Ethics, taste and decency (censorship)
The list below is a sampling of Hall of Fame members who championed this issue.
  • Rollin C. Ayres - a leader of the truth in advertising movement, he urged for the passage of state legislation in the form of Better Business Bureaus in many West Coast cities.
  • Cyrus H.K. Curtis - stated, "it is our purpose to protect both our advertisers and our readers from all copy that is fraudulent or deceptive." He also issued the Curtis Advertising Code, prohibiting any advertisements that intended to deceive his readers, were extravagantly worded or that attacked the quality of a competitor's product.
  • Lewis Bunnell Jones - Contrary to much of the advertising of the early years, Jones' work also was characterized by a high moral tone, "Lew Jones put conscience into advertising."
  • John Irving Romer - Produced the Truth-in-Advertising Statute, a model piece of legislation that became law in D.C. and 43 states, which calls for the strict regulation of advertising morals. Romer's sponsorship of the bill and his use of Printer's Ink to publicize the cause was integral to its success.
  • Sidney R. Bernstein - was known as "the conscience of the industry"; believed that the ad business must owe its first allegiance to the good and welfare of society, "the better you serve the public, the better you serve yourself."
  • Fairfax M. Cone - challenged the advertising world to fight for honest and ethical advertising, "[G]ood advertising is written from one person to another. When it is aimed at millions, it rarely moves anyone."
  • Merle Sidener - advanced "truth in advertising." He not only launched the campaign, but coined the slogan as well. Once called a "straight-speaking, true-thinking, incorruptible fighter," he was also a founder of the Better Business Bureau.
  • William Cheever D'Arcy - staunch advocate for "truth in advertising" and one of the 39-member committee who drafted the Advertising Declaration of Principles, signed and adopted at the Baltimore Convention.
  • John E. Powers - stood for truth in advertising at a time when honesty was not upheld as a virtue of industry. At Wanamaker's, he would often tell the literal truth: "We have a lot of rotten gossamers and things we want to get rid of!" and another for neckties, "They're not as good as they look, but they're good enough - 25 cents."
  • Herbert Sherman Houston - An early fighter for "truth in advertising," he helped organize the first vigilance committee in New York to clean up the abuses in advertising. Later, he spearheaded the formation of the New York Better Business Bureau.
  • Mac Martin - sponsored a state law to make fraudulent advertising a crime and set up a fraudulent advertising grievance committee in the Minneapolis Advertising Forum to make the law truly effective in the state of Minnesota.
  • John S. Bowen - put principles above all else, a sentiment best captured when he said, "When you have to compromise your business principles and philosophy, winning isn't the only thing."
  • Gertrude Crain - An early critic of violence in television, Crain was active in urging its restraint before numerous advertising and communications organizations.