This Southern Pacific TV ad from the early 1980s makes me cringe. It foretells what happened to the company. The ad lists SP's very diverse portfolio of industries. The ad was probably intended just as a simple public relations piece. But in retrospect, it seems like an ad to attract a buyer (or corporate raider) like Anschutz.
Ad says: "...we are a gold mine." Cringe. Oh my yes. To Anschutz, it was. From what I find online, he bought SP for $90 million in 1988, sold the railroad part to UP in 1996 for a $1.4 billion profit
. He broke off the telecom business, which was worth billions
Ad ends with: "We also run a railroad". That's an unfortunate way of phrasing it. It unconsciously signals that the railroad business part is secondary. I wonder if the railroad was very weak a than time, with the recession and collapse of timber industries.