Corporations: Mr. Hard Sell

When it comes to creating the worlds of fantasy in which U.S. companies sell their products on TV, the Colgate-Palmolive Co. seems to hold the current lead. Hundreds of times a week its "White Tornado" whirls like a dervish across the nation's TV screens, and its "White Knight" charges about banishing dirt miraculously with a touch of his trusty lance. Colgate also has an Action "Giant" who reaches a muscular arm right out of the washing machine before awestruck housewives, most of whom are blissfully unaware of the Freudian predilections of Madison Avenue.

This bizarre collection of hard-selling creatures all...

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