Advertising seems like an unlikely candidate for constitutional protection. Think of the snake oil and patent remedy advertisements in newspapers a century ago. Even today, political candidate ads seem to take an "anything goes, facets be damned" approach. And there is always some loudmouth car dealer on late-night TV who continues to give advertising a bad name.
But advertisements are the informational vehicles of the commercial world. They tell consumers about the seller's goods and help buyers understand what is available to fit their needs and means. Advertisements are messages. They contain information. They communicate opportunities. They are a form of speech.
Reprinted with permission of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and the St. Louis Bar Journal.
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