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.