Editorial: Who Is Afraid to Give Freedom of Speech to Marketing Folks?

Shugan, Steven M.
September 2006
Marketing Science;Sep/Oct2006, Vol. 25 Issue 5, p403
Academic Journal
Despite the invaluable contribution of marketing folks (e.g., making markets work), they fail to enjoy the same freedom of speech as others. This fact is particularly egregious because unlike other groups that can use threats, force, or coercion, marketing folks rely only on speech. Although the U.S. Constitution never mentions commercial speech, the courts invented the concept to censor marketing folks. The cloudy rational was that consumers need special protection from marketing folks (e.g., advertising). Naturally, censorship leads to abuse. Powerful incumbents use censorship covertly against new entrants. Politicians use censorship surreptitiously to promote their own political goals. If consumers need protection, it is certainly from the misleading statements of those with freedom of speech - politicians, attorneys, the news media, and the censors.


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