Record #138

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A problem and furore created by dubious advertising. James M. Fidler sent a telegram on behalf of Wallace MacDonald to Tom Taggart, a member of the Democratic National Committee (see D24-04). The telegram brought down the wrath of the MPPDA, culminating in a resolution condemning the "flagrant injury to the industry" caused by such "false and misleading stories."


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ADVERTISING. 1924. Telegram from Smith to Beetson re Taggart Publicity Gimmick, 06-23-1924: Fred W. Beetson, 6912 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood ,California. Following telegram has been received by Taggart and other equally prominent leaders stop Quote dated Hollywood June nineteenth at a representative gathering of motion picture people it was suggested that as a courtesy to the film industry a complimentary vote be cast on first ballot for Wallace MacDonald the unanimous selection as representative of the motion picture business which is the fourth largest in the United States stop We have many resources and this courtesy on your part assures you our following and unlimited support in every way stop You have this vote to waste and the power to tender it and we have infinite publicity and even more tangible support to offer stop Please acknowledge to our headquarters six four nought four Sunset Boulevard Hollywood California signed James M Fidler secretary stop end quote stop We consider this an outrageous attempt to get some publicity and we require the matter be investigated by you at once and that Macdonald and Fidler take immediate steps to withdraw these telegrams or explain they were sent only upon their personal responsibility stop In the latter event it should be known everywhere by responsible people that these two men for the sake of a little publicity have seriously affected the integrity of this industry with important people stop We refuse to further tolerate outrageous attempts to secure publicity stop We do not expect any responsible person in the industry to take this specific case lightly stop Please wire fully your report and what action will be taken stop Understand Macdonald now working for Universal. COURTLAND SMITH [Fidler sent a retraction to Taggart. Taggart was in fact the only one to receive the original telegram.]

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