Pick up any newspaper, and you will find pages of it devoted to advertisements. To advertise means to make known publicly, and tradesmen with anything to sell use the newspapers freely to let the public know what goods they have for sale. In these days of extended trade, there is no doubt that advertisement is necessary to make the existence of even first class goods widely known. Even goods that are already well-known and much used must still be advertised, or the sales will drop off. It is said that Colman, the well-known mustard manufacturer, once tried to save money by stopping his advertisements; but he found it did not pay, and he had to start advertising his already well-known mustard again. In this age of cut-throat competition, it is the man who shouts be loudest that attracts attention. So advertisements fill the newspapers and shout in big letters from advertisement hoardings in the street of our towns. The first use, then, of advertising is that it brings in money to traders who want to sell their goods.
It is also of great use to the public and would he buyers. The consumers would not know of even the existence of many good things if they were not advertised. People wanting certain things can find out where and how to get them from advertisements. And advertisements tell people of many good things of which they have never heard; and so introduce them to all kinds of new inventions and useful devices.
Further, it is really the advertisements that make cheap newspapers possible. Great journals draw the biggest part of their profits form the sums advertisers pay them for inserting their advertisements. They get far more in this way than from the sale of the papers. Many small newspapers could not appear at all but for the income derived from this source.
But advertising has its abuses: Many advertisements are meant to deceive and do for a time deceive, the public, by puffing worthless, goods or by grossly exaggerating the quality of inferior articles. Unsuspecting people are thus induced to waste their money in buying trash.
Advertisements, also, are often an eyesore. The craze for huge advertisements on hoardings vulgarizes many pretty country places, and disfigures the streets of the towns, On the whole ” however, we can agree with the parody of the saying, ” Great are the uses of adversity ! ” namely, “Great are the uses of advertisement !”
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