Record #146

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Courtland Smith, President of the American Press Association
Mr Will H. Hays, President, MPPDA
Reel 1
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Advertising - Resolutions
EDITORIAL COMMENT: Publicity material using L.A. Times editorial (see Transcription) involves an assessment of the extent of influence of ministers against the General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC). Its value, according to Courtland Smith, was in the way it put them ahead of b

Smith suggests using the influence of the Presbyterian Church to publicize a favourable editorial in the Los Angeles Times, in conjunction with the AMPP resolutions. The editorial, which praises Hays and the MPPDA for their policy of voluntary censorship, and urges book publishers to follow suit, is included.


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ADVERTISING - RESOLUTIONS. 1924. Smith to Hays: Publicity Strategy Drawing Upon Resources of Presbyterian Church, amongst others, 08-19-1924 August 19 1924. MEMORANDUM: W.H.H. My suggestion for getting to the newspapers the resolution passed by the Association of Motion Picture Producers, Inc., of California, and the clipping from the Los Angeles Times is as follows: A letter sent by you (copy of a suggested letter attached hereto) enclosing a printed copy of the resolution. This letter as you will note refers incidentally to the editorial in the Los Angeles Times. The real purpose of the letter is to get the printed copy of the resolution into the newspaper morgues, for present and future use. A photostat copy of the editorial should be sent by some outside agency that is as much interested in clean books and plays as they are in clean pictures. The real value of this editorial of course is the fact that it puts us a little ahead in the cleaning up process. It therefore becomes desirable to have this editorial sent out not by ourselves, for then we might well be accused of seeking self praise, but by some agency that, by sending it, would indirectly if not directly compliment us. My choice of the proper party to send this out would be a religious organization, preferably the Presbyterian Church, because of Scanlon's activities. This editorial is one of the best things we have ever obtained and the proper use of it is a matter of real importance. It might well be that the Presbyterian Church could send a photostat copy of this editorial to every Presbyterian minister and ask him to take it to every newspaper publisher in his vicinity. Failing that, we might try the same plan through the General Federation of Women's Clubs although the women are not as influential in taking matters beyond their immediate interest to the publishers as are the ministers. It may seem a wild thought but I am not at all sure it would not be worthwhile trying to get the ministers, the women, the Chambers of Commerce, fraternal organizations, etc., all to circulate it, to the end that a number of subscribers to each paper should call upon the editor in person, but individually and not collectively. Court SmithSample Letter to Editor from American Library Association. September-----My dear Mr. ---------- The American Library Association, with a membership of ----in which are represented most of the leading libraries in the United States, is deeply interested in the enclosed editorial from the Los Angeles Times of July 30th. We heartily endorse the suggestion in that editorial that the book publishers have a definite responsibility in the effort of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, Inc., under the guidance of Mr. Will H. Hays, its President, to prevent the prevalent type of book or play from becoming the prevalent type of motion picture. We believe the honor and dignity of the American book publishers should compel them, as the Times says, to follow the lead of Mr. Hays and the picture producers. This association stands for clean literature and hopes that the publishers will cooperate with the motion picture industry in this laudable effort to provide a higher type of entertainment and education. [NB. THE L.A. TIMES EDITORIAL, OF 07-30-1924, IS INCLUDED. IT PRAISES HAYS AND THE MPPDA FOR THEIR POLICY OF "VOLUNTARY CENSORSHIP" AND CALLS FOR BOOK PUBLISHERS TO FOLLOW SUIT.]

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