The Medical Messiahs:
A Social History of Health Quackery
in Twentieth-Century America

Chapter 6: "Truth in Advertising"

James Harvey Young, PhD


"Thou shalt have no other gods in advertising but Truth."

The Ten Commandments of Advertising,
                     —Associated Advertising Clubs of America, 1911 [1]


While Frank Rollins fought with the Food and Drug Administration over the fate of B. & M., a court contest equally decisive sought to determine the anti-nostrum powers of another federal agency. One contestant in this struggle was Edward Hayes, erstwhile promoter of male-weakness remedies, now vending Marmola, an obesity cure. Hayes' court opponent was the Federal Trade Commission.

Like food and drug legislation, the Federal Trade Commission statute was a product of the Progressive period. Enacted in 1914 under President Woodrow Wilson's leadership, the law sought to make safeguards against business monopoly more effective. A five-man independent body, granted extensive authority to investigate, publicize, and prohibit all "unfair methods of competition," the FTC, in the eyes of its proponents, should hew to a strict and impartial line of vigorous antitrust activity. Definitions of what was "unfair" were left deliberately vague, so that the Commission would not be hamstrung by new techniques tending toward monopoly which wily entrepreneurs might be expected to devise. Although the task Of getting organized took time, and wartime problems diverted the Commission from its main task, Wilson's appointees viewed big business with the skepticism characteristic of the Progressive mood [2].

With the postwar Republican ascendancy, this mood changed. No longer enemies, business and government be. came friends and collaborators. On the Federal Trade Commission, the shift came sharply in 1925: President Coolidge's appointment of William E. Humphrey reversed the voting balance. A Republican party regular from Washington state, Humphrey was close to lumber interests which bad been given unflattering publicity through an investigation by the FTC. Avowing "a profound distrust of the reformer," Humphrey termed the pre-1925 Commission "an instrument of oppression and disturbance and injury instead of a help to business." All this was destined to change under Humphrey's committed and effective leadership. Sweeping investigations of industrial malpractice were curtailed. Procedures became more informal, with greater emphasis on voluntary reform if grievances were indeed discovered. This meant a reduction of unfavorable publicity. All in all, Humphrey's new approach was "friendlier, more trusting, and more co-operative toward business." In the main, when regulation was needed, business could regulate itself, and government would smile benignly, using its authority only against incorrigibles [3].

One of the practices, among the incorrigibles, most damaging to respectable businessmen was false -advertising. Hardly bad the Federal Trade Commission been set in operation when, in November 1915, a delegation from the Associated Advertising Clubs of the World appeared before it. The statutory phrase "unfair methods of competition," the delegation urged, should be so interpreted by the Commission as to include false and fraudulent advertising [4]. Such a definition would join government efforts to those of an already active private crusade.

"Out of the foulness of the nostrums and quackery which flourished in the 1890's and the first years of the new century," wrote one of the most articulate of these crusaders, "the desire took root to clean out the Augean stables of what some critics called a defiled and subsidized press." It became increasingly clear to advertising men, amid the harsh rigor of the muckraking attack, that advertising's grossest examples made all advertising suspect in the consumer's mind. In 1907 the Associated Advertising Clubs of America, founded two years before, acknowledged that the "value of advertisements depends largely upon the credence placed in them by the public," and hoped to regain public confidence by outlawing "pernicious practices" through state laws. Four years later Printers' Ink, long a spokesman for decent advertising, proposed a Model Statute, enacted in subsequent years by many states, although seldom well enforced. In 1911 also, the crusade for self-regulation reached a new peak of evangelistic fervor. In Boston, once the citadel of Puritan culture, members of the AACA pledged themselves to obey "The Ten Commandments of Advertising," the first being "Thou shalt have no other gods in advertising but Truth." [5]

To survey the observance of this new decalogue, a National Vigilance Committee was set up, and local Better Business Bureaus were created in many cities. Such scrutiny was necessary, for, in advertising, the sins of one might well become the sins of all. There was a tendency, wrote the Vigilance Committee's first chairman in 1913, for misrepresentation by a few to impel the honest advertiser "to adopt in some degree the policy of misrepresentation followed by his competitors." Efforts were made in 1913 at Baltimore and in 1914 at Toronto—where "the World" replaced "America" in the Association's name—to tighten up controls, by persuading each branch of the advertising industry, as well as the media, to set up codes detailing what practices were wrong and to police them. Trade association membership depended to some degree on abiding by the standards. A "National Commission" of referees chosen by each branch adjudicated the knottiest problems. "The scheme," its chairman remembered, "worked extraordinarily well in the first few years when it was followed." Then it "got submerged by the conditions accompanying the war" and "disintegrated from lack of continuity." [6]

The dilemma of self-regulation was reflected by attitudes in the proprietary industry. The Proprietary Association in 1915 endorsed the Printers' Ink Model Statute and wrote advertising taboos into its own code. Yet in that same year the Association's journal, explaining that publishers' costs were rising because of the European war, could exult: "Advertisements that a short time ago were rejected with disdain are now accepted with alacrity if not cheerfulness." [7]

The National Vigilance Committee, equipped with a paid permanent staff in 1915, persevered in its labors, including Nicotol, a tobacco-habit treatment, and Addiline, a tuberculosis cure, among its notable opponents.8 In 1915, also, representatives from the parent body, the Associated Advertising Clubs of the World, besought the new Federal Trade Commission to combat false advertising as a method of competition legally "unfair."

The Commission was not averse to using this "left-banded control"—as a later commissioner termed it—over advertising. Indeed, its first two formal cases dealt with advertising abuses, and, even during the years when Wilson's appointees were dominant, this type of case was statistically ascendant. Some 2,000 of the first 3,000 cease and desist orders issued by the Commission sought to restrain false and misleading advertising. Among them were a relatively few cases involving patent medicines. With the nostrums, as with other products, the object of action was to protect competitors more than to protect the public. In 1918, for example, in the first drug case receiving formal attention, a company was ordered to stop calling its ointment "Mentholanum," and to cease from using a label imitative of the already flourishing Mentholatum brand. other early cases concerned unfair promotion of electric belts, aspirin, Bacilli-Kill, and soaps with therapeutic claims [9].

A marked increase in the attack on false advertising characterized the Humphrey-dominated Commission during the years of Republican ascendancy. To do this while neglecting fundamental monopolistic trends was, for Progressive-minded critics, to swat at a gnat while swallowing a camel. Yet, in his much more limited crusade, Humphrey was unquestionably sincere. As with the self-regulators, his hatred of the lunatic fringe in advertising arose from his desire to promote and protect business. A little "puffing" in advertising, exaggeration of the facts which consumers would recognize as such, was perfectly all right. But exaggeration beyond the border of truth, where it misled the consumer, hurt competitors and tarnished the reputation of all advertising. It must be stopped.

Americans "are annually robbed of hundreds of millions of dollars through these fake advertisements," Humphrey said in a 1926 address. He did not mean those "that may be in the twilight zone or near the border line, but only those that are brazenly and shamelessly fraudulent: . . . 'antifat' remedies, medicines [for incurable diseases], soaps, belts," fake industrial schools. "All of these prey upon the weak and the unfortunate, the ignorant and the credulous. There is no viler class of criminal known among men" than the perpetrators of such schemes. But equally guilty, in Humphrey's judgment, was the publisher in whose journal such advertisements appeared. He shared in the promoter's "ill gotten gains." "These disreputable publications," the commissioner asserted, "are the most powerful instruments for unfair practices and fraud that we have to combat in the conduct of the nation's business." [10 ]

The number of offending publications, happily, was small. "The newspaper columns of the country," said Humphrey, "are most commendably free from such advertisements. Most of the magazines exercise great care in the selection of their advertisements, and deserve great credit for having done more than perhaps any other agency in bringing about truth in advertising." The vast majority of American publications need have no fear "of any possible hardship" from regulatory action by the Federal Trade Commission.

And action there had to be. The courts seemed helpless to reach "this gigantic evil." Efforts by the Post Office Department had proved "ineffectual." FTC action up to this time had "not brought encouraging results. We have tried to reach the originators of these schemes. We have accomplished something, but comparatively little. They are usually fleet and cunning crooks that engage in this business. When located, they fold their tents and silently vanish, and commence business again in some new locality, under some new name."

The new FTC approach, Humphrey reported, would be to bring a joint action against both advertiser and publisher. One such case was already under way. "I have persuaded the Federal Trade Commission to commence a war," said Humphrey, "that, if I have my way about it, will be a war of extermination." "We want not only to protect the public from these fakers and crooks, but we want also to protect the honest publisher from their unfair and dishonest competition."

Humphrey's bellwether case combined an obesity cream, Reducine, and True Romances magazine. The advertisements told potential buyers that upon applying the cream to the body "a harmless chemical reaction takes place during which the excess fat is literally dissolved away, leaving the figure slim and properly rounded, giving the lithe grace to the body every man and woman desires." By careful application, even spot reducing was possible, and the results were permanent. Such claims, the FTC concluded, were utterly false, as the manufacturer must know. The publisher of True Romances, by accepting and publishing such advertisements, had "purposely and knowingly become a party to, and part of, said false and fraudulent plan." Then came the Commission's order: maker and publisher must "cease and desist" from making the claims complained of in any Reducine advertising appearing in the magazine." [11]

If the Reducine case was intended as a first shot, no war of extermination followed it. No long series of orders issued from the Commission linking disreputable advertisers and their advertising media. Indeed, the battle strategy changed. The Commission decided to delay its firing at magazines until the self-regulators had had a chance.

The agencies of self-regulation, disrupted by wartime conditions, drew strength from the favorable business climate of the twenties. A better-financed National Vigilance Committee sought, in the words of its motto, "to create maximum public confidence in advertising by making all advertising trustworthy." Truth-in-Advertising had paid off particularly, the Committee believed, in a drastic reduction in the amount of advertising of cures for dread diseases. But, like Humphrey, the Committee recognized there still was work to do. "FINISH THE JOB—read the headline on a bulletin issued in 1925: "Organized Advertising and Publishing vs. Exploitation of Disease Victims." [12]

In that same year the National Vigilance Committee was transmuted into a stronger agency, the National Better Business Bureau. Publicity exposing the disreputable fringe in advertising expanded. And the NBBB resumed the effort of a decade earlier to promote industry-wide cooperation with respect to advertising practices. Sponsoring "fair trade practices" Conferences, the Bureau sought to secure concurrence from competitors in various industries on codes regulating advertising behavior [13].

In using the mechanism of the fair trade conference, the NBBB was borrowing a page from the Federal Trade Commission's own book. From the beginning, the FTC bad used this device occasionally as a hopefully quick and inexpensive method of bringing questionable trade practices within an industry into line. Commissioner Humphrey's pro-business orientation caused him greatly to expand the method. A new division within the Commission was create to spur the effort, and the yearly number of trade practice conferences more than quintupled. An industry was enabled "to make its own rules of business conduct . . . in cooperation with the commission"; these rules might be approved by the FTC and given the force of law [14].

In a sort of conjunction or intertwining, the trade practice conference techniques of both the FTC and the NBBB came together in 1928 to set rules for periodical advertising. It was the Commission that called the meeting. Some magazine publishers were skeptical, fearing FTC censorsbip and too ready initiative as in the Reducine-True Romances case. Preliminary consultation ironed out this problem. The FTC would not act against a publisher, even when advertising was unquestionably fraudulent, until self-regulation had had its chance. Self-regulation meant the NBBB. The unanimous resolution adopted at the New York conference, Commissioner Humphrey presiding, recognized the NBBB as "the most competent agency of assistance to the business of advertising in preventing fraud in advertising." Since the Bureau was willing, the resolution continued, the conference requested the Bureau to investigate advertising, calling any that it deemed fraudulent to the attention of the advertiser. Then the Bureau could advise all periodical publishers of the fraud and, if it saw fit, could report the matter to any governmental agency [15].

Several months later, after consultation with both the FTC and leaders in the publishing industry, the NBBB announced its plan of procedure. This included a one-by-one survey of various classifications of periodical advertising, the results to go to publishers, permitting them to "censor" as they saw fit. "If satisfactory adjustments cannot be obtained from publishers on advertising of a fraudulent character," the NBBB announced, "a formal complaint will be presented to the Federal Trade Commission." Of all the advertising classifications which the Bureau intended to survey, only jewelry and puzzles fell outside the drug and cosmetic field. And all the cosmetics had therapeutic overtones. Leading the list were "Fat Reducing" products."

In the wake of the trade practice conference, the tempo of anti-quackery action quickened on the part of both self- and governmental regulators. From the NBBB poured a series of critical bulletins, aimed at individual nostrums and at classes of specious wares: obesity remedies, "health foods," radioactive waters, and the like. From the FTC came more cease and desist orders restraining nostrum advertising. In even greater numbers the FTC accepted stipulations from erring advertisers, informal agreements to abandon shady practices, with no names made public [17].

This combined campaign against disreputable advertising, so promisingly launched, encountered confusing trouble on two scores. A significant court decision restricted the Federal Trade Commission's authority to police, And the Great Depression, shattering most patterns developed during the decade of prosperity, increased the need for the policing of advertising as many hard-pressed businessmen, hitherto cautious, scrambled for a share of the shrinking market by employing promotional methods they had formerly held in disdain.

The critical court decision concerned Marmola [18]. Back in 1907, at about the same time he was launching Man Medicine, Edward Hayes set up another company to vend his weight-reducing remedy. The formula, given to Hayes by a business partner, owed its key ingredient to reputable medical research. A decade or so earlier, physicians had discovered that they could speed up body metabolism and reduce weight for some patients by dosing them with the dried thyroid glands of various animals. By 1907 alert doctors had learned the dangers inherent in such therapy and were using the glandular substance with great caution [19]. Some physicians, indeed, had abandoned thyroid completely and turned to safer remedies and regimens. Nostrum promoters, however, considered thyroid a great find. For one thing, it really worked. Many fat people who dosed themselves heavily with desiccated thyroid actually lost weight. Also, some of the large pharmaceutical houses were glad to sell the substance and to give scientific advice about dosage instructions and labeling claims. Obesity, moreover, was not considered a disease, so "cures" for that condition were not subject to the 1906 Pure Food and Drugs Act. Hayes was by no means the only entrepreneur to market a fat-reducing formula.

Besides desiccated thyroid, Marmola contained laxatives and several other ingredients, relatively inert. But the formula did not remain fixed from year to year. In 1911 the amount of thyroid was cut because of its rising price. During the war, the laxative phenolphthalein, a German import, got scarce, so it was dropped and the amount of cascara—an American herbal laxative—was upped. In 1922 the thyroid in each Marmola tablet was reduced again, to half a grain, on the advice of the pharmaceutical manufacturer who compounded the tablets for Hayes [20].

If the formula varied, the main theme of Marmola advertising persevered without change. "Take Off the Fat Where It Shows," urged the headline on an early ad, under the picture of a huge-busted woman. "Famous Beauties Never Get Fat," assured another advertisement: grand ladies might indulge in a "lifelong loaf," drink liquor "not illiberally," and abandon "table restraint," all without risk of obesity-if they used Marmola. "Beneath Your Fat a Graceful Figure Dwells," cajoled another message [21].

The moderate market of the days of tbe Gibson girl became, in the twenties, a golden opportunity. Style decreed that men must be lithe and athletic, women slim to the point of emaciation, "There seems, indeed, to have come upon the women of America," wrote the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, "a veritable craze for reduction which has passed the bounds of normality and driven women and young girls to a type of self-mutilation impossible to explain on any other basis than the faddism of the mob." "Fabulous sums are spent for . . . anti-fat frauds," said Commissioner Humphrey, "since the female skeleton has become the fashion of this country," The first general NBBB bulletin dealt with this racket. Marmola told flaming youth and the would-be young about "The Pleasant Way to Banish Excess Fat" and presented the testimony of movie actress Constance Talmadge: "The demand for slender figures is so universal that movie stars must have them. Not only beauty, but good health and vitality argue against excess fat." The argument was persuasive. Marmola's sales climbed to the sum of $600,000 a year [22].

Business was just too good to run risks that could be avoided. When his old nemesis, the Post Office Department called upon Hayes to show cause why a fraud order should not be issued against the Marmola Company, Hayes sent a lawyer to talk things over. The upshot was an affidavit signed early in 1927, in which Hayes swore that the company had "absolutely abandoned" its business and would "not resume it at any time in [the] future." Nor did it. But Hayes immediately launched the Raladam Company—the name was composed by the girls in the office—which did no mail-order business, dealing only with wholesale and retail druggists and shipping Marmola only by express [23].

When an attack came from another quarter the next year, Hayes bad to stand and fight. The Federal Trade Commission challenged the Raladam Company's advertising. "People used to think that excess fat all came from over-eating or under-exercise," some ads had said, whereas "fat people, it was found, generally suffered from an under-active thyroid." These statements, the FTC complained, were wrong. So was the advice Marmola advertising offered to consumers. It was not a "scientific way" to reduce, the complaint alleged, to "simply take. . . four tablets daily [of Marmola, each containing half a grain of desiccated thyroid], until weight comes down to normal ." [24]

According to FTC procedure, hearings were held before an examiner. Dr. Kebler of the Food and Drug Administration testified that, at the most, only 5 per cent of the overweight owed their obesity to an under-active thyroid. Thus for 95 per cent of fat people, the use of desiccated thyroid, even carefully administered, would do no good. For many people, with various ailments, any extra thyroid was highly dangerous. For anybody, even the most healthy, too much thyroid posed a threat. The Marmola dosage, said Dr. Kebler, was "very unwise." Another witness, Dr. William E. Clark of the Georgetown Medical School, painted a grim picture of the potential results of Marmola dosage for many people if continued over a period of time. "Rapid pulse" could develop, as well as "headache, nervousness, tremor, often bad diarrhea, weight loss, sweating, and often a toxic state." Prescribing the same amount of thyroid for each patient, a Northwestern University medical professor thought, was criminal. In addition to the thyroid danger, be said, Marmola posed a threat of creating the laxative habit-after the war phenolphthalein had been restored.

Other medical professors were similarly appalled at Marmola's hazards. But Hayes found six physicians—some of them medical professors and all members of their local medical societies—who took his side. Taken as directed, they asserted, Marmola was both effective and safe. The pharmacopeial dose of dried thyroid was, after all, a whole grain. And the Marmola label warned self-dosers to consult their doctors upon encountering "unusual conditions." Thyroid worked for their patients, the doctors said, when they prescribed it for obesity. One of them testified that be gave from 6 to 40 grains a day.

The average person, Hayes' medical witnesses insisted, could take Marmola safely for 60 to 90 days without medical supervision and attain the desired results.

Dr. Arthur Cramp, head of the American Medical Association's Bureau of Investigation and himself a witness against Marmola, was stunned to find established physicians arrayed for pay in favor of the thyroid remedy. "Here, then, is a sweet spectacle," Cramp wrote in a Journal editorial, "the American Medical Association attempting to protect the public against quack remedies, while individual members testify in behalf of exploiters of quack remedies!" Cramp published their names for all their professional colleagues to see. A spokesman for the proprietary industry thought the editorial an "outrageous attempt to influence testimony." [25]

It was Cramp's side of the argument which seemed the more persuasive to the hearing examiner and, later, to the full Commission. In April 1929 an order was issued demanding that the Raladam Company stop advertising Marmola as a scientific, accurate, and harmless method for treating obesity. If Marmola was to be promoted for reducing weight, the order said, the company must include a statement that the remedy could not be taken with safety to physical health except upon the advice of a competent physician [26].

Hayes did not bow to the order and tone down Marmola advertising. Instead, taking the appropriate steps under the law, he petitioned a circuit court to vacate the order. The Federal Trade Commission fought this petition and countered with an appeal to the same court, asking for an injunction that would forbid the Raladam Company from carrying on with its false advertising.

When the three judges had weighed the matter, they gave their judgment to Marmola, canceling out the Commission's order. Physicians had testified on both sides about Marmola's value. Words like "scientific" and "safety" were so flexible that they could properly be used in different ways by doctors of contrary views. Marmola's role lay not in the realm of fact but—shades of the McAnnulty decision—in the realm of opinion. "The specific question . . . " said the court, "is whether this amount of thyroid taken in this way is so inherently and characteristically dangerous to the patient as to make that danger a fact, as distinguished from a reasonable scope of conflicting opinion." The answer must be negative on the basis of the FTC's own order, for the Commission would permit a citizen to take Marmola—if he got a doctor to supervise [27].

Despite the court's excursion into medical opinion, however, the real reason for the reversal had nothing at all to do with therapy. More basic, said the judges, was a "broader question of the jurisdiction of the Commission." The law forbade methods of competition that were unfair. If the Commission failed to demonstrate that competitors had been hurt, it had no case. That lack was obvious in the action against Marmola. The Commission had sought to show injury to the public, but had paid no explicit heed to any competitors. Might they be discovered by indirection? Possibly the medical profession, the court posited. "It cannot be seriously contended," the judges went on, destroying their own hypothesis, "that the act was intended to protect any profession against encroachment—the aid of the Commission might be as logically given to physicians and surgeons as against chiropractors, or to lawyers against incompetent will draftsmen." How, then, about competing nostrums "commercially exploited . . . for obesity?" Could they be considered competitors deserving protection? "It is fairly to be inferred," the court stated, "not only that these are on the same index expurgatorius as Marmola, but that they are relatively disreputable. Again, it cannot be seriously contended that the machinery of the Commission was intended to give governmental aid to the protection of this kind of trade and commerce."

So, while the Commission appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, Marmola advertising reached a new level of audacity. "Obesity Frauds," a headline ran. "Time was when there was a great cry against obesity frauds," the text continued. "Methods either harmful or useless. That cry has led many to fear a method that is right and scientific. But now frauds are few. All things wrong or harmful are short-lived. Marmola prescription tablets have been sold for 24 years—millions of boxes of them—during all this furore of folly.... You can trust a help so time-tested, so endorsed." [28]

The Supreme Court gave this time-tested weight-reducer a verbal blow—but also handed Marmola the victory. "If the necessity of protecting the public against dangerously misleading advertisements of a remedy sold in interstate commerce were all that is necessary to give the Commission jurisdiction," wrote justice Sutherland, "the [FTC] order could not successfully be assailed. But this is not all." Competition must be demonstrated, and this task the Commission had failed to undertake [29].

The Raladam decision was "a staggering set-back," which greatly limited" the Commission's "sphere of usefulness" in controlling advertising, abuses. To be sure, the Commission could and did prove injury to honest competition in many actions against bogus medicines. But the Supreme Court's needlessly rigid interpretation of the law proved a real barrier and a psychological deterrent [30].

The decision also came at a most inappropriate time, a time when defenses against dishonest advertising could ill afford weakening, but rather needed shoring up. The integrity of advertising behavior, under the impact of the depression, was skidding fast.

"So far as advertising goes," wrote an executive in this line of business during 1932, "we are fallen on evil days." Truth in advertising was being dragged down by declining demand. In desperation manufacturers employed whatever claims they thought might possibly persuade. Few advertising media had the financial strength to turn down copy offered them. Better Business Bureaus were confronted, said the NBBB general manager, "with the most trying advertising transgressions on the part of advertisers who are normally regarded as honest advertisers." Nor were the smaller companies the only sinners, "More and more," noted the NBBB official, "our work involves negotiations with the largest advertisers in the country.""

What chance had self-regulation to keep American advertising decent when makers of cigarettes, soap, deodorants, yeast, and sanitary napkins adopted promotional pitches very like those of the most unscrupulous medical quacks, and when advertisers somewhat more scrupulous walked close to the border of rectitude, presenting their wares with an ever-more-sophisticated psychology that might have the ring but not the content of truth? [32]

The depression not only made advertising more ruthless. It made advertising's critics more bitter. The menace of quackery had not been forgotten during the golden glow of prosperity. But in the disenchantment accompanying the depression, a new tide of muckraking swept over even the most respectable of medicine proprietors-indeed, threatened to engulf the institution of advertising itself.

References

  1. Cited in H. J. Kenner, The Fight for Truth in Advertising (N.Y., 1936),23.
  2. Cullom Davis, "The Transformation of the Federal Trade Commission, 1914-1929," Mississippi Valley Historical Rev., 49 (1962), 43755; Milton Handler, "The jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission over False Advertising," Columbia Law Rev., 31 (1931), 5Z7-60,
  3. Davis, 445-55; Pendleton Herring, "Politics, Personalities, and the Federal Trade Commission," Amer. Political Science Rev., 29 (1935), 21-26; Myron W. Watkins, "An Appraisal of the Work of the Federal Trade Commission," Columbia Law Rev., 32 (1932), 272-89.
  4. Kenner, 65; "Untrue Advertising," Yale Law Jnl., 36 (1926-27), 1161-62.
  5. Kenner, 7-24; Alfred M. Lee, The Daily Newspaper in America (N.Y .' 1937), 329; Handler, "False and Misleading Advertising," Yale Law JnI., 39 (1929-30), 32; "The Regulation of Advertising," Columbia Law Rev., 56 (1956), 1057-1065.
  6. Roland Cole, "Review of the Ten-Year Fight against Fraudulent Advertising," PI, 114 (Feb. 24, 1921), 17-20, 25-26; (Mar. 3, 1921), 121, 125-26, 129-30; William H. Ingersoll [chairman for three years of the Ntl. Commission], "Where We Go from Here," PI, 175 (June 4, 1936), 73-76. Ingersoll cites Harry D. Robbins, first chairman of the Ntl. Vigilance Comm.
  7. Cole, 122; Standard Remedies, I (Feb. 1915), 27.
  8. Cole, 125, 129.
  9. Commissioner Albert A. Carretta, "Extravagant Advertising Claims," speech before Pa. Council of the Painting and Decorating Contractors Of Amer., Jan. 29, 1953, Speech File, FTC Library; James W. Cassedy, "Progress of Federal Law against False Advertisement of Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics," FDC Law Qtly., 4 (1949), 357; Otis Pease, The Responsibilities of American Advertising: Private Control and Public Influence, 1920-1940 (New Haven, 1958), 90; FTC v. Block & Co., 1 FTC Decisions 154 (1918); FTC v. The Electric Appliance Co. of Burlington, Kansas, 2 FTC 335 (1920); FTC v. Albany Chemical Company, 3 FTC 369 (1921); FTC v. M. G. Slocum, 4 FTC 155 (1921); FTC v. Williams Soap Co., 6 FTC 107 (1923).
  10. "Publishers and False Advertising," speech before Ntl. Petroleum Assoc., Sep. 17, 1926, FTC Speech File.
  11. In the Matter of McGowan Laboratories, Inc., and Womanhood Publishing Corporation, 11 FTC 125 (1927).
  12. "Finish the job," Ntl. Vigilance Comm. Bull. [May 1925], NBBB files, New York.
  13. Pease, 49-50; Kenner, 183-87; numerous bulletins in NBBB files.
  14. FTC Annual Report, 1926, 47-50; Davis, 449-50.
  15. FTC Annual Report, 1929, 47-48; PI, 145 (Oct. 11, 1928), 26-52 passim; Pease, 77.
  16. NBBB Commercial Dept. Bull., No. 20, Mar. 6, 1929, NBBB files. Besides fat-reducing remedies, the bulletin listed these categories of medicinal drugs: glands, asthma, piles, female weakness, bladder, fits, stomach troubles, colds, goiter, dropsy; and these kinds of "external health and beauty appliances": facial skin cures, bone straighteners, hair dyes, fat reducing, bust developers, baldness, rupture, deafness, hair removers, piles, eyelash growers, panaceas, leg sores, rheumatism, corns and bunions, optical. Tobacco cures were also cited. Bull. No. 139, Aug. 15, 1929, listed NBBB's "Tentative Censorship Regulations" to govern publishers in assessing copy. These too gave prominent emphasis to proprietary medicines.
  17. NBBB Bulletin files; FTC Annual Reports and Decisions. NBBB Commercial Dept. Bull. No. 50, May 3, 1929, reports that the FTC had taken action against 300 advertisers and publishers during the preceding fortnight, many in the medical field; a specific list of FTC complaints is included in Bull. 71,, May 24, 1929. The FTC Decisions reveals a great increase in stipulations concerning Proprietary drugs. The stipulation was introduced as part of Humphrey's plan to achieve results by cooperating with business. FTC Annual Report, 1926, 7-8; Davis, 448-49.
  18. The basic sources for the discussion of Marmola are the FTC files, in the Matter of Raladam Company, Docket 1496, RC. 122, NA; 12 FTC 363; material in the Marmola folders, AMA Dept. of Investigation; and the court decisions.
  19. David Hunt and Atherton Seidel, "Commercial Thyroid Preparations," JAMA, 51 (1908), 1385-89.
  20. FTC Docket 1496.
  21. N,&Q, 1, 388; JAMA, 70 (11318), U63; (Chicago Examiner] clipping, Marrnola folder, AMA.
  22. Morris Fishbein, The New Medical Follies (NN., 1927), 91; Humphrey, "Fraudulent Advertising," speech over NBC network, May 22, 1930, FTC Speech File; "Obesity Remedies," NBBB Commercial Bull, No. 65, May 16, 1929; Talmadge ad in Photoplay, Jan. 1929 clipping, Marmola folder, AMA; sales from FTC Docket 141J6.
  23. Fraud and Lottery Docket Book 8, 131, Office of the solicitor, Post Office Dept. Records, RG 28, NA; FTC Docket 1496.
  24. Ibid.
  25. "Lending Aid and Comfort to Quackery," JAMA, 91 (1928), 1377-78. Cramp acknowledged authorship in letter to F.J. Schlink, Apr. 3, 1931, Marmola folder, AMA; the Chicago Medical Soc., Cramp wrote, censured two of the physicians and took no action against three others who expressed contrition for having been inveigled into testifying for Marmola. Standard Remedies, 15 (1928), 708.
  26. 12 FTC 363.
  27. Raladam Co. v. Federal Trade Commission, 42 Fed. (2d) 430 (1930).
  28. Unidentified ad [late 19301, AMA Marmola folder.
  29. "Federal Trade Commission v. Raladarn Company, 283 U.S. 643 (1931).
  30. Carretta, FTC Speech File; Handler, "The jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission over False Advertising," 527 [referring to the Circuit Court decision]. The Supreme Court relaxed its taboo on FTC regulation of noncompetitive practices in 1934 in FTC v. R. F. Kappel and Bros., 291 U.S. 304.
  31. H. A. Batten, "An Advertising Man Looks at Advertising," Atlantic Monthly, 150 (1932), 53; Hower, The History of an Advertising Agency, N. W. Ayer & Son at Work, 1869-1949, 148-49; Pease. 60-61; Edward L. Greene, "Advertising Generally," NBBB Bull., Sep. 7, 1932.
  32. Hower 148, 609 note 6; Pease 167-97.
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