ADVERTISING: Madison Avenue's Travail

BATTERED by the recession and beset by zealous Government reformers, wavering clients and hostile consumer groups, the advertising business is undergoing a painful and probably permanent transformation. The old frothy ebullience has been replaced by a somber sense of reality and not a little anxiety. Says Richard Christian, president of the Marsteller advertising agency: "The whole business is a vast confusion."

The biggest worry is a relentless blitz of Government agencies, led by the Federal Trade Commission, to purge extravagant claims or outright deception in advertising and put more straight information into...

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