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The Information

RedondaJohnsonIn 1916, Jack Johnson tried to prove luck in a profession much removed from the combats, opening its own advertising agency in Spain. «Advertising was a profesion wich had attracted me to a considerable extent, and one wich I understood quite well because of my extensive use of publicity in the theatrical and boxing world», he wrote in his book The Autobiography of Jack Johnson. In the Ring and Out (Carol Publishing Group, New York, 1992).

The company called «The Information – Jack Johnson and Co.» and his social head office was in the numbers 30 and 32 of the Rambla of the Center (Barcelona). The boxer had to improve all that could his knowledge of the Spanish language to take charge promoting the business. In the Excelsior Cafe, he began to tackle all kinds of businessmen to offer his services:  «This Society of Modern Publicity has to be shortly one of the first ones of Spain for the sure, strong and faced well efficacy of his procedures of claim and propaganda that the best and most positive guarantees allow him to offer to the advertisers. Known it is, that in Spain, as in other countries, the withdrawal of the advertiser is often effect of his suspicion. And kill this fear comes “The Information”, which complies with what it offers and only offers what it can deliver.


Neither the resounding speech by former champion managed to get on with the business. Although it went so far as to be provided with some brilliant collaborators, as the drawer Jasón or the photographer Vela, « The Information » scarcely received orders. Almost no merchant risked putting in Jack’s hands to promote his products. In fact, most did not take too seriously the fighter’s entrepreneurship.

AnuncioNestleThe newspaper La Tribuna (Madrid) pubished the following article on September 24, 1916:

In Barcelona there is, as in Madrid, rare types that provoke the hilarity of the public… In Barcelona, two persons who make the people of Barcelona laugh are of higher lineage: they are two ex-kings. One about which one has spoken much is Muley Haffid, the ex-sultan of Morocco; other, about which one has not spoken anything during his permanence in Barcelona, is Jack Johnson, the ex-king of the boxing. About Muley Haffid many curious things have been said, because, although he is a strong man, it is not possible to punish those who speak badly about him, because his social condition it is prevented. More that it does is to take revenge for the journalists, saying that it gives them money and clocks. About Johnson, on the other hand, one does not speak at all because he knows very well Spanish, circulates along the streets of Barcelona, and, especially, because it has an aspect that it imposes. His muscles are of steel; the punches of this man must be wreckers. Johnson is an elephant without horn, but elephant to the end. Well, Jack Johnson has mounted an advertising agency in Barcelona, ensuring that its procedures are unique and positive results. It would be funny to see how the king of boxing will make announcements. Surely, when visiting advertisers move less language than the arms. He will conquer the publicity by force of punches! Anyone stands up black convincing argument Johnson! However, advertisers in Barcelona, and non-advertisers, laugh a lot of black. And besides laughing, are not advertised.

While some scoffed at the agency, others looked askance. Among those who sympathized with the cause of the allies in the World War I, began to spread rumors that pointed to «The Information» as a support center of the German side in front. Two factors fueled the rumors: the renowned friendliness of Jack Johnson by the German cause and the inclusion in the staff of the agency of Moritz Moisevics, an anarchist revolutionary who had been imprisoned in a French concentration camp at the beginning of the war and who had threatened to do everything possible for collaborating in the defeat of the Allied Forces.


4 responses to “The Information

  1. Buenos días, Pablo. He visto que en tu artículo reproduces el cartel de la película “Fuerza y Nobleza” de 1918, interpretada por Jack Johnson. Es obra del dibujante Junceda cuya obra recopilo. ¿Podrías decirme donde encontraste esta reproducción? ¿En alguna revista de la época? Hacía años que sabía de la existencia de este cartel, pero no había podido localizar ninguna imagen. Te agradeceré cualquier pista que puedas proporcionarme. Muchas gracias por tu atención. Un cordial saludo, Jaume Bosch

    • Hola, Jaume. Gracias por tu interés. Creo que el cartel lo reproduje de la antigua revista «El cine», que se publicaba por esas fechas en Barcelona (disponible en la Biblioteca de la Filmoteca de la Generalitat). Te digo que «creo» porque lo cierto es que esta investigación la llevé a cabo ya hace algunos años. Déjame que lo consulte entre mis papeles y te lo confirmo. ¡Un abrazo!

      • Gracias, Pablo! Intentaré consultar esa revista. Si doy con el cartel, te lo confirmo. Un cordial saludo. Jaume

      • Hola, Pablo.
        Finalmente localicé la publicidad. Apareció en Mundo Cinematográfico nº138, el 25 de febrero de 1918.
        También he encontrado más publicidad de la película con dibujos de Junceda.
        Una en el nº135 de la misma revista y otras dos en la edición popular del mismo título. Números 036 y 037, ambos de febrero de 1918.
        Muchas gracias por tu ayuda y amable colaboración.
        Un abrazo.

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