Mail Order Ad by Gene Schwartz’s Copywriting Mentor: Cecil Hoge

Mail Order ad by Cecil HogeIf you’ve heard the story of a young Gene Schwartz working one day in the mail room and a few short years later becoming a mail order millionaire, then here is an interesting ad.

It was written in 1975 by the man who showed Gene the ropes in the early 50s, Cecil Hoge, the founder and president of the Huber Hoge, Inc.

The promise of this ad is essentially a stone’s throw away from the internet marketing pitches that plague us today…but there’s a key difference.

Most of those offers lack the sophistication of even hinting that they might not be for you.

Not here.

How many internet marketing offers actually state that you can “lose plenty?”

Brutally refreshing.

Took Me a Lifetime.

My method took me a business lifetime to develop. But it works!

My method is no panacea…just as mail order is not for everyone. But I can tell it as it is…to give you a real chance in the real world of mail order. Because otherwise, believe me, if you are ill suited to…or ill informed or ill advised about the mail order business, you can lose plenty.

Here’s a downloadable PDF of Mail Order Moonlighting.


  1. drayton bird says

    I remember meeting Cecil Hoge years ago – what a lovely man – and I also remember being told how he he used to sit down with a pad of yellow legal paper and dash off copy like lightning. His book is excellent, too

  2. says

    I was thrilled to see this ad by Cecil on your site. Cecil was my mentor. He got me started and was a dear friend. He was no doubt one of the greatest marketers who ever lived.

    Thank you for putting this on your site.

  3. Raymond says

    Cecil was magnetic, both in person and in print. I met him in an Orlando strip club in 92, little did I know his writing prowess at the time! In fact he was a modest man until the end, always striving to learn & improve, even when he was on top of his game!

    I’ll always remember the nuggets of wisdom Cecil shared with his close friends, his generosity was as pure as his writing.


  4. says

    Love this, it is great to see the integral foundation that some of the original legends laid. I know though that for sure there are plenty of hacks out there on the net with a copywriting hand book pumping out BS and misleading dozens along the way, but there are also the guys like Cecil, who use take away selling well and let people know that hey this really may not be for you..,

    Love your work

  5. says

    Boy am I late to this party.

    It was “Mail Order Know-How”, one of Cecil’s other books, that hipped me to the fact that there was such a thing called “direct marketing.” I had been using it for years before – common sense rigorously applied – but had no idea it was something you could read and learn more about.

    Needless to say it changed my life. I had the chance to meet Cecil several times and worked with one of his proteges (Anders Brownworth) for a while.

  6. Lawrence Bernstein says

    Small world, Ken. I had a friend, Bill Steinhardt, who worked with both Cecil and Gene. Unsurprisingly, Bill did pretty well by rubbing shoulders with those two. They’ve all passed away now, rest their souls.

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