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The background to the iconic 1929 cinema advertisement featuring “Plain Mr York of York, Yorks” (It’s a chocbuster, The Press, May 16) is interesting.
Seebohm Rowntree, Joseph’s son, was the company chair at the time. Joseph had opposed the use of advertising, because he worried about the false claims which so many advertisers made – at that time, Quakers believed that if a product was of sufficient quality, it would sell itself.
The “Mr York” ad was an early sign that Joseph’s successors were beginning to face commercial realities. It’s good to see that Nestlé values this important history. We look forward to seeing the restored film – the first-ever commercial cartoon advert with synchronised sound.
Steven Burkeman Chair, The Rowntree Society Whitby Avenue, York.