Advertising: Thriving on the Tube

When Italian mothers wish to punish their children these days, they often warn: "Tonight you won't watch Carosello." The nightly eleven-minute TV show has a huge audience of both children and adults, despite the fact that it is nothing more than a nonstop commercial, peppered with jingles, cartoons and celebrity testimonials that hawk everything from Stock brandy to "Tiger in your tank." Carosello is but one reason why TV advertising, little known outside the U.S. a decade ago, has become a $775 million-a-year business in a dozen countries, from Finland to Japan. This year that total will probably increase...

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