A new way for American companies to advertise in the growing Chinese market was announced this morning by the Benjamin Co. of New York. Corporations will be able to sponsor books, advertising on the back and inside covers or in special bound-in inserts.
It is now difficult for advertisers to reach the vast majority of Chinese because newspapers and magazines carry no advertisements, radio and television commercials are still not widespread, and there are not many bill board advertisements.
Benjamin plans to distribute millions of books -- mostly cheap paperbacks in Chinese and English -- to libraries, schools, factories, government agencies and so on. American corporations will be able to buy space in the books to promote their products. "With 25 'readings' anticipated for each sponsored book available through the various Chinese library networks, the advertiser can anticipate remarkable exposure for his message," commented president of the company Roy Benjamin this morning.
Several months of discussion were necessary before the Benjamin Company won approval and cooperation from Chinese authorites for the sponsorship program. The Publishers Association of China, headed by Chen Hanbo, has promised its support in seeing that the sponsored books reach the audience promised to the advertisers.
The PAC will also recommend what sort of books should be included in the program, according to a release from Benjamin Co. this morning. These will mostly be chosen from existing titles published in the United States.
Chinese support for the venture may have been encouraged by difficulties and shortages in the domestic book publishing industry. English is not the official second language in Chinese, and many books are published by official decree to promote the educational and propaganda philosophies of the central government, Benjamin said.