INSURANCE: The Violent Sell

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation reports that a violent crime occurs every 54 seconds, a murder every 39 minutes, a rape every 17 minutes, a robbery every two minutes." This hair-raising litany, which draws on 1968 crime statistics, is the theme of an advertising campaign for the latest thing in insurance: the violence indemnity policy.

Sold by Old American Insurance Co. of Kansas City, Mo., the coverage is aimed at those Americans, especially elderly city dwellers, who increasingly fear for their safety. The ad, which opens with a menacing, silhouetted attacker, is in the form of a long letter...

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