The first time the idea of counter-commercials was tried on television, groups like the American Cancer Society sponsored warnings in answer to cigarette advertisements. That, ruled the Federal Communications Commission, was the spirit of the fairness doctrine, which requires broadcasters presenting one side of an issue of public importance to provide opportunity for the presentation of opposing views. Now the Federal Trade Commission would like to enlarge the practice. Last week it urged the FCC to order "counter-advertising" in a wider area.

The idea is an inviting one. Environmentalists would surely want...

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