are thus fewer and any means of attracting attention are employed. The chaotic appearance of the pages of the popular press is due to this license both in size and nature of appeal. Some measure of greater consistency, and some revision of the aim and means of expression in Press advertising would seem to be needed in Great Britain in spite of outstanding exceptions. The general level is not very high and there are many so utterly undistinguished in type and design, so fatuous in copy that the absence of guiding conditions appears a drawback rather than a help and the result is one of monotony rather than surprise. Magazine advertising is in a different category. In magazine advertising, as in magazine production, the immense vigour and force of the United States must be specially noted. There the tendency is not to contrast advertisement with editorial matter, but to approximate the two and this appears to be done without adverse effect. In Life, for example, the reconstituted picture magazine published by the proprietors of Timethe resemblance is often deliberate and is not by any means necessarily irritating to the reader. In general American magazine advertising is simple and straightforward in design. There is an illustration and there is something to read. A photograph and a storybut both are usually chosen with such an eye to dramatic effect that nothing more is required than utter directness of layout. So much in the past has advertising been influenced by modern experiment in art that the popularisation of Surrealism lately attempted deserves notice. Surrealism, though not so new as to have no previous history became news by dint of exhibitions in London and New York. Some light-hearted Press advertisements and some window displays (which did attract crowds) were a by-product. Directly, its effect on advertising may not have been considerable. The fantastic and grotesque ideas it suggested, indeed, are quite contrary to the utilitarian trend in advertising but in itself it was successful advertising inasmuch as what is strange will always draw a crowd. An American magazine aptly remarked that the artist who gave a lecture in a diving suit would have turned the great Barnum green with envy of his showmanship and this says all that one need say. How increasingly travel has become a business is readily seen from an examination of the work of the past year. In spite, or because of the political and economic barriers erected between country and country, nations vie with one another more and more keenly in their attempts to attract the traveller and the revenue of travel, and much of this advertising is of a high standard.

Modern Publicity en | 1937 | | page 13