The one essential, driving aim of the agency’s campaign is not to please and sell you, the public, but to sell the advertiser and get his initialed okay. The public is a poor also-ran.
– Samm Sinclair Baker, The Permissible Lie; The Inside Truth About Advertising, 1968, Cleveland, OH: World Publishing Company, p. 13.
“Let’s say you have $1,000,000 tied up in your little company and suddenly your advertising isn’t working and sales are going down. And everything depends on it. Your future depends on it, your family’s future depends on it, other people’s families depend on it . . . Now, what do you want from me? Fine writing? Or do you want to see the goddamned sales curve stop moving down and start moving up?”
– Rosser Reeves, quoted in Denis Higgins,The Art of Writing Advertising : Conversations with Masters of the Craft: David Ogilvy, William Bernbach, Leo Burnett, Rosser Reeves, (1990), Lincolnwood, IL: NTC Business Books, p. 101.
“It is entirely plausible . . . that advertising helps sell goods even if it never persuades a consumer of anything. So long as investers, salespeople, and retailers believe advertising affects consumers, advertising will influence product availability and this, by itself,shapes consumer choice. Availability, as marketers sometimes say, equals sales. Advertising may be an important signal system within the business world.” “Despite efforts at ‘psychographics’ which, here and there, have proved useful guides for advertising, the most consistently used and efficient criteria for describing consumers are the most psychologically blunt — demographics …. It is the most consistently employed kind of data in advertising work.”
– Michael Schudson, Advertising, the Uneasy Persuasion: Its Dubious Impact on American Society, 1984, New York: Basic Books, p. 63-64.