His Advice on How To Advertise
The Pope, when receiving the members of the First International Advertising Congress, reported last week in these columns, spoke on the importance of advertising in the modern world.
" Advertising," he said, " takes its place among the manifestations of human thought; a thought which perceives what is worthy of attainment, and the means to attain it. In this way it enters, as do all written manifestations of thought (this includes anything printed, drawn or symbolised) into the realm of speech; words are the completest and most perfect expression of thought, no matter whether the expression is vocal, written, printed, drawn, painted, or sculptured.
Function of Advertising
" Advertising," he continued, " belongs partly to the realm of instruction and partly to the realm of oratory. It therefore follows that the function of advertising is to teach and persuade, hence its great importance.
" It is a manifestation of all that is greatest in humanity; that is, of thought, and will; but it is not always ruled by the highest standards, and other considerations are allowed to intervene."
Pope's Warning To guard against these, the Pope issued a timely warning. He reminds us of laws which impose themselves by sheer noral grandeur. Manzoni had expressed them in beautiful words:— " Understand and meditate; be content with little; never betray holy truth, never say anything to condone vice or deride virtue."
Understand and meditate. This was the foundation of everything else, said the Pope. It was echoed in Manzoni's other phrase, " to think about ": It was the first necessity for the art of speech, and hence for advertising.
Be content with little. This was the great law which held good for all forms of art, and it had been followed by all the greatest artists.
Never betray holy truth. This was one of the fundamental rules of advertising. But above all, the sentence "never say anything to condone vice or deride virtue" applies. Advertising had to be moral. Too often vice was portrayed, sometimes boldly, but usually indirectly.
Catholic Advertising The Pope went on: " lf this holds good for advertising in general, for Catholics the problem is infinitely more important and delicate.
" Catholic advertising is a work done by true Christians; in the sense in which Our Lord taught Christianity to the world. Catholic advertising•will not be seen only by Catholics, hence the necessity for it to be really, substantially, and entirely Christian. If these principles are followed, advertising can become a means of apostolate."