Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Advertising

"Our religious art is advertising. Our sainthood is fame." -

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

"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." - Marvin E. Frankel

"To keep people buying, you need first to make them dissatisfied with what they have… Advertising is nothing more than a technique to keep people in a state of perpetual dissatisfaction with what they possess and in a permanent state of itchy acquisitiveness." - Felix Greene

"I believe that, for the rest of the world, contemporary America is an almost symbolic concentration of all the best and the worst of our civilization. On the one hand, there are its profound commitment to enhancing civil liberty and to maintaining the strength of its democratic institutions, and the fantastic developments in science and technology which have contributed so much to our well-being; on the other, there is the blind worship of perpetual economic growth and consumption, regardless of their destructive impact on the environment, or how subject they are to the dictates of materialism and consumerism, or how they, through the omnipresence of television and advertising, promote uniformity, and banality instead of a respect for human uniqueness." - Václav Havel

"The dependence upon corporate advertising of the mass media – newspapers, magazines, radio and television – makes them editorially subservient, without in any way being prompted, to points of view known or thought to be favored by the big property owners… The willing subservience shows itself most generally, apart from specific acts of omission or commission, in an easy blandness on the part of the mass media toward serious social problems." - Ferdinand Lundberg

"If our freedom means ease alone, if it means shirking the hard disciplines of learning, if it means evading the rigors and rewards of creative activity, if it means more expenditure on advertising than education, if it means in the schools the steady cult of the trivial and the mediocre, if it means - worst of all - indifference, or even contempt for all but athletic excellence, we may keep for a time the forms of free society, but its spirit will be dead." - Adlai Ewing Stevenson

"If our freedom means ease alone, if it means shirking the hard disciplines of learning, if it means evading the rigors and rewards of creative activity, if it means more expenditure on advertising than education, if it means in the schools the steady cult of the trivial and the mediocre, if it means - worst of all - indifference, or even contempt for all but athletic excellence, we may keep for a time the forms of free society, but its spirit will be dead." -

"If our freedom means ease alone, if it means shirking the hard disciplines of learning, if it means evading the rigors and rewards of creative activity, if it means more expenditure on advertising than education, if it means in the schools the steady cult of the trivial and the mediocre, if it means - worst of all - indifference, or even contempt for all but athletic excellence, we may keep for a time the forms of free society, but its spirit will be dead." -

"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?" - Carl Lotus Becker

"The most important word in the vocabulary of advertising is TEST. If you pretest your product with consumers, and pretest your advertising you will do well in the marketplace." - David Ogilvy

"Nationalism, Socialism, Communism, Fascism, militarism, cartelization and unionization, propaganda and advertising are all aspects of a general relentless drive to manipulate men and neutralize the unpredictability of human nature." - Eric Hoffer

"Who would have guessed that, thanks to all the ingenious tie-ins between advertising, entertainment, the popular arts, and the great corporations, the time would come when one of the most obvious aspects of the condition of the average American man is simply this: Most of the news he hears, most of the music he listens to, and most of the drama he witnesses - in fact almost all the intellectual or artistic experience he ever has - is provided by medicine shows." - Joseph Wood Krutch

"The death of the advertising agency and the propaganda bureau will be one of the surest signs of the birth of a new society." - Lewis Mumford

""Psychological modernism," an uncritical acceptance of the values of the modern world. It includes blind faith in technology, inordinate attachment to material gadgets and conveniences, uncritical acceptance of the march of scientific progress, devotion to the electronic media, and a life-style dictated by advertising. This orientation toward life also tends toward a mechanistic and rationalistic understanding of matters of the heart." - Thomas Moore

"A single factory, potentially capable of supplying a whole continent with its particular product, cannot afford to wait until the public asks for its product; it must maintain constant touch, through advertising and propaganda, with the vast public in order to assure itself the continuous demand which alone will make its costly plant profitable." - Edward Bernays, fully Edward Louis Bernays

"Censorship is advertising paid by the government." - Federico Fellini

"If nonsatiety were the natural state of human nature then aggressive want-stimulating advertising would not be necessary, nor would the barrage of novelty aimed at promoting dissatisfaction with last year's model. The system attempts to remake people to fit its own presuppositions. If people's wants are not naturally insatiable we must make them so, in order to keep the system going." - Herman E. Daly

"School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is." - Ivan Illich

"If advertising has invaded the judgment of children, it has also forced its way into the family, an insolent usurper of parental function, degrading parents to mere intermediaries between their children and the market. This indeed is a social revoluation in our time!" - Jules Henry

"The sole purpose of business is service. The sole purpose of advertising is explaining the service which business renders." - Leo Burnett

"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

"Today, demand is created not by consumers but by producers — specifically, by enterprises called advertising agencies that use a host of techniques to manipulate public taste. American washing and drying machines, for example, are all but constructed to be used communally-and they are communally used in many apartment buildings. Their privatization in homes, where they stand idle most of the time, is a result of advertising ingenuity." - Murray Bookchin

"The primacy of the word, basis of the human psyche, that has in our age been used for mind-bending persuasion and brain-washing pulp, disgraced by Gobbles and debased by advertising copy, remains a force for freedom that flies out between all bars. " - Nadine Gordimer

"A viewer who skips the advertising is the moral equivalent of a shoplifter." - Nicholas Johnson

"If we are to have a stabilized market demand, selling pressure should be maintained . . . perhaps increased . . .at the first sign of a decline in business. I know of no single way business managers can do more to stabilize market demand than through greater stabilization of sales and advertising expenditures." - Paul G. Hoffman, fully Paul Gray Hoffman

"People are cynical about advertising, of course, but their cynicism is so all-inclusive now that they're indifferent, and so they're more susceptible to advertising than ever." - Pauline Kael

"Young people are threatened... by the evil use of advertising techniques that stimulate the natural inclination to avoid hard work by promising the immediate satisfaction of every desire." - Pope John Paul II, born Karol Józef Wojtyła, aka Saint John Paul the Great NULL

"Chess is as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you can find outside an advertising agency." - Raymond Chandler, fully Raymond Thornton Chandler

"It is pretty obvious that the debasement of the human mind caused by a constant flow of fraudulent advertising is no trivial thing. There is more than one way to conquer a country." - Raymond Chandler, fully Raymond Thornton Chandler

"Just advertising departments with legs and high heels." - Richard Avedon

"We want everybody to succeed. You know why? We want the country to succeed, and for the country to succeed, its people - its individuals - must succeed." - Rush Limbaugh

"Faced by the supercilious contempt of friends as well as the hatred of our avowed enemies, and wondering what there is in us to hate, we have considered ourselves and found ourselves quite decent, harmless and easygoing people who only ask to be left alone to make money and have a good time. The keystone of our admittedly nebulous optimism is that if everyone is left alone to take care of his own interests, the laws of economics will benignly take care of the needs of all, and anyone who is not a slacker can get rich. But this philosophy of life is questioned, and when it is questioned we also are forced to examine our beliefs. And when we examine them we find we are not too sure just what they are. We tend to operate on sentiments of good will or civilization rather than on deeply based convictions." - Thomas Merton

"The artistic experience, at its highest, was actually a natural analogue of mystical experience. It produced a kind of intuitive of perception." - Thomas Merton

"If all politicians fished instead of spoke publicly, we would be at peace with the world." - Will Rogers, fully William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers

"Let this country get hungry and they are going to eat, no matter what happens to budgets, income taxes or Wall Street. Washington mustn’t forget who rules when it comes to a show down." - Will Rogers, fully William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers

"Ages when custom is unsettled are necessarily ages of prophecy. The moralist cannot teach what is revealed; he must reveal what can be taught. He has to seek insight rather than to preach." - Walter Lippmann

"In the hierarchy each is dependent upon a superior and is in turn superior to some class of his dependents. What holds the machine together is a system of privileges. The may vary according to the opportunities and tastes of those who seek them, from nepotism and patronage in all their aspects to clannishness, hero-worship or a fixed idea." - Walter Lippmann

"It will be all over this day week - comfort - discomfort; and the zest and rush that no engagements, hours, habits give. Then we shall take them up again with more than the zest of traveling." - Virginia Woolf, nee Stephen, fully Adeline Virginia Woolf

"The priests of all these cults, the singers, shouters, prayers and exhorters of Bootstrap-lifting have as their distinguishing characteristic that they do very little lifting at their own bootstraps, and less at any other man's. Now and then you may see one bend and give a delicate tug, of a purely symbolical character: as when the Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Bootstrap-lifters comes once a year to wash the feet of the poor; or when the Sunday-school Superintendent of the Baptist Bootstrap-lifters shakes the hand of one of his Colorado mine-slaves. But for the most part the priests and preachers of Bootstrap-lifting walk haughtily erect, many of them being so swollen with prosperity that they could not reach their bootstraps if they wanted to. Their role in life is to exhort other men to more vigorous efforts at self-elevation, that the agents of the Wholesale Pickpockets' Association may ply their immemorial role with less chance of interference." - Upton Sinclair, fully Upton Beall Sinclair, Jr.

"The historian, with a vast chronological account of a people, parallels it with a skip trail which stops only at the salient items, and can follow at any time contemporary trails which lead him all over civilization at a particular epoch. There is a new profession of trail blazers, those who find delight in the task of establishing useful trails through the enormous mass of the common record. The inheritance from the master becomes, not only his additions to the world's record, but for his disciples the entire scaffolding by which they were erected." - Vannevar Bush

"This is what intimacy does to us over time. That's what a long marriage can do: It causes us to inherit and trade each other's stories. This, in part, is how we become annexes of each other, trellises on which each other's biography can grow." - Elizabeth Gilbert

"Apologists for the profession contend that lawyers are as honest as other men, but that is not very encouraging." - Ferdinand Lundberg