Whether, on the whole, advertising is improving as far as can be gathered from comparison with previous years is perhaps too general a question to be answered satisfactorily. It is to be noted, in spite of all changes of fashion, how closely many successful concerns which have evolved their own distinctive publicity contrive to keep to their own line without losing freshness and originality, and the evidence of greater directness and simplicity which is not lacking may be taken as a sign of progress. It is still on the whole in an evolutionary or provisional stage. Some things are done well, many badly, and a number out of force of habit. There is a great amount of good printing and many of the brochures produced to-day are excellent in typography and appearance. Posters, speaking generally, leave a good deal to be desired and those that can be selected are in the nature of exceptions than typical of the greatest number. With them it is a question not of choosing the best from examples only slightly varying in merit —but of some in strong contrast with the greatest number. The average hoarding is not a pleasant sight and indeed the hoarding in itself is a provisional affair, though attempts to improve it and to make it a more or less permanent part of the landscape have not been very successful. Defects in press advertising have already been referred to and cannot be ignored. Here it is not merely a question of design, but of argument, which in suggesting miraculous results from a certain product, sometimes with the tone of a Victorian tale for children, is obviously absurd. It may be, and is maintained that this sort of advertising gets results, but the public cannot be fooled all the time and exaggerated claims in the long run cause a loss of confidence and goodwill. That advertising is a public servicethe success of which depends upon public confidence, and that no practices should be permitted which tend to impair public confidence is indeed a strong feature of the International code of Standards of Advertising Practice adopted at the Berlin Congress of the International Chamber of Commerce. This code was warmly welcomed and strongly recommended for favourable consideration by the advertising associations and organi zations of individual countries. THE EDITORS. 10

Modern Publicity en | 1937 | | page 14