HC Deb 18 March 1958 vol 584 cc1074-5
24. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will take steps to prohibit subliminal advertising.

Sir D. Eccles

If subliminal advertising is what I am led to believe it is, it is prohibited by the Second Schedule of the Television Act, 1954.

Mr. Stonehouse

I thank the President for that reply. Will he assure that this very harmful technique is not used by advertisers either on I.T.V. or on cinema screens?

Sir D. Eccles

It is illegal to use it on television, and in the case of cinemas the local licensing conditions could forbid it. It is really a question for my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary.

Mr. Page

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this type of advertising is already forbidden among the members of professional advertising associations?

25. Mr. Stonehouse

asked the President of the Board of Trade what measures he intends to take to control excessive expenditure on advertising, which is a major factor in the high prices charged for some commodities and which needlessly increases the cost of living.

Sir D. Eccles

I do not agree with the hon. Member's hypothesis.

Mr. Stonehouse

Is the Minister aware that people are getting fed up with having coupons pushed through their doors almost every day of the week and that, especially in the case of detergents, the cost is being kept high by the excessive amount of advertising in which manufacturers are engaging? What does the Minister intend to do about it?

Sir D. Eccles

I cannot accept the hon. Member's argument.

Lieut. - Colonel Bromley - Davenport

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that the way in which the nationalised gas and electricity boards advertise the sale of gas and electricity is quite ridiculous, bearing in mind the fact that they enjoy a complete monopoly and that the public has no alternative choice? Would it not be a good thing in this instance to use some control so that the boards could cut down this ridiculous advertising and pass on the benefits to the consumers?

Mr. Nabarro

That is what I have been saying for many years.

Sir D. Eccles

I can understand my hon. and gallant Friend's feelings, but if the public has no other choice it is perhaps as well that these things should be brought to its notice.

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