Document Type



He Cannot Choose But Hear: The Plight of the Captive Auditor, 53 COLUM. L. REV. 960 (1953)


Science fiction has been called the literature of extrapolation. In the
spring of last year one of the leading magazines devoted to the genre ran a
serial, Gravy Planet,' in which the title role is played by an Earth that has
come to be dominated by the practices and philosophy of advertising. Common names for food and drink are heard no more; one raises, on Chicken Little and Coffiest, a family whose size is the result of precarious balance between the respective attractions of the promotional campaigns of a
gynecological trade-association promising "Babies Without Maybes," and a
proprietary formula known as PregNot. Functions of government are
performed under the aegis of prestige-laden trade-names, to whose owners
the great advertising agencies in midtown New York serve as ministries of
propaganda; food inspectors wear armbands of a well-known supermarket
chain, and there is a Senator, complete with phony Southern accent, from a
soft drink. Advertising itself is ubiquitous; attending to its message is both
a necessity and a felt duty of citizenship; objection is dangerous unorthodoxy.

Date of Authorship for this Version


Included in

Law Commons