No one can deny that much of our modern advertising is essentially dishonest and it can be maintained that to lie freely and all the time for private profit is not to abuse the right of free speech, whether it is a violation of the law or not. But again the practical question is, how much lying for private profit is to be permitted by law
The advertising industry is one of our most basic forms of communication and, allegedly, of information. Yet, obviously, much of this ostensible information is not purveyed to inform but to manipulate and to achieve a result to make somebody think he needs something that very possibly he doesn't need, or to make him think one version of something is better than another version when the ground for such a belief really doesn't exist.
When trade grew slack, and notes fell due, The merchant's face grew long and blue His dreams were troubled through the night With sheriff bailiffs all in sight. At this his wife unto him said 'Rise up at once, get out of bed, And get your paper, ink, and pen, And advertise to all good men.' He did as his good wife advised, And in the papers advertised. Crowds came and bought of all he had His notes were paid, his dreams were glad And he will tell you to this day, How well did printer's ink repay.
A message regarding the annual convention of the Advertising Federation of America in NYC, June 14-18, 1931. Advertising has illuminated the path of progress.... In building up desire, advertising has spurred new endeavors. It is their creative work, their dynamic presentations of products, their ability to teach and educate which have made each of us desire better things. And in the fulfillment of our desires, we have reached for and attained higher pinnacles in living standards and a clearer conception of the values of life itself.