Truth in Advertising

The object of The Christian Science Monitor, as stated by Mrs. Eddy in the leading editorial of the first issue of the paper, is "to spread undivided the Science that operates unspent," and "to injure no man, but to bless all mankind" (Miscellany, p.353). This purpose clearly includes all of the Monitor's activities as a newspaper. Its advertising, no less than its news, its editorials, and its "features," must bless all mankind. For it to benefit the advertiser, or the reader, or the paper itself, merely, or all three of these, is not enough.

The manner and degree in which the Monitor blesses all mankind through its office of advertising may not perhaps be clear upon first consideration. Mortal mind, as it expressed itself in modern business, is apt to regard advertising solely as a peculiarly efficient device for making money. Its commonly accepted purpose is to create and develop a profitable demand for something that is to be sold. Such a view of advertising is seen to be false, when we reflect upon this thought of demand and discern what lies beneath it. The thought of demand is based upon a belief of lack; but there is in reality no lack, for supply is infinite. Hence there can be in reality no demand, for every supposititious demand is already met. "Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him," said Jesus.

August 25, 1917

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