Advertising: Perestroika on Wall Street

Perestroika on Wall Street

The nine-page advertising supplement that appeared last week in the Wall Street Journal was a first for the venerable organ of capitalism. In enthusiastic but occasionally stilted prose, the Communist government of Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev issued an open invitation to Western businesses to invest in the Soviet Union. Beginning with a Gorbachev message on perestroika, or restructuring, of the economy, the insert highlights Soviet attempts to facilitate joint ventures with the West, touts tourist attractions and hails Soviet achievements in areas like eye surgery.

The supplement is studded with advertisements from state-operated firms plugging such products as amber, furs and...