Advertising: A Matter of Taste

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

—H. L. Mencken

Quite a few advertising men apparently accept Mencken's waspish assessment. Though much current advertising is superior by any standards, there is an abundance of tasteless, exaggerated or misleading ads. Today's increasingly sophisticated consumer is exposed to 1,600 selling messages a day, and he feels abused or insulted by many. As a result, shoddy and deceptive advertising is the subject of growing debate inside and outside the profession.

The Government is deeply concerned. Last week Bryce Harlow, national affairs...

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