A message from the Ghost of Advertising Past

1934_Ayer_Witches_fullsizeDiamonds may be forever, but ad agencies aren’t.

N.W. Ayer was a storied creative shop that coined some of the most enduring slogans of the 20th century: “Reach out and touch someone.” “Be all you can be.” “A diamond is forever.”

In 1934, it also created this incredible Halloween-themed ad—for itself. “Advertising is a legitimate and vital adjunct to large-scale production and distribution,” the copy reads, somewhat defensively. “But not infrequently, its true function has been obscured by a smoke-screen of meaningless words, hocus-pocus, and ritual.” Sound familiar?

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