Show Business: Tearing the Tissue

Stouthearted TV viewers have watched 1) alleged stomach acid rot a pocket handkerchiei, 2) elderly couples kissing while an announcement reassured the lovers that a special cleanser would keep their dentures pure, 3) corns the size of pumpkins pried out of plaster toes that could belong to the Colossus of Rhodes, 4) alleged liver bile dissolving a dreadful accumulation of fatty particles. Many a broadcaster is beginning to worry about such tasteless commercials.

When the National Association of Broadcasters wrote its Television Code in 1952, the association decided that certain products should not rate air time at all, e.g., hemorrhoid remedies. This...

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