep-pocketed mass marketers of branded products such as cars, toothpaste, liquor, etc. And even they are suspect. Catalog owners must concentrate on making the catalog a must-read, interesting, sales-producing vehicle – not a vehicle for securing advertisers to provide overhead relief.
Creative marketing consultant