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Quotations about Advertising

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Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark.  You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.  ~Steuart Henderson Britt

What is the difference between unethical and ethical advertising?  Unethical advertising uses falsehoods to deceive the public; ethical advertising uses truth to deceive the public.  ~Vilhjalmur Stefansson, 1964

Advertisers constantly invent cures to which there is no disease.  ~Author Unknown

It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.  ~R. Serling

When a man throws an empty cigarette package from an automobile, he is liable to a fine of $50.  When a man throws a billboard across a view, he is richly rewarded.  ~Pat Brown, quoted in David Ogilvy, Ogilvy on Advertising, 1985

I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,
I'll never see a tree at all.
~Ogden Nash, "Song of the Open Road," 1933

Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.  ~Stephen Butler Leacock, quoted in Michael Jackman, Crown's Book of Political Quotations, 1982

Never write an advertisement which you wouldn't want your family to read.  You wouldn't tell lies to your own wife.  Don't tell them to mine.  ~David Ogilvy

Advertising is an environmental striptease for a world of abundance.  ~Marshall McLuhan, introduction to Wilson Bryan Key, Subliminal Seduction: Ad Media's Manipulation of a Not So Innocent America, 1974

As advertising blather becomes the nation's normal idiom, language becomes printed noise.  ~George Will, quoted in Stephen Donadio, The New York Public Library: Book of Twentieth-Century American Quotations

Let advertisers spend the same amount of money improving their product that they do on advertising and they wouldn't have to advertise it.  ~Will Rogers

It used to be that people needed products to survive.  Now products need people to survive.  ~Nicholas Johnson

Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.  ~George Orwell

You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements.  ~Norman Douglas, South Wind

Advertising is a bit like playing make-believe.  ~Hartman Jule

The very first law in advertising is to avoid the concrete promise and cultivate the delightfully vague.  ~Bill Cosby

Living in an age of advertisement, we are perpetually disillusioned.  ~J.B. Priestley

So long as there's a jingle in your head, television isn't free.  ~Jason Love

Advertising is the art of making whole lies out of half truths.  ~Edgar A. Shoaff

Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently perused, and it is therefore become necessary to gain attention by magnificence of promises and by eloquence sometimes sublime and sometimes pathetick.  ~Samuel Johnson

The joy of music should never be interrupted by a commercial.  ~Leonard Bernstein

Advertising is only another form of statistics.  ~Hartman Jule

Advertisers in general bear a large part of the responsibility for the deep feelings of inadequacy that drive women to psychiatrists, pills, or the bottle.  ~Marya Mannes, But Will It Sell?, 1964

It is our job to make women unhappy with what they have.  ~B. Earl Puckett, quoted in Stephen Donadio, The New York Public Library: Book of Twentieth-Century American Quotations, 1992

I have... had a disturbing dream in which I break through a cave wall near Nag Hammadi and discover urns full of ancient Coptic scrolls.  As I unfurl the first scroll, a subscription card to some Gnostic exercise magazine flutters out.  ~Colin McEnroe

In general, my children refused to eat anything that hadn't danced on TV.  ~Erma Bombeck

Our society's values are being corrupted by advertising's insistence on the equation:  Youth equals popularity, popularity equals success, success equals happiness.  ~John Fisher, The Plot to Make You Buy, 1968

Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement.  ~Samuel Johnson

History will see advertising "as one of the real evil things of our time.  It is stimulating people constantly to want things, want this, want that."  ~Malcolm Muggeridge, quoted in Eric Clark, The Want Makers: Inside the World of Advertising, 1988

When the historian of the Twentieth Century shall have finished his narrative, and comes searching for the subtitle which shall best express the spirit of the period, we think it not at all unlikely that he may select "The Age of Advertising" for the purpose.  ~Printers' Ink, 27 May 1915

Don't tell my mother I work in an advertising agency - she thinks I play piano in a whorehouse.  ~Jacques Seguela

First we thought the PC was a calculator.  Then we found out how to turn numbers into letters with ASCII - and we thought it was a typewriter.  Then we discovered graphics, and we thought it was a television.  With the World Wide Web, we've realized it's a brochure.  ~Douglas Adams

The trouble with us in America isn't that the poetry of life has turned to prose, but that it has turned to advertising copy.  ~Louis Kronenberger

If you don't find it in the index, look very carefully through the entire catalogue.  ~Sears, Roebuck, and Co. Consumer's Guide, 1897

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