Self-Regulation by the Advertising Industry

by Howard Bell



The article focuses on the policy of self regulation adopted by the U.S. advertising industry. In the case of business and advertising, the impression is created that caveat emptor is still the rule and high profits are the only corporate goal. As advertising is the most visible area of business communications, it has absorbed much of the public criticism of business generally. Today that criticism goes far beyond traditional concerns with taste and honesty into the more elusive areas of social impact and the implications of advertising. Some of the concern and criticism results from a lack of understanding of the role and function of advertising and the misguided notion that deep-seated social ills can be solved by simply banning certain types of advertising. Self-regulation can present a positive response to the public's need for high standards of performance in a highly competitive marketing environment. The U.S. federation has long advocated such programs and several advertising clubs have had traditional ties with local better business bureaus over the years.

California Management Review

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