Ethic for broadcasting; Advertiser of the art, part 2
I think advertisers are very conscious of economic pressures I think boycotts of products and that sort of thing might be very effective if they were used. And I think advertisers and their agencies and the networks and the stations have too seldom exerted authority over good taste they let salesmanship become bad taste and I think that's wrong. I think for a very simple reason and it derives from the accidental mechanics of the operation of the free enterprise system in broadcasting broadcasting in this country is organized on the basis of revenue deriving from sponsors entertainments not enough diversions not enough. It's got to be balance it's got to be dedication it's got to be professionalism in a number of fields. It cannot just be a facilities management for profit. Those voices belong to island brewery author Robert Foreman advertiser and educator and Sylvester Weaver advertiser.
This is for broadcasting a series of 13 documentary radio programs compiled from interviews with men who make broadcasting their business. This series is produced under a grant from the National Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters program seven. The advertiser of the art part 2 and now here is your host John Campbell advertising is not an American Marvel British and European companies have long understood and utilize the force of advertising to develop markets for their products and services throughout the free world. But the concept with which the American advertiser and the American advertising agency has approached advertising in modern times has made it a powerful force in our economic growth. This concept
may be the unique American contribution to this field. It is true that the saturation of American life is at an unprecedented high with suggestions and other inducements to buy consume and replace an all pervasive commercialism is upon us to the point of asking the question as printers ink magazine did. How can the public absorb so much shrieking in the marketplace. The marketplace generally is one thing broadcasting specifically is another. This force feeding through the audio of the broadcasting needle is our specific concern. We first turn to Robert Foreman director of baton Barton Stephen Osborne and discuss the philosophy about retiring as we ask about the methods employed to produce product performance. Some of these have been held circumspect and both sides are concerned about this. What about it Mr. Foreman. First of all there's inherent in this whole discussion that does something wrong with salesmanship and salesmanship helps build the demand for a product in this country which helps raise our standard of living and keeps people employed and so what if you are against selling
which means taking the best out of your product talking about it in glowing terms being enthused about it and believing in it. Then you are calling for a planned economy where there is only one product in each category I don't think anyone wants that. If they do you can argue on the basis of the virtues of salesmanship. I think salesmanship must be carefully watched so that it doesn't distort the truth so that it doesn't present the untruth. However you still have grades and levels and shades of enthusiasm and interest and drama that can and should be brought to your product to make it successful in the marketplace. Now this sounds like a lot of double talk that isn't meant to be. I think that there are obvious untruths and there's salesmanship. And I think it isn't difficult to distinguish one from another as to salesmanship and broadcasting.
We talk with Sylvester Pat Weaver chairman of McCann-Erickson international best of the type of person needed in the broadcasting industry. They're going to have to recruit people who do know the advertising business. They don't have that they're going to have to get shown one. They have very few of them they're going to have to get communications and coverage people they have more of them. But they have only recently had any kind of status at all. Except in my eight seasons of NBC when I had very good status in Dade and at Columbia. I say they have had some status in the vidual cases. They have got to not fall before you know the angry mob marching on Washington with pikes to get their heads on them they are supposed to they're supposed to lead. You don't give the people what they want you're supposed to show the people that you know fling wide the new windows on the world and lead them into the New Adventures of the mind
and spirit. As I think Neville Cardus or somebody like that put it. But I mean there is a purpose and broadcasting and the purpose is to make the average man into an uncommon man. Nothing is simpler than to do that if you know your business you can get the money to support it you can get the programs to be seen and followed. And it is not the public's fault. I mean when you do not get audiences in in terms of size it is because you are not really trying to do so. I dont mean that if you put the symphony on at 9 o'clock Sunday night you're going to get a big rating. It isn't quite that easy but the symphony ought to be on at 9:00 on Sunday night just to sign through additional facilities. But there is a way as we proved of integrating and Lightman and Richmond material and cultural material and shows a more popular form of so-called sugarcoating but still having a tremendous effect we know
what it did in radio we know it'll work we know it will introduce people to new kinds of things some of whom are tremendously taken with these adventures and move on to become real fans it is a process a process of increasing maturity it is an instrument that can be a civilize or if you use it as one if you have that kind of purpose and what you're trying to do this has nothing to do with not having all the hit shows you can have all hit shows least have sometimes as many as eight or nine of the top 10. You should have had shows at least you should be trying to get them. But that's not enough entertainments not enough diversions not enough. It's got to be balance it's got to be dedication it's got to be professionalism in a number of fields. It cannot just be facilities management for profit. First of all they shouldn't get the profit if that's all they do because the profit is far too immense in the way we develop the right structure we develop the right structure where we're the
network keeps about 60 percent of the money received which is over a hundred thousand dollars an hour at night. Above it's direct costs for a purpose the purpose is to build a great system that would attract all the people and make them watch and make it valuable. If they just play old movies or new movies that look like old movies. This is not it there is no reason for them to maintain their rights and perhaps that's one reason why their rights aren't being maintained. The businessmen management so. Has seen the rate cut. That's the first time that's happened in television the new discount schedules of Colombian and NBC show very clearly that they have not been able to sustain the right structure. That is because again of their failure. To increase the efficiency of the service because the rates would go up if they did in leading up to a discussion of advertising. Alan Drury newspaperman an award winning author of advise and consent was asked on whom he would place the burden of responsibility in this case the public or licensee
for better programming. I would place it equally I think on the public and on the licensing I think the licensee has a responsibility to put on a program in good taste at the same time I think the public should not be so apathetic that it just lets the program go on if it's in bad taste and those never say anything about it. I think the advertisers are very conscious of economic pressures I think boycotts of products and that sort of thing might be very effective if they were used. But we touched briefly on controls. Possibly the audience can do some controlling. There are external controls in terms of advertising controlling the content of the programme. What reaction do you have for this letter. I think probably from what I have heard of the broadcast field contact I've had with it that they have a Tigers have a much more stultifying effect sometimes and they should have the content of the programmes. I think they are sometimes excessively tumorous about what they allow to
go out on the air and on screen. Martin a grand scale NBC network newscaster at one time moderated a program called Look here which was relegated to the intellectual ghetto of Sunday afternoon and died of what he called the malignant disease of no sponsor Ritus. Here he comments on the question of who is to be satisfied in commercial broadcasting rather than the public it appears to be the man who foots the bill. Specifically the advertiser. I think it is a bad thing in some ways. I certainly feel that the networks and I'm inclined to think that the networks feel this themselves now in are acting on this supposition. I certainly feel that the networks should. Themselves have a public service concept that they should set aside a certain amount of time
for such programs and that they should do this Indy pendent and commercial interests if they are able to sell it to a sponsor. Well and good but if they are not I think that if they regard it as being honestly in the area of public service that the networks should themselves assume an obligation to keep such programs on the air I don't mean necessarily a look here but any programs in this area. And I do think. That the networks are beginning to function in this way. If the networks are doing this fine but other pressures need to be brought to bear. Robert foreman of BBDO returns to answer the question in upgrading what is needed. Who will do it. This will be done jointly by the producers who are independent and therefore come to the advertiser and his agency and make them
available by the network presenting and making time available both for the independent package and for the programs of their own that are upgraded. We continue the discussion with Mr. Foreman and here he expresses what we felt was refreshing to hear a concern with a more aesthetic concept as he says. I find in the other areas much more important to me and this is where the controversy seems to focus and yet people don't talk about I think it's the area of good taste and I think advertisers and their agencies and the networks and the stations have to. Seldom exerted authority over good taste they let salesmanship become bad taste and I think that's wrong. And it's true you have to say who's good taste is the deciding factor but I think everyone who is in the business regardless of his position capacity and so forth should and exerted his own belief in what's good taste and I think that in itself would clear up a lot of the problems. I think that on
the advertised forays committee and in judgement on commercials part of our function and we seem very reluctant to get into areas of criticising some of our confreres work on the grounds of whether it's in good taste or not. I think that's wrong I think we have good taste resident in this group and should utilize it and not be afraid to do so. Charles Slepian head of the communications program at New York University is concerned about the general public. The average citizen and how he might become a more informed member of society as he states that the ordinary citizen pursuing his daily round is confined in his life in his experiences. He can go he can travel around the world he can't get firsthand experience. The world has to be brought to his doorstep. If he is going to be a self-conscious aware responsible individual and you and I. Bringing the world to this man's doorstep and making him aware of all of these things would necessitate broadcasting programs that are called controversial. It would indeed.
When we do it now I think for a very simple reason. And it derives from the accidental mechanics of the operation of the free enterprise system in broadcasting broadcasting in this country is organized on the basis of revenue deriving from sponsors sponsors interested in mass marketing. They are searching for large audiences and that's edgy to please logical audiences. This naturally creates the stamp and character of programming as we have it. Now controversy raises trouble. There are two or three or five sides to a question. This introduces conflict. People don't like conflict. This is not popular. It should be an intelligent person should have an open mind and seek through controversy the resolution of different points of view. But ordinary people don't want to be bothered with these things. The broadcaster seeking his natural financial gain takes the line of least resistance he seeks to
please in an area as important as mass communication. I believe that is not what people like. Alone that is the important thing. But like statesmen we have solemnly to consider what people need what they need to grow what they need to be responsible members of a democracy and to make this the basis of our decision of what we will say out to them. Now this might sound to you as though this were all thought a Tarion. I don't think its author retiring at all because the basis of our system is a system of competitive free enterprise by which hundreds of different people can exercise their initiative and imagination in exposing people to a great variety of things. If free enterprise responsibly operated functioned in this way we would get this multiple exposure that we need. But the economics of broadcasting drive the broadcast of a financial purposes into diametrically opposed policies. He avoids controversy because this is. This is not what attract big publics so
he eschews it. And the proof of this I think is just look at any weeks program schedule of your three broadcasting networks where is the controversy. That's a good question. Where is it. We return to what may be one of the reasons for it not appearing namely control of program content. We ask saltation off editor and publisher of broadcasting telecasting a leading trade journal to what extent he thinks this occurs. There may be rare instances in which advertisers have exerted influence I would not I would not say that that had not been so. I will say henceforth that henceforth that it must be so that it that you ask initially about the good that may have endured from this series of investigations. I think I stated that something good has already been indicated. I feel very definitely that a lesson has been learned by the networks by the individual stations that they have already taken steps to eliminate the objectionable practices
and that you will find that it will be tougher for advertisers generally to assert influence in programming content. The advertiser has performed a great deal of good in broadcasting in that he has provided the wherewithal. To make available to the American public the best radio and television programming in the world should the advertiser have any influence on program. I think the advertisers should have some association with the program he sponsors. I think the advertiser properly could object to a programming vehicle that might reflect in an unfavorable way on his business. But but I think he should simply have a veto power there. He
could take the program or leave it. Why should the idea exist that if there is anything controversial in the program any onus is reflected on favorably on the product. Why should this idea exist. Well I can tell you why it should exist. I will say this that the critics of commercial broadcasting both radio and television in many instances may have their own access to grind. But the deal of the criticism may emanate from competitors. And while it is true that that television advertising has grown more rapidly than any other advertising media state it is also true that television advertisers by virtue of the of the remarkable results that they have achieved
are dispose more and more to assert whatever influence they can in the nature of that program. But this I think is something that on which there will be less emphasis as we go on. If this continues in actuality there will not be too much about which we could be concerned. But will it continue. Most do not want added legislation to solve this broadcasting dilemma. Most feel as a former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission states here I am very hopeful that the broadcasting industry. The publishing industry and the advertising industry all will continue to take vigorous steps to word self-policing word setting their house in order. Their respective houses in order to word meriting public confidence in their respective industries. The important segments of the advertising industry including the
Association of National Advertisers and the Advertising Federation of America have also taken steps to attempt to raise the level of advertising and to ensure against false and misleading advertising. The Better Business Bureau's of America and the advertising Clubs of America all across the land have been deeply concerned with. Raising the level of advertising and making sure that the there exists integrity in advertising and public confidence in advertising. There will always be a few in our democracy who refuse to abide by the laws of the land and it is due these. It is against these few at the Federal Trade Commission and the other regulatory agencies must take vigorous enforcement action.
We will always need laws and enforcers of laws to take care of the minority the rotten apples in the barrel. But I am sure that the majority of business men like the majority of the citizens who wish to abide by the law and will cooperate with the Federal Trade Commission and its law enforcement program. But if this cooperation is not forthcoming Some have suggested that they would resort to an alternate service one for which they would gladly pay. Of course we're talking about the controversy of pay-TV and here Mike Wallace television personality suggests one reason how and why it might work because one pay television does come that it will appeal to a specific audience and it will be able to pay the showman to come from other fields. But a good many of the showman so-called. Who leave who have been in television to
begin with and go to other forms other art forms like the movies or the theatre. Go because they have more freedom to talk about what they want to talk about first of all and secondly they can work for a long time on one project. They can work for six months or a year or sometimes two years on one project and make sure that that project is right and the financial return is commensurate with the effort that's put in. Would you suggest the video one of the ways that I'm getting out is that because you control. Oh absolutely. It's because then you're going to your box office. If you have an interesting mass production of entertainment I can see that you might get 30 or 40 million people by the same token if you just want to reach a group of two or three million Americans in a pay-TV situation you can do that. You can you can entertain minority groups on television and that is one of the biggest complaints now that we have to we have to appeal to everybody and in order to make programming economically feasible in so-called free television in pay television you wouldn't have to as
Mr. Stanton said serving the people most of the time. Let me ask you about your I think Parsi says serving most of the people most of the time. By whose standards is he serving most of the people most of the time. And how does he know that he's serving most of the people most of the time. And is it not the function of our love. Let me put it another way. Is it the function of television just slavish serve and image of what it believes to be most of the people or is it not the function of a good deal of television more than that of television that is currently being used for this film. It sounds fairly pompous but to improve the tastes in entertainment of the American the American public and any public for that matter has proved time and again that it will go where it is led even into adult sophisticated literate programming. In this whole investigation this is one of the more frightening concepts the public will be
led. More frightening is that it can be led. We return to saltation and ask him What are your reactions to pay TV where I get it. Where again if for reasons we've expressed many times in the magazine but basically we would say that this does not constitute broadcasting broadcasting it's theirs to use information to all within ear shot. This I guess would be what we have called from time to time narrowcasting there would be service only to those people who are willing to pay the price for the service which are going to continue but I don't know how that would mean that a broadcast pay-TV were on the air. Those people who were not willing to pay for the service would be blacked out during those hours of pay TV was on where it was on the air over those facilities where this would be the one extra facility not necessarily the proposal of certain as they are the promoters in this field is that
that is that. Shared time be allocated on existing stations for pay to see the which time of day will be blacked out for others. No wire pay-TV is something else we have there we feel that if paid he is offered to the public by wire that there is nothing legally that the government the commission or anyone else can do about it. That is this. This is free enterprise and they can go in and gamble and take their chances. I personally don't particularly think that it would give them anything that they're not getting now whether it was only air hockey and the difference would be that they would simply pay a fee for something they are now getting for free. This remains to be seen. Or would he get what he wants to pay for. Pat Weaver returns to comment on pay TV as he suggests. Well I have a system that will work I worked it out at Mike Todd's bidding I have never been. Terribly keen about pay-TV because I think
that done right. The American free television service can do so much for our country it can do so much for our economy it can do so much if it is used to improve the condition of the individual to be the instrument of self-realisation for adults as well as children and a source you know as the shining center of the home is what I used to call it. And it certainly can be that and technologically as you look ahead to the cartridges where you will be able to play on your own set in color all the symphonies in the valleys and the operas that's coming when you look ahead. It seems a pity to deflect this into pay-TV. Nonetheless if if we get nothing more than what we've been getting all of course now it's much better since the panic. Then I think that television will but I am not like the show business people who want to come to make money I don't know I am a communications man I am not in that moneymaking business particularly and
I believe that we need the communications needed desperately that our side is in some disarray at the moment in the competition around the world that we are not winning and that one of the greatest things on our side is our communication system if we use it right the right use whos use in the final analysis who is the we here we are concerned with the advertiser of the yard. Is he the we. Is the broadcaster the wheat. Or maybe all of this furore is for naught and we should be content to manipulate the dials on Pandora's Box undaunted. This would be fine as long as we remembered that the dial marked on is also marked off. It's just that simple. But maybe it isn't. Who is to be concerned that the explosions of guns are more readily accepted than the explosions of ideas we may turn the sets off. But we cannot close our eyes to the problem. Broadcast advertising the pocketbook of the industry must channel more of its resources into efforts calculated to get returns on a long run basis. But why deny
yourself advertising concept currently espoused. May well find us materially affluent but devoid of the escape hatches which have been sealed shut by the sugar coating. You've been listening to the advertiser of the art part to the seventh in a series of 13 programs on ethics for broadcasting a radio documentary which is investigating the current broadcasting trends compiled from interviews with men who make broadcasting their business. Your host was Dr. John campus of the Detroit Institute of Technology. Producer for the series is Dr. Mary NQ sack of Michigan State University Oakland. I think we're broadcasting what's produced under a grant from the National Educational Television Radio Center and is being distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the end Eve B Radio Network.
- Ethic for broadcasting
- Advertiser of the art, part 2
- Producing Organization
- WDET (Radio station : Detroit, Mich.)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- This program, the second of two parts, focuses on advertisement in television.
- Series Description
- This series presents interviews that center on issues in broadcasting and society.
- Broadcast Date
- Film and Television
- Media type
Host: Cambis, John
Interviewee: Drury, Alan
Interviewee: Siepmann, Charles A. (Charles Arthur), 1899-1985
Interviewee: Agronsky, Martin
Interviewee: Foreman, Robert
Interviewee: Weaver, Sylvester
Producer: Cusack, Marianne
Producing Organization: WDET (Radio station : Detroit, Mich.)
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 61-52-7 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “Ethic for broadcasting; Advertiser of the art, part 2,” 1961-10-24, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 5, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-qn5zb83h.
- MLA: “Ethic for broadcasting; Advertiser of the art, part 2.” 1961-10-24. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 5, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-qn5zb83h>.
- APA: Ethic for broadcasting; Advertiser of the art, part 2. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-qn5zb83h