Slight Misrepresentation In Advertisements
( Originally Published 1898 )
Most all advertising nowadays tells the truth. Most all business men have learned the lesson that even slight misrepresentation in their advertisements causes a loss of confidence, which more than offsets any transient gain that may be made by exaggeration.
In the past there has been more of less overstatement in advertising. It has made a great many people doubt everything that they see in an advertisement which is in any way out of the ordinary.
This feeling is not right. Probably ninety-nine out of every hundred advertisements of reputable business men are absolutely true.
Sometimes over-statements of values and reductions in prices seem too extraordinary to be truthful but those on the inside of any business know that there are times when it actually pays to lose money on a certain article or a certain line of goods.
The reliability of an advertisement should be measured by the reputation of the advertiser. If he does not lie in his ordinary business and social relations it is fair to suppose that he does not lie in his advertising. It is a matter of principle, and a matter of business also.
Every statement that is made in an advertisement ought to be carefully weighed, and even the appearance of untruth excluded.
A truthful statement by an honest man in a good paper will bring returns every time.
The best paper in which to advertise is the one which possesses the confidence of the community in the highest degree.
The high character of the paper will throw a mantle of credence over all the advertising in its columns.