But in these days of far extended trade, there is no doubt that advertisement is necessary to make the existence of even first-class goods known. And even goods that are already well known must still be advertised, as Colman, the well-known mustard manufacturer, found to his cost, when he tried to save money by stopping his advertisements; for his sales went down at once. In this age of cut-throat competition, it is the man who shouts the loudest that attracts attention. And the consumers would not know of the existence of many good things, if they were not advertised. So even well-established businesses have to spend thousands of pounds a year in advertising, or they will not sell their goods. It is really advertisements that make newspapers possible.
Great journals draw the greatest part of their profits from advertisements; and many smaller papers could not appear at all, but for the income they derive from this source. Advertisement has now become an art; and there are businesses entirely devoted to supplying firms with striking advertisement. But advertising has its abuses. Many advertisements are meant to deceive, and do for a time deceive, the public, by puffing worthless goods, or grossly exaggerating the quality of inferior articles. There is only one consolation in this connection, that a lying advertisement cannot sell worthless stuff for long; for the people who buy it, will not buy it a second time. As Abraham Lincoln said, “You can take in all people part of time; and you can take in some people all the time; but you cannot take in all the people all the time.” Advertisements, also, are often an eyesore. The craze for huge advertisements vulgarizes many pretty country places, and disfigures the streets of the towns.