Friday 21 March 2014

The "Little Paper That Grew" story

In the early years of the Toronto Sun, the feisty little tabloid let it be known it needed a slogan and a new ad agency to do the job.

It has taken TSF months, but we have pinned down the story behind The Little Paper That Grew branding that was accepted just a few years after the Sun was launched on Nov. 1, 1971.

It comes in the words of Gary Carr, one of the Pellow Ambrose and Carr ad execs who accepted the challenge to provide a memorable brand for the Sun.

Carr writes:

"The year was 1976 (?) and The Toronto Sun was seeking a new advertising agency. During its start-up years, all the newspaper's external advertising had been donated by Marvin Naftolin, but after some early impressive growth the paper's management group determined it was time to hire an agency with some depth.

"At the time, Pellow Ambrose and Carr was a young, small agency with just nine employees, but was quickly becoming recognized for some very creative work, particularly a campaign for Jack Baker Distillers that had recently run in their paper.

"The Sun asked a number of Toronto agencies for a creative recommendation and PA&C was by far the smallest contender for the business.

"President Don Ambrose and Creative Director Gary Carr leaped at the chance, recognizing that the Sun's advertising would be highly visible and would be a major help in furthering the young agency's reputation.

"After a week or so of discussing slogan alternatives, Gary Carr stopped Don in the hallway of their homey office on Roehampton Avenue in north Toronto and asked "How about 'The Little Paper That Keeps on Growing'"?

"Don's immediate reply was "great but let's make it a little shorter" and that's how "The Little Paper That Grew" was born.

"PA&C marched down to the Sun's offices and presented the idea to Lynda Ruddy, Don Hunt and Doug Creighton. Within days, they were hired by The Sun

"For most of the next 20 years, PA&C continued as The Sun's advertising agency and "The Little Paper That Grew" thrived as its slogan."

Our thanks to Gary Carr for answering an often asked question: Who penned The Little Paper That Grew slogan?