We all know the power of advertising. Branding yourself is an important business strategy. Advertising can be very positive, but it can also be negative…the difference between North Dakota being “Legendary” and North Dakota being known for its number of small towns, for instance. Unfortunately, in 1921, it seemed some residents felt that recent ad campaigns were untruthful and had negatively affected the public opinion of this fine state.
This was acknowledged on this date in 1921 when Mandan became the meeting spot for representatives of Town Criers clubs throughout the state. These Town Criers club members proposed that they should “form a state organization to promote advertising of the state, community advertising and to further the truth-in-advertising movement.” Among the men involved in this convention was R. A. Nestos, who would become Governor in just a few months, after a recall election. At this convention, he spoke of the abundant resources of North Dakota.
The meeting led to the formation of the Associated Advertising Clubs of North Dakota. Bismarck resident Will Holbein became the first president of the organization, which was to “strive to overcome untruthful advertising which has hurt the state, to promote better advertising and better business, and to fight against untruthful advertising.”
Later, speaker C. F. Ferguson of Minneapolis, vice president for the eighth district of the Associated Advertising Clubs of the World, passed along the message of confidence to the Criers, stating: “When one considers the vast and almost untouched resources of this state, one cannot but look forward to the future with unbounded confidence.”
The meeting was serious, though it did involve some frivolity—for instance, the Minot Town Criers wore “as a distinctive dress, high-crowned hats [which were] gaily decorated.” The Bismarck Criers carried banners to Mandan, featuring themselves as “bathing beauties” and attended the event in bathing suits. The Dickinson Town Criers arrived late to the meeting, but brought a band with them, with the music continuing well past midnight.
Dakota Datebook written by Sarah Walker
Bismarck Tribune, August 29, 1921, p1
Bismarck Tribune, August 30, 1921, p1