Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Kicking the puppy

Several people commented about my "marketing strategy" -- buy my book or I'll kick this puppy.  So far no death threats have come my way, but it occurred to me that many of my readers may not get the joke.  I was referring back to a famous moment in journalism when the National Lampoon ran this cover:

"If You Don't Buy This Magazine, We'll Kill This Dog."  It was pretty cheeky for 1973, widely known and celebrated in journalistic circles, and has proved to have considerable staying power.  Other magazine editors glommed onto the concept and tweaked it:

2007: "If You Don't Buy This Magazine, Dick Cheney Will Shoot You in the Face"

2015:  Greek prime minister Alex Tsipras, "Send Money or I'll Shoot"

2009:  didn't even bother to change the headline, except to substitute "shoot" for "kill"

2011:  the image alone makes some people remember the original caption, so it's useful for editorial cartoonists to depict blackmail situations.

For everybody who was a journalist, or a journalism aficionado, in the 70s, the meme has a great deal of staying power and requires no explanation.  My nostalgia overwhelmed my common sense, which should have reminded me that not everybody was a journalism aficionado in the 70s.  And animal lovers should note that I threatened only to kick the puppy, not shoot it.

I still want you to buy the book.


  1. I did.. and it shipped today. Thanks Kathy for all of the work that went into the development process.

  2. Thanks for the explanation. I didn't understand why it seemed so threatening at the first mention of the book!
    I think the book might be just what my sister needs!

  3. I totally understood your humor. I'm glad you showed your references for those who don't understand. I will absolutely be buying the book. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.


  4. I didn't remember all the images you referenced so I'm glad you shared them.

  5. Bought it yesterday and can't wait to get it. Small price for all I have already learned from you on your blog!