Code of fair competition for the advertising distributing trade as approved on February 17, 1934 by President Roosevelt


Material Information

Code of fair competition for the advertising distributing trade as approved on February 17, 1934 by President Roosevelt
Physical Description:
p. 187-198 : ; 23 cm.
United States -- National Recovery Administration
Place of Publication:
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Advertisers -- Standards -- United States   ( lcsh )
Distributors (Commerce) -- Standards -- United States   ( lcsh )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


General Note:
Cover title.
General Note:
"Approved Code No. 297."
General Note:
"Registry No. 1702-2-11."

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 004930891
oclc - 43433546
System ID:

Full Text

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Codle Noi 297

Registry No. 1702-2-11









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. a Io the Superintendent of Documens., Wahington, D.C. - Price 5 cents



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This publication is for sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Government
Printing Office. Washington, D.C., and by district offices ijf the Bureau of
Foreign and Domestic Commerce.
Atlanta, Ga.: 504 Post Office Building.
Birmingham, Ala.: 257 Federal Building.
Boston, Mass.: 1801 Customhouse.
Buffulo, N.Y.: Chamber of Commerce Building.
Charleston, S.C.: Chamber of Commerce Building.
Chicago, Ill.: Suite 1706, 201 North Wells Street.
Cleveland, Ohio: Chamber of Commerce.
Dallas, Tex.: Chamber of Commerce Building.
Detroit, Mich.: 801 First National Bank Building.
Houston, Tex.: Chamber of Commerce Building.
Indianapolis, Ind.: Chamber of Commerce Building.
Jacksonville, Fla.: Chamber of Commerce Building.
Kansas City, Mo.: 102S Baltimore Avenue.
Los Anigeles, Calif.: 1163 South Broadway.
Louisville, Ky.: 40S Federal Building.
Memphis, Teun.: 229 Federal Building.
Minneapolis, Minn.: 213 Federal Building.
New Orleans, La.: Room 225-A, Customhouse.
New York, N.Y.: 734 Customhouse.
Norfolk, Va.: 406 East Plume Street.
Philadelphia, Pa.: 422 Commercial Trust Building.
Pittsburgh, Pa.: Chamber of Commerce Building.
Portland, Oreg.: 215 New Post Office Building.
St. Louis, Mo.: 506 Olive Street.
San Francisco, C:alif.: 310 Customhouse.
Seattle, Wash.: 809 Federal Office Buildiig.

Approved Cn' rd



As Approved on February 17, 1934


An application having been duly made, pursuant to and in full
compliance with the provisions of Title I of the National Industrial
Recovery Act, approved June 16, 1933, for my approval of a Code of
Fair Competition for the Advertising Distributing Trade, and hear-
ings having been held thereon and the Administrator having rendered
his report containing an analysis of the said Code of Fair Competi-
tion together with his recommendations and findings with respect
thereto, and the Administrator having found that the said Code of
Fair Competition complies in all respects with the pertinent provi-
sions of Title I of said Act and that the requirements of clauses (1)
and (2) of subsection (a) of Section 3 of the said Act have been
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of
the United States, pursuant to the authority vested in me by Title I
of the National Industrial Recovery Act, approved June 16, 1933,
and otherwise, do adopt and approve the report, recommendations
and findings of the Administrator and do order that the said Code
of Fair Competition be and it is hereby approved, subject to the
following conditions:
1. That for a period of 90 days from the effective date of this
Code boys of the ages of 14 and 15 may be employed for a period
not to exceed three hours per day. All such work hours shall be
between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and shall not conflict with the employees'
hours of day school.
2. Application of the definition of working hours in Article
III, Section 5, is stayed for a period of 90 days from the effective
date of this Code to afford the Code Authority an opportunity to
study and recommend to the Administrator a plan whereby the
interests of the carrier shall be better protected.
41084--376-108-----34 (187)


3. The effect of Article III, Sections 4 and 5, on the hours and
rates of pay of office workers shall be reported to the Administrator
within 90 days of the effective date of the Code in order to determine
whether suchl hours and rates need be further limited.
Approval recommended:
Adm inistrator.
Februawy 17, 1934.

- .

The White House.
SSI: This is the report of the Administrator to the President on
the application for, and public hearing on, a Code of Fair Competi-
tion for the Advertising Distributing Trade, as proposed by the
Code Committee representative of that business. The Code pre-
sented herewith was revised by the Committee prior to the close of
the public hearing on October 16, 1933.
The hearing was conducted in Washington on October 16, 1933.
Every person who requested an appearance was freely heard in
accordance with statutory and regulatory requirements.
There is no one national, thoroughly representative trade associa-
tion for advertising distribution, but the members of the Trade,
acting as a group, delegated authority to an elected Code Committee
to draft and present a Code for the Trade. I have found no reason
to question the truly representative character of said Committee and
I believe that the Trade was accorded every reasonable opportunity
to influence its decisions as evidenced by the fact that 1,262 distribu-
tors formally endorsed the Code and apparently no distributor
opposed it.
Advertising distribution does not occupy a clearly defined place in
the national economy, yet the services rendered by distributing con-
cerns require the employment of over 80,000 adult males and
approximately $100,000,000 in gross business. The definition, as it
appears in Article II, Section 1, of the Code, is the result of an
exhaustive study of this Trade, its inherent and its competitive
aspects. It embraces no productive functions, in the generally ac-
cepted meaning; it is purely .a service, available to anyone who
wishes to have his advertisements or samples broadcast in a certain
place or region. Certain aspects of the non-utility operations of
telegraphic communications companies have fallen within the defini-
tion, but the definition, in conference with representatives of the
telegraph companies, has been drawn to exclude so-called messenger
service or the delivery of personal communications, so that
competition will be entirely fair.
Great care, also, was given to obviate any possibility that the
definition would cover any person whose own employees were engaged
in delivering or distribution of his own matter. Some conflict arose
between this Code and a proposed Code for so-called "shopping
newspapers". The name is misleading. A shopping newspaper,
as was shown both at this and the Graphic Arts hearing, September
20, 1933, is nothing more than a sheet in which the advertisements of


more than one advertiser have been combined; it enjoys no paid
circulation and is not individually addressed. Promiscuous distri-
bution in a given neighborhood or region is clearly the province of
the Advertising Distributing Trade to which shopping news-
papers should be no exception; and concerns which distribute such
shopping newspapers should be accorded no competitive advantage
over those which distribute other advertisements, the more so as it
was shown that the former often undertake incidental distribution
of other matter than shopping newspapers.

The Advertising Distributing Trade in 1932 furnished employ-
ment to 85.000 persons, of which 80,000 were adult male carriers.
There is considerable irregularity in the volume of business owing
to its very nature, yet it affords work to a type of man who might
find it difficult to obtain employment requiring greater skill or who is
unfit for a sedentary or indoor occupation. It presents, however,
greater stability than might be expected: In 1929, employees num-
bered 95,000 or only 10,000 more than in 1932, and the gross business
varied only fractionally.
Exact data on wages are not available but the Code Committee
stated that at present $2.00 was the maximum for a ten hour day
and that in the South as little as $1.25 was being paid.

The proponents of the Code have established an average forty hour
week or eight hours a day for carriers. The effect of this provision
will be to add one new man for each six now employed or 162'%%
which, granting a volume of business comparable to 1932, should
return employment to 1929 figures or better.
It was proposed to establish a 254 minimum rate of pay in the
South and 30( elsewhere, which in no case would be less than a 20%
gain over existing rates and in many cases substantially greater.
Whereas there was reason to believe that 250 for the South was not
only adequate but well in line with the rates of pay of more pros-
perous times, it was raised to 271.'o to meet the representations of the
Labor Advisor in behalf of a 30g minimum for the whole country.
To the greatest practicable extent, provisions with regard to labor
were included with the intent of improving the conditions and
continuity of work.
The administration of the Code follows closely the lines recom-
mended by the N.R.A. Legal Division. Inasmuch as no trade asso-
ciation is available to undertake administration, it is provided that
the Code Committee of the Trade carry on for thirty days to allow
time for it to arrange an election of the Code Authority by partici-
pating Trade members as provided in Article IV, Section 6.

The Deputy Administrator in his final report to me on said Code
having found as herein set forth and on the basis of all the
proceedings in this matter;


I find that:
(a) Said Code is well designed to promote the policies and pur-
poses of Title I of the National Industrial Recovery Act, includ-
ing removal of obstructions to the free flow of inter-state and foreign
commerce which tend to diminish the amount thereof and will pro-
vide for the general welfare by promoting the organization of
industry for the purpose of cooperative action among the trade
groups, by inducing and maintaining united action of labor and
management under adequate governmental sanction and supervision,
by eliminating unfair competitive practices, by promoting the fullest
possible utilization of the present productive capacity of industries,
by avoiding undue restriction of production (except as may be tem-
porarily required), by increasing the consumption of industrial
and agricultural products through increasing purchasing power, by
reducing and relieving unemployment, by improving standards of
labor, and by otherwise rehabilitating industry.
(b) The Code as approved complies in all respects with the perti-
nent provisions of said Title of said Act, including without limita-
tion Subsection (a) of Section 3, Subsection (a) of Section 7, and
Subsection (b) of section 10 thereof; and that the applicant group
is a trade group truly representative of the aforesaid Trade; and that
said group imposes no inequitable restrictions on admission to mem-
bership therein.
(c) The Code is not designed to and will not permit monopolies
or monopolistic practices.
(d) The Code is not designed to and will not eliminate or oppress
small enterprises and will not operate to discriminate against them.
(e) Those engaged in other steps of the economic process have
not been deprived of the right to be heard prior to approval of said
For these reasons, I recommend that the Code be approved.
February 17, 1934. Administrator.


To effectuate the policies of Title I of the National Recovery Act,
the following provisions are established as a Code of Fair Competi-
tion for the Advertising Distributing Trade, and shall be the stand-
ard of fair competition for such Trade and shall be binding upon
every member thereof.

SECTION 1. The terms "the Advertising Distributing Trade" or
"the Trade" shall mean and include any business of distributing,
either direct to the home, place of business, or hand to hand, free of
charge to the recipient, of any printed matter or other material in
quantities of fifty units or more, including but. without limitation,
telephone directories, advertising literature, or other matter, free
copies of newspapers and publications, or samples; but shall not
mean or include individuals, firms or corporations distributing their
own matter with employees compensated by and directly in their
employ, but shall mean and include individuals, firms or corpora-
tions distributing free advertising literature, papers, or other adver-
tising matter whose primary purpose or function is to advertise the
products or services of another or others; and shall not mean or
include the business of delivering personal communications or any
matter individually addressed by the sender, except where the quan-
tity and/or continuity of such addressed matter approximates a
promiscuous or general distribution in any given precinct, district,
section or locality of any city, town or village.
SECTION 2. The term member of the Trade shall mean and
include anyone engaged in the Advertising Distributing business as
an employer or on his own behalf.
SECTION 3. The term employee shall mean and include any
person engaged in the Distributing Trade in any capacity receiv-
ing compensation for his services, irrespective of the nature or
method of payment of such compensation, except a member of the
SECTION 4. The term "employer"' shall mean and include any-
one by whom any employee is compensated or employed.
SECTION 5. The term carrier" shall menn any employee whose
work consists of the manual delivery or distribution of the matter
to be distributed.
SECTION 6. The terms President ", "Act ", and "Administrator "
as used herein, shall mean, respectively, the President of the United
States, the National Industrial Recovery Act, and the Administrator
for Industrial Recovery.


SECTION 7. The terms herein defined, wherever used in this Code,
shall, unless the context shall otherwise clearly indicate, have the
respective meanings in this Article set forth. The definition of
any such term in the singular shall apply to the use of such term
in the plural or vice versa.

SECTION 1. Employees shall have the right to organize and bar-
gain collectively through representatives of their own choosing,
and shall be free from the interference, restraint, or coercion of
employers of labor, or their agents, in the designation of such
representatives or in the self-organization or in other concerted
activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual
aid or protection;
SECTION 2. No employee and no one seeking employment shall
be required as a condition of employment to join any company
union or to refrain from joining, organizing, or assisting a labor
organization of his own choosing; and
SECTION 3. Employers shall comply with the maximum hours of
labor, minimum rates of pay, and other conditions of employment,
approved or prescribed by the President.
SECTION 4. The wages that shall be paid by any member of the
Trade to any employee employed in the States of Arizona, New Alex-
ico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee,
Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and
Virginia shall be not less than twenty-seven and one-half cents
(271./) an hour; and to any employee employed in all other States
in the United States and the District of Columbia shall be not less
than thirty cents (300) an hour.
SECTION 5. No carrier shall work or be permitted to work an aver-
age of more than forty working hours per week in any six months'
calendar period nor more than forty-eight hours in any one week
during such period, nor more than eight hours in any one day. The
maximum hours per day herein specified shall not apply to an emer-
gency, but in any such special' case, at least time and one-third shall
be paid for all time worked in excess of eight hours per day.
Working hours as used herein, shall mean and be calculated from
the time that a carrier arrives at the designated locality where he is
to distribute and commence distribution, to the time that he ceases
such distribution at such designated locality. Transportation ex-
pense incident to the work of a carrier shall be furnished by the
No other employee (except executives and outside salesmen who
receive more than $35.00 per week) shall work or be permitted to
work an average of more than forty-four hours per week in any cal-
endar month, nor more than forty-eight hours in any week, nor more
than nine hours in any one day. The maximum hours per day herein
specified shall not apply to an emergency, but in any such special
Case, at least time and one third shall be paid for all time worked in
excess of nine hours per day.1
I See paragraph 2 of order approving this Code.


SECTION 6. No member of the Trade shall employ a carrier during
any portion of any day at less than a wage equivalent to that which
such employee would be entitled to receive for three working hours;
provided, however, that in case of inclement weather this provision
shall have no application. The hours worked by any employee.dur-
ing earh day shall be consecutive (except that in case of inclement
weather this shall not apply to carriers), provided that an interval
not longer than one hour may be allowed and deducted from work-
ing hours for each regular meal period. Any rest period which may
be given employees shall not be deducted from such employees
working time.
SECTION 7. No member of the Trade shall employ in the Trade
any person under the age of sixteen (16) years nor anyorie under
eighteen (18) years of age at operations or occupations hazardous
in nature or detrimental to health. The Code Authority shall submit
to the Administrator within ninety (90) days after the effective date
a list of such occupations. In any State an employer shall be deemed
to have complied with this provision if lie shall have on file a cer-
tificate or permit duly issued by the authority in such State empow-
ered to issue employment or age certificates or permits, showing that
the employee is of the reqliired age."
SECTION 8. No employee whose full time weekly hours for the
four (4) weeks ended June 17, 1933 are reduced by the provisions of
this Code by twenty per cent (20%) or less shall have his or her
full time weekly earnings reduced. No employee whose said full
time weekly hours are reduced by the provisions of this Code in
excess of twenty per cent (20'.) shall have his or her said earnings
reduced by more than fifty per cent (50%') of the amount calcu-
lated by multiplying the reduction in hours in excess of twenty per
cent (20i)') by the hourly rate.
SECTION 9. This Article establishing minimum rates of wages re-
gardless of whether an employee be compensated on a time rate,
piece work. or other basis.
SECTION 10. Every carrier shall be paid at least once a week.
SECTION 11. Employers shall not reclassify employees or duties of
occupations performed by employees or engage in any other subter-
fuge so as to defeat the purposes of the Act or of this Code.
SECTION 12. Each employer shall post in conspicuous places full
copies of this Code.
SECTION 13. Female employees performing substantially the same
work as male employees shall receive the same rates of pay as male
To further effectuate the policies of the Act, a Code Authority
is hereby constituted to Administer this Code.
SECTION 1. Organization and constitution of Code Authority.
(a) The Code Authority shall consist of twelve (12) representa-
tives engaged in the Advertising Distributing Trade, or such other
number as may be approved from time to time by the Administrator,
elected by a fair method of selection to be approved by the Admin-
2 See paiagraph 2 of order approving this Code.


istrator, and not more than three members without vote who may
be appointed by the Administrator, in his discretion.
The Code Authority shall be elected within thirty days of the
effective date of this Code; in the interim the Code Committee of
the Advertising Distributing Trade shall arrange for such election
and shall serve as the Code Authority.
(b) In order that the Code Authority shall at all times be truly
representative of the Trade and in other respects comply with the
provisions of the Act, the Administrator may prescribe such hearings
as he may deem proper; and thereafter if he shall find that the
Code Authority is not truly representative or does not in other
respects comply with the provisions of the Act, may require an
appropriate modification in the method of selection of the Code
(c) Each trade or industrial association directly or indirectly
participating in the selection or activities of the Code Authority
shall (1) impose no inequitable restrictions on membership, and (2)
submit to the Administrator true copies of its articles of associa-
tion, by-laws, regulations, and any amendments when made thereto,
together with such other information as to membership, organiza-
tion, and activities as the Administrator may deem necessary to
effectuate the purposes of the Act.
SECTION 2. The Code Authority shall have the following duties
and powers.
(a) To adopt by-laws and rules and regulations for its procedure
and for the administration and enforcement of the Code, in accord-
ance with the powers herein granted, and to submit the same to the
Administrator for his approval together with true copies of any
amendments or additions when made thereto, minutes of meetings
when held, and such other information as to its activities as the
Administrator may deem necessary to effect the purposes of the Act.
(b) To make such rules and regulations and gather such data,
statistics and information as may be necessary in the administration
of this Code;
(c) To appoint and remove, and to fix the compensation of such
employees, accountants, attorneys, and officers as it shall deen
necessary or proper for the purpose of administering the Code;
(d) To appoint from time to time such committees as it may deem
necessary or proper in administering the Code, and to delegate to
such committees generally or in particular instances such of the
powers and duties of the Code Authority as such Authority shall
deem proper or necessary, provided nothing herein shall relieve the
Code Authority of its duties or responsibilities under this Code. Any
member of any such committee may be a member of the Code Author-
ity, or an officer or director of a member of the Trade, or a person not
having any official connection with any member of the Trade, as the
Code Authority shall deem proper.
SECTION 3. The Code Authority shall
(a) Make a study of labor conditions within the trade in order
to determine the feasibility of the adoption of a shorter working
week and adjustments in the rates of pay, and to investigate particu-
larly the conditions of work involving a carrier and shall, within


three months after the effective date of this Code make a recommen-
dation and a report of its findings to the Administrator.
(b) Present to the Administrator recommendations based on con-
ditions in the Trade as they may develop from time to time which
will tend to effectuate the operation of the provisions of this Code;
(c) Formulate and submit for the approval of the Administrator
a uniform cost system upon which, after such approval, the cost of
distribution service shall be based;
(d) Cooperate with the Administrator in making investigations
as to the functioning and observance of any provisions of this Code,
at its own instance, at the request of the Administrator, or on com-
plaint of any person affected, and report its findings to the Admin-
istrator. The Code Authority shall be the effective agency to bring
to the attention of and cooperate and aid the proper authorities under
the National Industrial Recovery Act to enforce the Code and to
effectuate its purpose and the policy of the Act.
SECTION 4. In addition to the information required to be submitted
to the Code Authoritvy there shall be furnished to Government
agencies such statistical information as the Administrator may deem
necessary for the purposes recited in Section 3 (a) of the Act.
SECTION 5. The Code Authority may utilize the facilities of and
cooperate with any and all trade associations or organizations, na-
tional, regional or local, in the Advertising Distributing Trade in such
manner a-, it deems most useful to its work.
SECTION 6. Members of the Trade shall be entitled to participate
in and share the benefits of the activities of the Code Authority, to
participate in the selection of the members thereof, and to use the
N.R.A. Code Insignia, by assenting to and complying with the re-
quirements of this Code and sustaining their reasonable share of
the expenses of its administration. Tile reasonable share of the
expenses of administration shall be determined by the Code Author-
ity. subject to approval by the Administrator, on the basis of volume
of business and or such other factors as may be deemed equitable
to be taken into consideration.
SECTION 7. If the Administrator shall determine that any action
of a code authority or any agency thereof may be unfair or unjust
or contrary to the public interest, the Administrator may require
that such action be suspended to afford an opportunity for investi-
gation of tile merits of such action and further consideration by
such code authority or agency pending final action which shall not
be effective unless the Administrator approves or unless he shall fail
to disapprove after thirty days' notice to him of intention to pro-
ceed with such action in the original or modified form.
SECTION 8. Nothing contained in this Code shall constitute the
members of the Code Authority partners for any purpose. Nor shall
any member of the Code Authority be liable in any manner to any-
one for any act. of any other member, officer, agent or employee of
the Code Authority. Nor shall any member of the Code Authority
be liable to anyone for any action or omission to act under the Code,
except for his own willful misfeasance or non-feasance.


The following practices constitute unfair methods of competition
for members of the Trade and are prohibited:
(1) Selling or offering for sale, distribution service for less than
the cost of rendering such distribution service as determined by such
uniform cost accounting system as may be approved by the
(2) Contracting or undertaking to distribute a certain number or
quantity of material in certain given localities and actually distrib-
uting a lesser number or quantity without advising the purchaser of
the distribution service of such fact.
(3) Knowingly causing or permitting, without the consent of the
purchaser of the distribution service, the destruction, waste, or con-
cealment of any material which a member of the Trade has con-
tracted or undertaken to distribute.
(4) Issuing or permitting to be issued false or misleading infor-
mation whether at the request of a purchaser or distribution service,
or otherwise, as to the number or quantity of material distributed
or to be distributed.
(5) Making or promising, either directly or indirectly, to any
purchaser or prospective purchaser or to any agent or employee of a
purchaser or prospective purchaser of distribution service, any bribe
or secret rebate.
(6) Inducing or attempting to induce the breach of an existing
oral or written contract between a competitor and his customer or
interfering with or obstructing the performance of any such con-
tractual duties or services.
(7) The defamation of competitors by falsely imputing to them
dishonorable conduct, inability to perform contracts, questionable
credit standing, or by other false representations.
(8) Securing confidential information concerning the business of
a competitor by a false or misleading statement or representation,
by a false impersonation of one in authority, by bribery. or by
any other unfair method.
(9) Other Unfair Practices: Nothing in this Code shall limit the
effect of any adjudication by the Courts or holding by the Federal
Trade Commission on complaint, finding, and order, that any prac-
tice or method is unfair, providing that such adjudication or hold-
ing is not inconsistent with any provision of the Act or of this
SECTION 1. This Code and all the provisions thereof are expressly
made subject to the right of the President, in accordance with the
provisions of subsection (b) of Section 10 of the National Indus-
trial Recovery Act, from time to time to cancel or modify any order,
approval, license, rule or regulation issued under Title I of said
Act and specifically, but without limitation, to the right of the
President to cancel or modify his approval of this Code or any
conditions imposed by him upon his approval thereof.


SECTION 2. This Code, except as to provisions required by the
Act. may be modified on the basis of experience or changes in cir-
cumstances, such modification to be based upon application to the
Administrator and such notice and hearing as he shall specify, and
to become effective on approval of the President.

No provision of this Code shall be so applied as to permit monopo-
lies or monopolistic practices, or to eliminate, oppress or discrim-
inate against small enterprises.

Whereas the policy of the Act to increase real purchasing power
will be made impossible of consummation if prices of services in-
crease as rapidly as wages, it is recognized that price increases
should be delayed and that, when made, the same should, so far
as reasonably possible, be limited to actual increases in the seller's
This Code shall become effective on the tenth day after its ap-
proval by the President.
Approved Code No. 297.
Registry No. 1702-2-11.
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