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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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Well, on such issues, I said earlier that the interference from the publisher came unusually on rather specific and relatively small issues, not very big issues of policy. Another example would have been in the question of supermarkets. For some reason, possibly because he'd been in contact with supermarket advertisers I guess, and we were trying to get supermarkets to advertise, the publisher took a great interest in the question of marking individual prices in the supermarkets. There was a law proposed that required marking of every item on the shelves, and there was a great issue on that. Our position had been that this was in the consumer's interest. But the supermarket people of course claimed that it was a terrible obstacle to the operation of their businesses. And here the publisher intervened with tremendous unusual interest in a very specific subject, to help to present the view of the supermarkets.

Well, we again solved this one by not taking the supermarket position. I think we actually stuck to our pro-consumer position, but here again, it was an intervention that was rather odd because he was obviously acting with the interests of the prospective advertisers at heart - but did not force through the thing. So this is, again, the type of interference in relationship that we constantly had to be on guard against.


I'd like to get some kind of chronology of this, if there is any, or was it simply a consistent pattern?


I think, although the SST battle, which really was a very severe one, was in the sixties - it was quite early, in the middle sixties - I don't think that we got very much of this until, very much of this kind of thing until the early seventies or middle seventies,

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