Item of Interest

Christian Scientists who are friends of The Christian Science Monitor are sometimes troubled over advertisements which appear in its pages; and occasionally they may be led to feel that the standard has fallen because of the effort to obtain advertising revenue. When the Monitor was established it was recognized that advertising is an essential part of a newspaper, not only because of the revenue but because advertising constitutes an important part of the items which subscibers expect to find in a newspaper.

Recently the advertising of the first year or two of the Monitor was scrutinized and the result disclosed a noticeable advance in the advertising standards since then. The Trustees of the Publishing Society from the first have endeavored to have advertisers avoid overstatement and overurging of bargains. The advertising slogan "Truth in Advertising" had not then made itself generally felt, but was adopted by the Associated Advertising Clubs of America in 1914. Nevertheless, the survey of the early advertisements in the Monitor showed that some were published to which exception would now be taken. Mainly they are to be found in the announcements of stores selling china and glassware, in which, among other items listed, were beer steins and mugs, hock glasses, punch bowls, liquor sets, tobacco jars, teapots, coffee sets, claret pitchers, decanters, and so on; and the announcements of grocery stores listing, among various staples, brands of tea and coffee.

Advertisements in connection with Christmas appeared then as now, but in several the advertisers' artists pictured Santa Claus smoking a pipe, whereas now the pipe is removed from advertising copy. A feature advertisement was headed, "She hated dusting," but in subsequent advertisements it was changed to, "She disliked dusting," which brought the advertisement into line with today's rules. A tobacco traveling salesman advertised to sell his business, and advertisements of railroads or hotels occasionally mentioned observation smoking cars, or urged that the "ozone filter into your lungs." The Boston Elevated Railway took some space in which to encourage the "prevention of accidents to children," and the text suggested the possible death of a child due to carelessness. Now, doubtless, this phraseology would be somewhat altered. Today tea cups, but not special tea advertisements, are advertised in the Monitor, as are useful articles sold in drug stores, but not drugs. Nourishing foods are advertised, and fresh air is mentioned.

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October 14, 1933

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