Advertising Quotes

  • Advertising is the whip which hustles humanity up the road to the Better Mousetrap. It is the vision which reproaches man for the paucity of his desires.
    o The Shocking History of Advertising by E.S Turner, 1952

  • Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.
    o Three Score and Ten by Stephen Leacock

  • An advertising agency is 85% confusion and 15% commission.
    o Treadmill to Oblivion by Fred Allen, 1954

  • From any cross-section of ads, the general advertiser’s attitude would seem to be: if you are a lousy, smelly, idle, underpriveleged and oversexed status-seeking neurotic moron, give me your money.
    o Kenneth Bromfield in Advertiser’s Weekly, 1962

  • Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, and the trouble is I don’t know which half.
    o John Wanamaker, In Ogilvy Confessions of an Advertising Man 1963

  • Society drives people crazy with lust and calls it advertising.
    o John Lahr, The Guardian 1989

  • The modern Little Red Riding Hood, reared on singing commercials, has no objection to being eaten by the wolf.
    o The Mechanical Bride by Marshall McLuhan, 1951

  • You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements.
    o South Wind by Norman Douglas, 1917

  • Advertising reaches out to touch the fantasy part of people’s lives. And you know, most people’s fantasies are pretty sad.
    o Frederik Pohl in The Way The Future Was (1978)

  • It is sometimes argued that advertising really does little harm because no one believes it any more anyway. We consider this view to be erroneous. The greatest damage done by advertising is precisely that it incessantly demonstrates the prostitution of men and women who lend their intellects, their voices, their artistic skills to purposes in which they themselves do not believe, and that it teaches [in the words of Leo Marx] ‘the essential meaninglessness of all creations of the mind: words, images, and ideas.’ The real danger from advertising is that it helps to shatter and ultimately destroy our most precious non-material possessions: the confidence in the existence of meaningful purposes of human activity and respect for the integrity of man.
    o Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy (1964)
    o quoted by Robert W. McChesney & John Bellamy Foster in “The Commercial Tidal Wave” in Monthly Review (3/2003)


  • Ads are the cave art of the twentieth century.
    o Marshall McLuhan

  • Advertising is the greatest art form of the 20th century.
    o Marshall McLuhan

  • All advertising advertises advertising.
    o Marshall McLuhan

  • I honestly believe that advertising is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
    o Jerry Della Femina

  • In the Popular Media world of today over eating is dangerous, under eating is self-destructing and those who do neither simply complain that we see too much of both.
    o Daniel Siddins

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