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Category: Strategic Planning

The Value of Time




All of us know the importance of time, at least conceptually. We all know that time and tide wait for no man. But do we really realise the importance of time? Here are three interesting perspectives on the importance of time that have been in circulation on internet for quite sometime. It’s worth reminding ourselves and reiterating our pledge to utilise this most important resource to the fullest.

Imagine there is a bank which credits your account each morning with $86,400, carries over no balance from day to day, allows you to keep no cash balance, and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day.

What would you do?
Draw out every cent of course!
Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.
Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose.
It carries over no balance. It allows you no overdraft.
Each day it opens a new account for you.
Each night it burns the records of the day.
If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours.
There’s no going back. There is no drawing against tomorrow.
You must live in the present on today’s deposits.
Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success!
The Clock is running. Make most of today.

To realise the value of one year: Ask a student who has failed a final exam.
To realise the value of one month: Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realise the value of one week: Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper
To realise the value of one hour: Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realise the value of one minute: Ask the person who has missed the train, bus or plane.
To realise the value of one second: Ask a person who has survived an accident.
To realise the value of one millisecond: Ask the person who has won a silver medal in Olympics.
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.

– Author Unknown


When I Grow Up…


When I Grow Up, the 1999 Super Bowl ad by Mullen Advertising has been chosen as one of its top ten according to by its visitors. It has also justifiably, won a lot of industry awards.

What makes it so good is that it’s simple and surprising. It takes an entirely different approach from other ads in this category, which tend to be pretty conservative and stick with leveraging dreams of a great future. By doing the opposite, this one stands out. The ad featured a series of kids sharing their dreams, only with a twist.

Here’s the transcript of the famous When I Grow Up Superbowl ad:

When I grow up, I want to file all day.

I want to claw my way up through the middle management.

Be replaced on a whim.

I want to have a brown nose.

I want to be a Yes Man. Yes Woman! Yes sir! Coming Sir! Anything for a raise sir!

When I grow up… I want to be under appreciated. Be paid less for doing the same job.

I want sunshine blown up my dress.

What did you want to be?

The subtext of the question in the end, “What did you want to be?”, of course, is that you didn’t set out for any of these roles when you were young, so shy do you settle for one now?

The Man Who Invented Management

(November19, 1909 - November 11, 2005)

(November19, 1909 – November 11, 2005)

Today is the one-hundred-and-fourth birth anniversary of Peter Drucker, the man who invented management. BusinessWeek reported shortly after his death at 95 in 2005 that: Whether it’s recognised or not, the organisation and practice of management today is derived largely from the thinking of Peter Drucker. What John Maynard Keynes is to economics or W. Edwards Deming to Quality, Drucker is to management.

Ahead of His Time

Drucker was always ahead of his time. BusinessWeek succinctly summarised some of the major accomplishments upon his death in 2005:

In the 1940s, he introduced the idea of decentralisation, which became a bedrock principle for virtually every large organisation in the world.

In the 1950s, he was the first to assert that workers should be treated as assets, not as liabilities to be eliminated.

In the1950s, he presented for the first time the concept of corporation as a human community built on trust and respect for the worker and not just a profit-making machine, a perspective that won an almost Godlike reverence among the Japanese.

In the1950s, he was the first to clearly articulate that the purpose of any business is to create and keep a customer and that there is no business without a customer. A simple but powerful notion  that ushered in a new marketing mindset.

In the1960s, he was the first to argue for the importance of substance over style, for institutionalised practices over charismatic, cult leaders.

In the 1970s, he wrote about the contribution of knowledge workers and for the first time explained how knowledge would trump raw material as the essential capital of the New Economy.

Books written by Peter F. Drucker

1. The End of Economic Man, 1939

2. The Future of Industrial Man. A conservative approach, 1942

3. Concept of the Corporation, 1946

4. The New Society: The Anatomy of Industrial Order,

5. The Practice of Management, 1954

6. America’s Next Twenty Years, 1955

7. Landmarks of Tomorrow: A Report on the “New Post-Modern World”, 1957

8. Technology, Management & Society, 1958

9. Managing for Results, 1964

10. The Effective Executive, 1967

11. The Age of Discontinuity: Guidelines for Our Changing Society, 1969

12. Preparing Tomorrow’s Business Leaders Today (Ed.), 1969

13. Drucker on Management, 1971

14. Men, Ideas & Politics: Essays, 1971

15. The New Markets & Other Essays, 1971

16. Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices, 1973

17. The Unseen Revolution – How Pension Fund Socialism Came to America, 1976

18. People and Performance: The Best of Peter Drucker on Management, 1977

19. Management Cases, 1977

20. Adventures of a Bystander (Autobiography), 1979

21. Managing in Turbulent Times, 1980

22. Toward the Next Economics and Other Essays, 1981

23. The Last of All Possible Worlds (Novel), 1982

24. The Changing World of the Executive, 1982

25. The Temptation to do Good (Novel), 1984

26. Innovation & Entrepreneurship: Practice & Principles, 1985

27. The Frontiers of Management: Where Tomorrow’s Decisions are Being Shaped Today, 1986

28. The New Realities, in Government and Politics, in Economics and Business, in Society and world View, 1989

29. Managing the Non-Profit Organization: Practices and Principles, 1990

30. Our Changing Economic Society: The Best of Drucker’s Thinking on Economic and Societal Change (Collection of articles), 1991

31. Managing for the Future: The 1990s and Beyond, 1992

32. The Ecological Vision: Reflections on the American Condition, 1993

33. Post-Capitalist Society, 1993

34. Managing in a Time of Great Change, 1995

35. The Executive in Action: Managing for Results, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, The Effective Executive, 1996

36. The Pension Fund Revolution, 1996

37. Landmarks of Tomorrow (with a new introduction by Peter Drucker), 1996

38. Peter Drucker on the Profession of Management (A collection of articles published in HBR 1963-1994), 1998

39. Management Challenges for the 21st Century, 1999

40. The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker’s Essential Writings on Management, 2001

41. Managing in the Next Society, 2002

42. A Functioning Society: Selections from Sixty-Five Years of Writing on Community, Society and Policy, 2003

43. The Daily Drucker, 2004

44. The Effective Executive in Action, 2006

45. Classic Drucker: Wisdom from Peter Drucker from the Pages of Harvard Business Review, 2006

46. Management. Revised Edition of Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices, 2008

Harvard Business Review Articles by Peter Drucker:

1. Behind Japan’s Success

2. Big Business and National Purpose

3. Getting Things Done. How to Make People Decisions

4. Is Business Letting Young People Down?

5. Looking Ahead. Implications of the Present

6. Management and the World’s Work

7. Management’s New Role

8. Managing for Business Effectiveness

9. Managing Oneself

10. New Templates for Today’s Organizations

11. Our Entrepreneurial Economy

12. Reckoning with the Pension Fund Revolution

13. Restoring Public Trust

14. The Big Power of Little Ideas

15. The Coming of New Organization

16. The Competitive World

17. The Discipline of Innovation

18. The Effective Decision

19. The Emerging Theory of Manufacturing

20. The Information Executives Truly Need

21. The New Productivity Challenge

22. The New Society of Organizations

23. The Right and Wrong Compromise

24. Theory of Business

25. They are not Employees, They are People

26. Twelve Fables of Research Management

27. What Business Can Learn from Non-profits

28. What Executives Should Remember

29. What makes an Effective Executive

30. What we can learn from Japanese Management

Rick Warren, the author of The Purpose Driven Life said during the inaugural Peter Drucker Forum in Vienna celebrating Drucker’s 100th birthday in 2009: Peter was far more than the founder of modern management, far more than a brilliant man, one of the greatest minds of the 20th century. He was a great soul. If I summed up Peter’s life in three words, it would be integrity, humility, and generosity… Peter was the only truly Renaissance man I’ve ever known. He had a way of looking at the world in a systems view that said it all matters.

Drucker’s simplicity and humility are palpable. He once said: None of my books or ideas means anything to me in the long run.What are theories? Nothing. The only thing that matters is how you touch people. Have I given anyone insight? That’s what I want to have done. Insight lasts; theories don’t. And even insight decays into small details, which is how it should be. A few details that have meaning in one’s life are important.

Jim Collins, best selling author of Good to Great and Built to Last once wrote about Drucker: For me Drucker’s most important lessons cannot be found in any text or lecture but in the example of his life. I made a personal pilgrimage to Claremont, California in 1994 seeking wisdom from the greatest management thinker of our age, and I came away feeling that I’d met a compassionate and generous human being who – almost as a side benefit -was prolific genius… Peter F. Drucker was driven not by the desire to say something, but by the desire to learn something from every student he met – and that is why he became one of the most influential teachers most of us have ever known.

Drucker on Leadership

November 19, 1909 - November 11, 2005

(November 19, 1909 – November 11, 2005)

Peter Ferdinand Drucker, one of the most respected management thinkers of the twentieth century was a prolific writer, professor, management consultant and social ecologist. Business Week hailed him as the man who invented management. He directly influenced a huge number of leaders from a wide range of organisations across all sectors of society such as General Electric, IBM, Intel, Proctor & Gamble, Girl Scouts of the USA, The Salvation Army, Red Cross, United Farm Workers.

Drucker wrote 39 books and several scholarly and popular articles. He was prophetic in his writings and predicted many of the major developments of the late 20th century, including privatisation and decentralisation, the rise of Japan to economic world power, the decisive importance of marketing and innovation, and the emergence of information society the necessity of lifelong learning.

Winston Churchill after reading Drucker’s first major work, The End of Economic man in 1939, described him as one of those writers to whom almost anything can be forgiven because he not only has a mind of his own, but has the gift of starting other minds along a stimulating line of thought.

Drucker had a distinguished career as consultant and teacher. He started his teaching career first as a professor of politics and philosophy at Bennington College from 1942 to 1949 and moved over to New York University as a professor of management for the next twenty years (1950-1971). He went to California in 1971, where he developed one of the country’s first Executive MBA programs for working professionals at Claremont Graduate University. From 1971 until his death, he was the Clarke Professor of Social Science and Management at Claremont. The Claremont Graduate University’s management school was named the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management in his honour in 1987, which was later renamed as Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management. Drucker taught his last class in 2002 at the age of 92.

Here are some of the awards and honours bestowed upon Drucker:

A. Presidential Medal of Freedom by US President George W. Bush in 2002.

B. Grand Silver Medal for Services to the Republic of Austria in 1974.

C. Grand Gold Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria in 1991.

D. Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, 1st class in 1999.

E. Order of the Sacred Treasure, Japan in 1966

F. New York University’s highest honour, its Presidential Citation in 1969.

G. Seven McKinsey Awards for articles published in Harvard Business Review, the most awarded to one person.

H. Junior Achievement US Business Hall of Fame in 1996.

I. Third most influential management book of the 20th century award for his 1954 book – the Practice of Management.

J. Naming of the Eleventh Street between College Avenue and Dartmouth Avenue in Claremont, California as Drucker Way in October 2009.

Here are twelve gems on leadership from Drucker’s writings:

1. Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

2. Efficiency is doing the thing right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing.

3. Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.

4. The leaders who work mod effectively, it seems to me never say, “I.” And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say “I.” They don’t think “I.” They think “we”; they think “team.” They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but “we” gets the credit. this is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.

5. Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility.

6. Results are obtained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems.

7. Your first and foremost job as a leader is to take charge of your own energy and then help to orchestrate the energy of those around you.

8. People in any organisation are always attached to the obsolete – the things that would have worked but did not, the things that once were productive and no longer are.

9. Leadership is not magnetic personality, that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not “making friends and influencing people”, that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.

10. The three most charismatic leaders in this century inflicted more suffering on the human are than almost any trio in history: Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. What matters is not the leader’s charisma. What matters is the leader’s mission.

11. Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.

12. The best way to predict the future… is to create it.

B-Complex for Copywriters

World’s Number One Pharma Billionaire!


The third richest billionaire from India, Dilip Shanghvi is also the Number One Billionaire in the world pharmaceutical industry. Forbes India in October 2013 listed Dilip Shanghvi as the third richest among billionaires from India with a net worth of $ 13.9 billion. He is the biggest dollar gainer, up by a whopping $ 4.7 billion this year. When you take into account billionaires only from pharmaceutical industry, Dilip Shanghvi is at the number one position. How did he achieve this unique distinction? By starting and building India’s most valuable drug company, Sun Pharma with a market capitalisation of about $ 16 billion.

Started thirty years ago in 1983, with one product and a two-member field staff to promote its first product, Lithosun the company grew rapidly. From a meagre first year sales of  $ 0.02 million the company has grown to a $ 2 billion plus company by 2013 into a vertically integrated specialty pharma company with 23 manufacturing facilities spread over the five continents and a growing presence in fifty countries across the world.

What makes Dilip Shanghvi Dilip Shanghvi? There are at least seven distinctive characteristics and competencies  or winning habits that separate him from the rest.

Unparalleled Domain Knowledge. Dilip Shanghvi’s depth and breadth of knowledge about the end to end of the pharmaceutical business from R&D to manufacturing to marketing and finance is unparalleled.

Industry Foresight. He has an uncommon Ability of Spotting Opportunities and seizing them. He often sees opportunities where others don’t see them, and before others if they do see them. It was in 1984, which the second year of Sun Pharma that the Waxman and Hatch Act came in to existence. Shanghvi set his sights on this lucrative  North American generic market right from the moment that the Country had paved the way for speedy market access to generic versions of the off-patent drugs.

Thinking Differently. His ability to think differently and out-of-the-box helping him choose, design strategies that are distinctly different from others and choose a road less travelled and even not travelled. He was the first to think of creating stand-alone specialty divisions to serve the needs of physicians specialising in a particular therapy area or branch of medicine such as Psychiatry, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, and others before anyone even thought of and reaped rich dividends in terms of market leader ship. Other companies later replicated this model.

Ability to Measure and Manage Risk. Dilip Shanghvi has an incredible ability to measure and manage risk. The number of at-risk generic launches in North America amplify this.

Relentless Focus. Focus seems to be his first name. It is this focus coupled with cost controls, Sun’s proprietary know-how, although it is not officially patented, and ruthless execution that turned every business the company acquired. Every single one of the sixteen acquisitions have been turned around are on a healthy growth path.

Goal-Directed Behaviour. Goal setting seems to be his second nature. Shanghvi has always set goals that are challenging and has an unflinching determination to realise them.

Simplicity and Humane Nature. It is very difficult to be as simple as him with such a huge success. Shanghvi himself says that he never takes him too seriously. He is simple, down-to-earth even today. He would not hesitate to rush out even in the dead of the night if required to help out and counsel employees in their times of need.

Shanghvi’s managerial style contrasts with that of the iconic industry leader and great innovator, the late Steve Jobs. Shanghvi once said: Jobs’ philosophy was to hire the best and ensure that there is not a ‘B’ member in your team. I prefer to get the best out of the average people.

Above all the secret of Shanghvi’s huge success is in the lesson that he learnt from his father, that one should take into account the long-term implications of decisions and relationships are more important over making money. Today Sun Pharma’s success is built upon these principles: We do not look at products as profit centres but look at profit by satisfying customer-needs.


good idea is a better idea2


Unforgettable Speeches: Kennedy’s Ich bin ein Berliner!


On June 26, 1963, The US President, John F. Kennedy made one of the most unforgettable and groundbreaking speeches in history in Berlin to a 120,000-strong crowd of Berliners offering American solidarity to the citizens of West Germany. The people began gathering in the square of the Schöneberg Rathaus (City Hall) long before Kennedy was due to arrive, and when he finally appeared on the podium they gave him an ovation of several minutes.

Here is a transcript of that historical speech, Ich bin ein Berliner:

“I am proud to come to this city as the guest of your distinguished Mayor, who has symbolized throughout the world the fighting spirit of West Berlin. And I am proud to visit the Federal Republic with your distinguished Chancellor, who for so many years has committed Germany to democracy and freedom and progress, and to come here in the company of my fellow American, General Clay, who has been in this city during its great moments of crisis and will come again if ever needed.

Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was civis Romanus sum. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is Ich bin ein Berliner.

I appreciate my interpreter translating my German!

There are many people in the world who really don’t understand, or say they don’t, what the greatest issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the communists. Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lass’ sic nach Berlin kommen. Let them come to Berlin.

Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us. I want to say, on behalf of my countrymen, who live many miles away on the other side of the Atlantic, who are far distant from you, that they take the greatest pride that they have been able to share with you, even from a great distance, the story of the last 18 years. I know of no town, no city, that has been besieged for 18 years that still lives with the vitality and the force, and the hope and the determination of the city of West Berlin. While the wall is the most obvious and vivid demonstration of the failures of the Communist system, for all the world to see, we take no satisfaction in it, for it is, as your Mayor has said, an offense not only against history but an offense against humanity, separating families, dividing husbands and wives and brothers and sisters and dividing a people who wish to be joined together.

What is true of this city is true of Germany – real, lasting peace in Europe can never e assured as long as one German out of four is denied the elementary right of free men, and that is to make a free choice. In 18 years of peace and good faith, this generation of Germans has earned the right to be free, including the right to unite their families and their nation in lasting peace, with good will to all people. You live in a defended island of freedom, but your life is part of the main. So let me ask you, as I close, to lift your eyes beyond the dangers of today, to the hopes of tomorrow, beyond the freedom merely of this city of Berlin, or your country of Germany, to the advance of freedom every where, beyond the wall to the day of peace with justice, beyond yourselves and ourselves to all mankind.

Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. When all are free, then we can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one and this country and this great Continent of Europe in a peaceful and hopeful globe. When that day finally comes, as it will, the people of West Berlin can take sober satisfaction in the fact that they were in the front lines for almost two decades.

All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words, Ich bin ein Berliner!”

The Berlin Wall was finally brought down, piece by piece, in November 1989 as communism collapsed and the Iron Curtain fell from Eastern Europe.

Germany was re-united in October 1990.

Stanley Resor, Advertising’s Educator

Stanley Burnet Resor (1879 - 1962)

Stanley Burnet Resor (1879 – 1962)

Stanley Burnet Resor, who built J. Walter Thompson company into an advertising powerhouse across the world was as little like the stereotyped adman of Madison Avenue as a man could be. James Webb Young the legendary copywriter and adman who worked with him said once that Stanley Resor was never a hail fellow, never appeared at an advertising men’s gathering except to deliver a serious paper, and was never photographed for an advertising journal with a highball in hand.

Stanley Resor approached his profession and his work as an educator. As a consumer educator. He was profoundly influenced by Henry Thomas Buckle’s History of Civilization in England and made it a required reading for every key person who joined J. Walter Thompson staff. In Buckle’s concepts of regularities in the mass behavior of people and the probability of statistically predicting such behavior, Resor thought he saw the basis of science in advertising.

Resor had come to advertising early in the Twentieth Century, when most of it was still mere publicity for a name or trademark. He saw it as education plus persuasion and made many contributions in revolutionizing advertising content. He firmly believed in the importance of advertising as education in a fine society, and in its potential user. His pioneering efforts resulted in a huge success.

It was his advertising that first taught American women to use a vegetable cooking fat; to use a soap for the skin you love to touch; to turn foods previously shown only in packages into appetizing dishes on the table; to wash woolens without shrinkage, and delicate lingerie without damage; to find a fifty-cent jar of face cream the same satisfaction as one in several times more expensive. His advertising taught the American consumers many similar practical means to better living.

How did he achieve what he achieved? He employed the first domestic science woman and set up the first experimental kitchen in any agency. He had on his staff a specially trained reader of medical literature. What is more, under the brilliant leadership of his illustrious wife, Helen Lansdowne Resor he trained able woman writers to talk to women in their own language. Advertising, thus became more informative, helpful and persuasive – and profitable.

Resor had the vision and courage for he foresaw the future of international trade and advertising when America was in its isolationist mood, and made heavy investment in his foreign offices. He had courage to stand up to his principles and integrity. Some products he would not advertise – hard liquors, cures or those for feminine hygiene. He considered his agency the trustee for its clients’ advertising appropriations and thus responsible for their proper expenditure.

Resor began working as a salesman at Proctor & Collin, the in-house advertising agency for Proctor&Gamble company in 1901 with an undergraduate degree in classics from Yale University. He joined J. Walter Thompson Co. along with his brother to open a Cincinnati branch of the agency in 1908.

In 1916, Resor led a group of associates who bought J Walter Thompson Co and became its president, a position he retained for 39 years, after which he became the Chairman of the agency. Under his leadership, JWT became the largest advertising agency in the world, a position the company retained for nearly fifty years. Resor’s influence extended far beyond the boundaries of his own advertising agency to the profession as a whole. His legacy is best captured in his achievements. Consider some of his more important achievements for example:

  1. Began commissioning research studies as early as 1912, and by the 1920s his agency was publishing a census of retail trade that reportedly was used by more than 2,300 companies. That census heralded the beginning in the field of market research.
  2. Published extensively on advertising, and his articles reflected his belief that human behavior was governed by laws that advertisers should seek to understand.
  3. CO-founded the American Association of Advertising Agencies in 1917.
  4. Drafted Code of Conduct for the American Association of Advertising Agencies in 1918.
  5. Revived the form of advertising known as testimonial advertising.
  6. Refused to present speculative creative work when the agency was involved in a new-business presentation as he believed that speculative pitches were highly unethical and would only harm the reputation of the agencies that participate in them.

Resor died in 1962 and was inducted into Advertising Hall of Fame in 1967 posthumously.

Resor’s belief that advertising’s most important role is in consumer education is best captured in anecdote shared by James Webb Young:

When James Webb Young became the chairman of the Advertising Council, early in the development of its program for public sector advertising, Resor told him, “Now you are the head of what is potentially the greatest educational institution in America!”

Advertising The Unmentionable

Kotex Display

How do you advertise an unmentionable product? Sanitary napkins were considered as an unmentionable product in the 1920s.

Ask Albert Lasker, president of the Lord & Thomas advertising agency. He is revered as the Father of American Advertising. Here’s how Lasker persuaded Edward Bok, the reluctant editor of Ladies’ Home Journal, who was also known as the supreme arbiter of the manners and morals of middle-class American womanhood.

Lasker and Bok argued over a proposed advertisement for Kotex sanitary napkins. Bok reportedly told Lasker that his decision not to publish the Kotex ad was final. Lasker was not the type who would take ‘no’ for an answer. He challenged the editor to bring his secretary into the office and read the Kotex advertisement. “If she is embarrassed or repelled it,” Lasker said, “ I’ll accept your judgment. There’ll be no further argument.” Bok called in his white-haired secretary, a woman in her sixties, and handed her the copy. The two men watched in silence as the secretary started reading the ad. She stopped halfway through, looked at the editor and said, “Why Mr. Bok, this is really a wonderful thing. I certainly think we should run this in the Journal. Women deserve to be told about it.”

In the 1920s advertising for sanitary napkins in the media was unthinkable as women were reluctant to buy the new product Kotex because it meant asking a clerk for a box. This was the case although the company invented the word ‘Kotex’ so women would not have to ask for a ‘sanitary napkin.’

Albert Lasker wrote about this Kotex campaign of 1920s, in Advertising Age of December 15, 1952, “ Just a few of us talked to our wives and asked them if they used Kotex, and we found they didn’t, and in almost every case it was because they did not like to ask the druggist for it.” Lasker suggested that they stack the Kotex boxes on the counter rather than making the lady ask for one. He also added the idea of placing a coin box next to the stack of boxes, completely eliminating the need for a woman to ask anyone about Kotex.

Lasker probably borrowed this idea from O.T. Frash, a copywriter, who reported that he saw that an Apothecary shop owned by a German-American druggist found that women would buy many more packages if they were wrapped in plain white paper and tied with blue string, then piled on the counter in a pyramid surmounted by a small neat card reading, Kotex – Take a box – 65 cents.

The rest became history.