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Johnson, Mike (ed.) / Leblanc Bell : A newsletter for music retailers, educators, employees and friends of G. Leblanc Corporation
(May 6, 1996)

Ad venture,   pp. 25-31


Page 25

A corporate history as
revealed by a dig through
past advertising files
by John Hauter
Advertising Manager
Over the millennia, civilizations have
come and gone, many with no recorded
history. We know of them today only
through the remnants they have left
behind, the stuff of archaeology.
Modern-day corporations can be
thought of as cultures in miniature,
with compressed histories that have
never spanned eons. They may thrive
for decades, sometimes for centuries.
During a company's successful years,
it is occupied with the business of do-
ing what it does-not with recording
the minutiae of its day-to-day existence.
So its history, like that of some myste-
rious culture of the past, must be in-
ferred from the tangible documents
and artifacts it has produced.
When we in Leblanc's advertising
department sat down to brainstorm the
contents of this special issue of the
Bell, looking for different perspectives
from which to tell the company's 50-
year history, we felt stymied by the fact
that none of us had direct knowledge
of the decades preceding our own ten-
ure. Then Mike Johnson, corporate
communications director, suggested
that a wealth of insightful material was
waiting in our own department files.
Advertising is any company's most
visible and deliberate link to the cul-
Advertising is any company's
most visible and deliberate
link to the culture at large.
Through advertising, a
company defines its own
image and tells its own story.
ture at large. Through advertising, a
company defines its own image and
tells its own story. Leblanc has under-
stood this since its founding in
America, thanks to Vito Pascucci's vi-
sion and his commitment to the qual-
ity of all that represents Leblanc.
Our challenge was clear: Tell the
story of Leblanc's 50 years in America
through the record left by its advertis-
ing. As advertising manager, I pre-
sumed that this formidable task would
fall to me. But where to start?
As it turns out, The Instrumentalist
magazine was founded in 1945, and
Leblanc, founded the following year,
has been a regular advertiser in its
pages ever since. The Instrumentalist
staff has kindly assisted us in research-
ing and reproducing the earliest ex-
amples of Leblanc's print ads. In 1955,
Leblanc began maintaining its own
archives.
It is impossible to comment on all
of the advertisements that Leblanc has
produced over the years, so these com-
ments will focus on a sampling of ads
that seem pertinent to Leblanc's chro-
nology. The early ads may look "plain"
by today's standards, but they are sig-
nificant- to our company's history, as
continued on page 26
Then and now: At left Leblanc's most recent "corporate" ad, developed by Boller Coates
&Neu to commemorate 50years in America. At right, one of the earliest ads placed by
Leblanc's "American Division,' appearing in a 1947 issue of The Instrumentalist
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