Vol. 76, No. 9, September
1: Back to article
In 1927, Gilson Glasier, the first editor of the
Bulletin of the State Bar Association of Wisconsin, as
Wisconsin Lawyer was then known, stated that "without the hope
of receiving compensation from advertisers, this bulletin would hardly
have been attempted." Glasier wrote to prospective advertisers extolling
the benefits of advertising and the magazine's "genuine, wholehearted
reader interest." The cost of a full page ad in 1927 was $50, and
circulation was about 2,000. Today, a full page ad is $1,110, and
circulation is nearly 22,000.
The following 12 businesses advertised in the magazine's first
- Belmont Hotel, Madison - "Facing the Capitol." Rooms $2 to
- Callaghan & Co., Chicago - Callaghan's New Wisconsin
Digest, six volumes for $90
- Democrat Printing Co., Madison - Briefs printing, $1 per page
- Farrington Co., Chicago - Laptop reading table
- Hess Linotyping Co., Milwaukee - Briefs and cases printing. "Don't
Ask Us - Ask Brother Barrister"
- Henry B.
Nelson Inc., Milwaukee - "A Complete Authoritative Service on Wisconsin
- Lawyers' Brief and Information Service, Madison - Briefs compiled,
citations furnished, copies certified, $.80-$.90/page
- Northwestern Mutual Life, Madison/Milwaukee - "When the Professional
Man Frees His Mind of All Preconceived Notions Regarding Life
- Park Hotel, Madison - Rooms $2-$2.50 with toilets, $3-$4.50 with
- Prentice-Hall Inc., New York - Law books. One advertisement offers
Annotated Forms of Agreement for $10
- West Publishing Co (now West Group), St. Paul, Minn. - Has
advertised continuously ever since, the only advertiser to be with us
all 75 years
- Wisconsin Life Insurance Co., Madison - "As a Professional Man Your
Earnings Cease with You"
Classified advertising. The earliest version of a
classified ad, from an attorney looking for a set of used law books,
appeared in the January 1929 issue. The first ads for positions wanted
and for attorneys needed appeared in August 1935.
Controversial ads. One of the most controversial
advertising campaigns in recent memory was for the Memorial Blood
Center's parentage testing; for example, one of the ads showed a boy at
various ages with a milk bottle. The caption read, "How to Avoid
Spending $236,000 to raise the milkman's son." The Wisconsin
Lawyer received several complaints that the ads were demeaning to
women and perpetuated the stereotype that women "were sitting around
waiting for the milkman."
The advertising subcommittee of the Communications Committee reviewed
the ads and concluded that advertising should not be rejected for its
content, as long as it was for products that were not illegal and not in
violation of professional ethics. A formal advertising policy was
written as a result.
Thank you to advertisers. Over the years,
advertisers have provided valuable financial support to the magazine and
to the Wisconsin Lawyer Directory - covering the costs of
printing and mailing. Today, the magazine, which includes the annual
directory, costs each member $20.36 out of their dues (previously,
members paid $30 to purchase the directory from another publisher). In
turn, we've delivered advertisers' messages about law-related and other
products and services in a reader-respected, visually appealing
editorial environment. The State Bar of Wisconsin genuinely appreciates
advertisers' support of the magazine for the last 75 years.