Category: Advertising, Direct Mail & Printing

Boardroom Lists, July 1983

bdrm0783.jpg In July 1983 I started an interesting relationship with Boardroom Reports, Inc., and in particular with one of its divisions, Boardroom Lists. At that time, Boardroom Reports, based in New York City, was publishing a line of very popular personal and business newsletters, with titles like "Boardroom Reports", "Bottom Line" and "Tax Hotline". (Update: according to Google, Boardroom is now headquartered in Stamford, Conn., and is still apparently doing quite well in the newsletter publishing business.)

To get back to my story, in 1983 the Boardroom editors were occasionally using cartoons in their various newsletters, so I sent in a batch of my cartoons, on speculation. The batch was rejected, but along with the rejection was a letter from Brian Kurtz, "List Manager" at Boardroom. He said that he saw my cartoons and was interested in buying and printing at least one of them for his "Boardroom Lists" newsletter, which was targeted for users and purchasers of mailing lists for direct mail promotions. The cartoon posted above was the one that he wanted.

Brian also asked to see any other cartoons I might have relating to his particular field, and wanted to know if I'd be interested in doing any special cartoon projects that he had in mind. Of course I was interested. My relationship with Brian lasted about three years, and in all that time I never met him — all our discussions were by mail or phone. (Another update: again according to Google, Brian Kurtz is now Executive Vice-President of Boardroom, Inc., in Connecticut, and I have to assume he is also doing quite well.)

Getting back to my story again, Brian began using my cartoons in his newsletter and in other promotional material. He also volunteered his expertise in creating some of the gags, and whenever I felt that his contribution was important enough, I signed the cartoon STEIN + KURTZ (the only times I ever shared a by-line with anyone).

In a burst of inspiration, Brian even based an award-winning print advertising campaign around my cartoons. I'll be posting all the cartoons and the ads in the future, under the publication category of "Boardroom Lists" (even though the ads appeared in other trade publications, such as "Direct Marketing", "Zip Target Marketing" and "D.M.News"). I received a royalty payment each time an ad appeared in a publication. What was the award that the ad campaign garnered? It was the coveted ECHO award from the Direct Marketing Association. Brian was nice enough to send me this Certificate of Creative Recognition: bdrmcertificate.jpg And he also sent along this note: bdrmbriannote.jpg For all these years the certificate has been languishing in a folder in one of my file cabinets. But now I plan to frame it and give it its rightful place on my studio wall. Okay, it isn't an OSCAR or even a CLIO, but it's an ECHO!

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National Review (West), May 20, 1996

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Don't you just love it when, at Olympics time, everything is touted as being “The Official (product category) of the (year) Olympic games”?

For some reason this was published only in the Western edition of National Review, and not in the full edition, as far as I know.

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Case & Comment, 1988

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Case & Comment was a well-respected, old-line publication for lawyers. Its first issue was in 1894 and its last was in 1990 — almost 100 years! And best of all, in my opinion, it used cartoons to accompany and lighten up all that legal material.

This cartoon was purchased by the editors for a specific purpose. It was featured in a June 1988 promotional letter sent to their extensive mailing list of lawyers. I was paid a $100 bonus for that use.

Unfortunately, they must have sent it to the law firm that represented the “Toys R Us” merchandising group. As the editors later informed me, it resulted in a “cease and desist” letter and Case & Comment was forced to discontinue the promotion.

Aside: Four years later, The National Law Journal (another one of my markets, by the way) published essentially the same cartoon, but drawn by another cartoonist. The other cartoonist had the chutzpah to use the reverse “R” (Torts “R” Us), which I had been too chicken to use. I figured it was trademarked and would just be asking for trouble. I often wondered whether The National Law Journal received a similar “cease and desist” letter from the Toys “R” Us lawyers.

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Advertising Age, September 12, 1983

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Explanation: The word “collateral” has a special meaning in the advertising agency world. To quote from a source on Google: “Collateral is the collection of media used to support sales of a product or service. It differs from advertising in that it is used later in the sales cycle. Common examples include: sales brochures and other printed product information, posters and signs, visual aids in sales presentations, web content, sales scripts and demonstration scripts.”

So this adman, or as we would call him today, Madman, is looking for a loan and he has brought along his “collateral”. Yes, I agree it's an awful pun, but I thought it worked as a gag, and apparently so did the editors at Advertising Age back in 1983.

End of Lesson Number 1 in today's Advertising 101 class.

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Foreword

Welcome to the Eli Stein Cartoon archive. To begin, read my introduction and personal notes, and then please look at the cartoons, which are categorized by either decade, publication name or topic. I’ve included some personal comments, memories and photos below many of the cartoons. I’ll be adding cartoons, memories and photos ad infinitum. Remember, your comments are appreciated (just click on the “comment” link at the bottom of each post).
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