Neither poets nor advertisers, argues Theodore Levitt, focus on the literal functionality of the things they depict. "Instead," he contends, "each celebrates a deep and complex emotion" symbolized through "creative embellishment -- a content which cannot be captured by literal description alone." Levitt views advertising as commercial poetry. Neither poetic descriptions nor advertisements make any "pretense of being the things themselves." He admits that there are tasteless and intentionally deceptive advertisements and he condemns advertising that "dulls our senses and assaults our sensibilities." But advertisements are the symbols of human aspirations. "They are not the real thing, nor are they intended to be, nor are they accepted as such by the public."
- Richard Johannesen, Communication Ethics,
Waveland Press, 1996, p. 130.
[Levitt, Theodore, "The Morality (?) of
Advertising," Harvard Business Review, July-August, 1972,
[Levitt, Theodore, "The Morality (?) of Advertising," Harvard Business Review, July-August, 1972, 84-92.]