Money spent on
advertising is money spent as swell as any I know of. It serves directly
to bring about a rapid sale of goods at reasonable prices, so setting up a
firm home market and making it possible to provide for export at good
prices. By drawing attention to new ideas it helps greatly to raise
standards of living. By helping to increase demand it causes an
increased need for labor, and is therefore a nice way to fight
unemployment. It lowers the costs of many services: without
advertisement your daily newspaper would cost four times as much, your price
of television program would need to be doubled, and travel by bus or subway
would cost more.
And perhaps the most important of all, advertising provides
a promise of reasonable value in the products and services you buy. Besides
the fact that twenty-seven Acts of Parliament govern the terms of advertising,
no regular advertiser dare produce anything that fails to live up to the
promise of his advertisements. He might fool some people for a little
while through misleading advertising. He will not do so for long, for
the public has the good sense not to but the poor goods more than once.
If you see the product frequently advertised, it is the proof I know that the
product does what it promised for it, and that it has good value.
Advertising does more for the good of the public than other
force I can think of.
There is one more point I feel I ought to touch on.
Recently I heard a well-known television person declare that he was against
advertising because it persuades rather than informs. He was telling us
the real difference. Of course advertising tries to persuade.
If its message were nothing but information, that would be
difficult to get more people to buy, for even the choice of the color of a
shirt is a bit persuasive--advertising would be so boring that no one would
pay any attention. But perhaps that is what the well-known television