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A study to determine critical opinion on controversial issues of consumer education

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A STUDY TO DETERMINE CRITICAL OPINION
ON CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES OF CONSUMER EDUCATION
A Thesis
Presented to
the School of Education
The University of Southern California
In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree
Master of Science in Education
by
Walter Maxwell
June
19^2
UMI Number: EP54261
All rights reserved
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Dissertation Publishing
UMI EP54261
Published by ProQuest LLC (2014). Copyright in the Dissertation held by the Author.
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P.O. Box 1346
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,
This thesis written under the direction of the
Chairman of the candidate’s Guidance Committee
and approved by a ll members of the Gommittee}
has been presented to and accepted by the Faculty
of the School of Education of The University of
Southern California in partial fu lfillm e n t of the
requirements fo r the degree of Master of Science
in Education.
..........
Dean
Guidance Committee
E. G-. Blackst'one
Chairman
Loui s P . Thorpe
D. Welty Lefever
4/fj?
TABLE OP CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I
PAGE
STATEMENT OP THE PROBLEM, DEFINITIONS OP
TERMS
USED, REVIEW OP RELATED LITERATURE AND
ORGANIZATION OP REMAINDER OP THE THESIS . . . .
1
The P r o b l e m ....................................
1
Statement of the p r o b l e m ...................
1
Importance of the s t u d y .....................
2
Definitions of terms used
..........
4
Criticism ....................................
4
Consumer education
.........................
4
.....................
5
Review of the literature
Organization of remainder of thesis
II
..........
7
METHOD OP PROCEDURE AND SOURCES OP DATA . . . . .
8
Selection of periodicals
Selection of criticisms
...........
. . . . .
8
.......................
11
Classification of criticisms
III
CRITICISMS OP CONSUMER LEADERS
.................
11
.
13
.
..........
Consumer leaders unappreciative of American
business institutions .......................
IV
Consumer
leaders are o p p ortunists ............
16
Consumer
leaders subversive ..................
18
Women leaders find a new " f a d " ...............
20
CRITICISMS
^
13
OF THE AIMS OP THE CONSUMER “MOVEMENT"
Consumer "movement" a m i s n o m e r ..............
22
22
iii
CHAPTER
PAGE
Criticism of the aim to develop consumer
25
consciousness ............................
Criticisms of aim to secure increased support
27
from g o v e r n m e n t .................. . .........
Criticisms of aims to secure grade labelling
30
of products and product standardization . . .
V
VI
SUBVERSIVE.AND MISCELLANEOUS OBJECTIVES ALLEGED
TO THE CONSUMER " M O V E M E N T " ...............
37
Allegations of subversive m o t i v e s .......
37
CRITICISMS OP CONSUMER GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS .
Important groups and organizations criticized
43
.
American Home Economics A s s o c i a t i o n .....
46
46
National Association of Better Business
B u r e a u s ................................
46
Consumers * F o u n d a t i o n ....................
Institute of Standards
47
.............
Consumers1 Research and Consumers 1 Union
48
. .
49
Organizations issuing "seals of approval" . .
51
Miscellaneous groups and organizations
VII
c r i t i c i z e d ............................
52
Criticisms of counter-movements...........
52
CRITICISMS OP CONSUMER EDUCATION IN THE SCHOOL
Criticisms from those in e d u c a t i o n .......
Consumer courses lack common objectives . . .
.
55
55
57
iv
CHAPTER
PAGE
Consumer courses handicapped by wide
. . . .
58
Criticisms from those outside education . . . .
59
Consumer courses mis-directed ...............
59
Classroom experimentation unwise
...........
6l
Instruction and materials biased
...........
62
diversity in standards and methods
VIII
SUMMARY AND C O N C L U S I O N S .......................
65
S u m m a r y .......................................
65
Criticisms of consumer l e a d e r s .............
65
Criticisms of the aims of the consumer
Mmovement 1 1 ............
67
Criticisms of consumer groups and organiza­
tions
...........................
69
Criticisms of consumer education in the
s c h o o l ..............
C o n c l u s i o n s ..........
BIBLIOGRAPHY
71
73
75
LIST OF TABLES
TABLE
I
PAGE
Absolute Number and Percentage of Critical
References to Consumer Education Appearing
in Thirty-Six Periodicals over a Three and
One-Half Year Period Ending July 1 , 1941 . . .
II
Absolute Number and Percentage of Criticisms
of Consumer L e a d e r s ......................
III
9
14
Absolute Number and Percentage of Criticisms
of the Consumer “Movement“ ..........
IV
Criticisms of Increased Support of Consumer
Objectives by Government
V
24
...............
Criticisms of Grade Labeling and Product
S t a n d a r d i z a t i o n ..........................
VI
28
31
Criticisms of Consumer Groups and Organizations.
44
VII
Criticisms of Consumer Education in Schools
. .
56
VIII
Summary of Criticisms of Consumer Education
. .
66
CHAPTER I
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM, DEFINITIONS OF TERMS USED,
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
AND ORGANIZATION OF REMAINDER OF THE THESIS
For several years periodical literature has been the
battle ground for charge and counter-charge, criticism and
reply, by both the advocates and opponents of each of the many
phases of consumer education.
The most strenuous objections
to consumer education have been voiced by representatives of
business and advertising groups, interests which, logically,
would be most vitally affected by consumer education and its
possible developments.
Often, vehement and censorious state­
ments have been given wide publicity.
To what degree, and in
what instances, such widely-publicized statements have been
representative of general opinion on consumer education, has
never been made the subject of objective investigation; nor
has there been made any comprehensive study of such criticisms
to determine, specifically, their nature and their relative
frequency.
I.
THE PROBLEM
Statement of the problem.
It was the purpose of this
study to collect, classify, and tabulate the frequency of
appearance of recently published opinions on consumer education,
2
as an important, initial step toward revaluating the function
and methods of consumer education.
Importance of the studv.
General recognition has been
given to the significance of the rapidly changing buying
habits of the American public.
Indeed, the late Edward A.
Pilene, internationally renowned business man, once charac­
terized uThe Consumer’s Dollar” as 11the greatest discovery
of the past century.”"^
The discovery, to be sure, has not been completed
yet. The Consumer!s Dollar, rather, is in the process
of being discovered. [.Italics in the original J ^
Despite general tribute paid to some of the objectives
of consumer education, however, there has arisen from business
circles a group of antagonists who have been vociferous in
their condemnation of practices of consumer education, and
bitter in their allegations that consumer leaders serve u n ­
acknowledged purposes fundamentally dangerous to the American
economic structure.
Often, both the advocates and the oppo­
nents of each of the many phases of consumer education have
been vituperative in statement, but seldom have these statements
Edward A. Pilene, The Consumer1s Dollar (New York:
The John Day Pamphlets, No. 41, The Stratford Press, 1934)
P* '5 •
2
Loc . cit.
3
been based upon more than limited observation and casual
invest igat ion.
Failure of both business and consumer education to
discriminate among the ranks of their critics, has blanketed
both in an atmosphere of mutual distrust.
In an address to a
19^0 national meeting of The Associated Advertising Agencies
of America, Allen L. Billingsley, retiring chairman, said
about one phase of this problem:
The worst feature of the viewpoint that the source
of our problems is communistic is that . . . it
retards a meeting of minds between the critics and
ourselves. . . . So to those who see each critic
,
clothed in red, my suggestion is--discriminate . . . .
However, such efforts to resolve unprofitable contro­
versies into experimental attitudes have been few.
Mr.
P. G. Agnew, Secretary, American Standards Association,
admirably expressed the evident need when he told a group of
consumers, educators, and business men:
I would urge as a first step [toward cooperation! ,
business and consumer leaders examine and together
thresh out the question of what they agree upon, and
what theykdo not agree upon. Where is the fork in
the road?4
Statement quoted in an editorial, “Consumers! Rights,”
Advertising and Selling, 3 3 536, June, 19*1-0.
^ P. G. Agnew, an address made in a panel discussion
of the topic, “Should Business Favor or Oppose Consumer
Education?” Report on the National Conference on Consumer
Education, Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri, Bulletin
No. 1 (Los Angeles: Wauk-Ritchie Press, 1939)> p- 168.
4
Yet, even such a valuable effort as the one suggested
might fail to resolve any of the real fears and misunder­
standings of consumer education held by the average business
man.
The evident need was to determine what the rank and
file, both in and out of business circles, thought of con­
sumer education in its varied aspects, and whether or not
this opinion was known to business and consumer leadership
and reflected in its efforts to draw fairly the lines of
agreement and disagreement between business and consumer
education.
Accepting this need as a premise, the present
study was an attempt to determine objectively the status of
representative opinion on issues controversial to business
and cons timer education.
II.
Criticism.
DEFINITIONS OF TERMS USED
Throughout the report of this study, the
term "criticism" shall be interpreted as meaning any cen­
sorious statement concerning consumer education or any of
its phases or aspects, whether the statement be made thought­
fully and after serious consideration, or otherwise.
Consumer education.
The term "consumer education"
was interpreted as meaning any program, activity, or enter-prise promoting "development in attaining the maximum
individual and group satisfaction for time, effort, and
5
money expended .11^
III.
REVIEW OP THE LITERATURE
Though numerous studies have been made on selected
problems of consumer education, almost without exception they
have dealt with curriculum, methods, and materials involved in
the teaching of consumer education in schools.
In view of the
popularity of business-consumer problems as subjects for
speculation and topical writing, the field has been made con­
spicuous by its neglect by those making objective studies.
Search of the literature revealed but one study which had a
direct bearing upon the problem at hand.
Edgeworth^ attempted to survey opinion in Baltimore,
Maryland, to determine community attitudes on topics which
might be dealt with in a proposed course in consumer education.
On the check-1ist employed, the respondent was asked to check
each of fifty-five statements with his opinion:
or "Uncertain.”
f,Yes,lf "No,"
Copies of the check-list were circulated
among and by friends, acquaintances, and business contacts of
R
it
J Institute for Consumer Education, A Statement of
Policy of the Institute for Consumer Education." Report on
the National Conference on Consumer Education, Stephens
College, Columbia, Missouri, Bulletin N o . 2. (Los Angeles:
Ward-Ritchie Press, 19^0), p. 2.
fl
Clyde B. Edgeworth, A Community Survey of Opinion
on Consumer Education."
(Unpublished Master*s thesis, The
University of Maryland, Baltimore, 1939*)
6
the investigator; 21k were filled out, returned, and tabulated
in this study.
Separate tabulations were made for each of ten classi­
fications of the returns.
Among these classifications, seven
were occupational groupings, including (l) Sales, Advertising
and Publicity, Jk returns, and (2) Owners, Part Owners,
Executives and Managers, 28 returns..
Referring to these latter groups, the investigator
7
states:
Salesmen, advertisers, and publicity groups are
more consistently dissenters [about what should be
taught in a course in consumer education] than are
other groups with the single exception of trans­
portation and communication . . . a commodity they
have occasion to use frequently.
Owners, executives, and managers tend to vary
more than other groups (perhaps due to the number
represented). On the whole they tend to be liberal.
In only two out of fifty-five items did a majority of
the sales-publicity group fail to find agreement with a
majority of the entire group submitting returns; and only on
the answer to one question did a majority of the owners-andoperators group disagree with the majority -vote of all the
o
returns.
The investigator acknowledges that the sampling for
his study was too small to justify drawing any specific
conclusions from his results.
7 Ibid.. p. 17.
8 Ibid., p p . 28-29.
7
IV.
ORGANIZATION OP REMAINDER OP THESIS
The remainder of the thesis is organized into the
following chapters:
Chapter
II, Method of Procedure and Sources of Data
Chapter
III, Criticisms of Consumer
Chapter
IV, Criticisms of the Aims
Chapter
Leaders
of the Consumer Movement
V, Subversive and Miscellaneous Objectives Alleged
to the Consumer ’'Movement”
Chapter
VI, Criticisms of Consumer
Chapter
VII, Criticisms of Consumer
Chapter VIII, Summary and Conclusions
Groups and Organizations
Education in the School
CHAPTER I I
METHOD OP PROCEDURE AND SOURCES OP DATA
Selection of periodical literature as the logical
source of data reflecting recent opinion on controversial
issues arising out of consumer education,was indicated by the
great mass of printed comment on the consumer movement which
had appeared in magazines and journals during recent years.
A further reason for looking to periodical literature
was found in the fact that this type of publication offered a
far wider field in which to explore varying opinion on consumer
education than would books and other published manuscripts; the
latter, though they would, in many instances, represent more
authoritative points of view, would tend toward expressions
of selected and studied thought, rather than representative
opinion.
It was also decided that study of a number of periodi­
cals giving reportorial treatment to newsworthy statements,
would insure the present study's coverage of a wide range of
op in ion.
Selection of periodicals.
In keeping with the purpose
of the study, a wide range of periodicals was included among
those surveyed.
All periodicals listed in Reader's Guide for
193&J 1939> 19^0, and the first six months of 19^1* were at
the outset included among those to be studied.
However, since
a considerable number of periodicals thus included are devoted
TABLE I
ABSOLUTE HUMBER AND PERCENTAGE OF CRITICAL REFERENCES TO CONSUMER EDUCATION
APPEARING IN THIRTY-SIX PERIODICALS OVER A THREE AND ONE-HALF YEAR PERIOD
ENDING JULY 1, 1 9 U *
Humber of Critical
References
Per cent of
Critical References8,
Advanced Management
25
.057
Advertising. Age
92
.209
Advertising and Selling
14
.03 2
American Magazine
5
.011
Annals of American Academy
1
.00?
Atlantic Monthly
3
.007
Periodicals
10
K~
O
J\
O
Christian Science Monitor Magazine
2
.004
Current History
2
.004
Education
9
.02 0
Elementary School Journals
2
.004
11
.0 2 5
Good Housekeeping
9
.0 2 0
Harper’s Magazine
8
.018
Independent Woman
7
.016
Industrial Arts and Vocational Education
3
.007
Business Week
Forum
30
(DO
O
Journal of Political Economy
3
.007
Literary Digest*3
2
.004
13
.029
National Education Association Journal
3
.011
Nation’s Business
5
.011
New Republic
9
.020
Newsweek
7
.016
Journal of Home Economics
Nation
Parents’ Magazine
.009
76
.172
Scholastic
3
.007
School and Society
6
.014
School Review
9
.020
Printers’ Ink
Readers’ Digest0
TABLE I (continued)*
Periodicals
Number of Critical
References
d
Per cent of
Critical References8,
6
.014
5
.011
Tide
23
.052
Time
15
.034
Vital Speeches
10
.023
7
.016
441
1.000
Scribner’s Magazine
Survey Graphic
Woman’s Home Companion
TOTALS
* Tally was made of each criticism each time it was found, except that a criticism
repeated a number of times within a single article or news item was counted only
one e.
a Percentages are rounded off to the nearest even figure!'L? e.
Publication suspended with February 19, 1938.
c All references to consumer education found in Readers’ Digest have been included
in totals for periodicals in which original-publication was made.
d Publication suspended with May, 1939.
VJD
&>
10
to special fields of interest remote from consumer education,
many of these were found to contain no references to consumer
educat ion.
In the case of one magazine, Consumer fs Digest,^ pre­
liminary study revealed that its discussion and comment on
consumer activities would not contribute to the present study,
being either of an expository nature or so professionally and
technically treated that its criticisms would not be classed as
representative opinions on issues controversial to consumer edu­
cation.
This publication was, therefore, excluded from the study.
After interview and correspondence with a number of
authorities in the field of consumer education,^ and acting upon
recommendations secured from these contacts, the investigator
added to the list of periodicals to be surveyed in this study,
the following business and advertising journals:
tising Age ;
Advertising and Selling;
The Adver­
Advanced Management;
Printers 1 Ink and Tid e .
With these additions, a total of 36 periodicals was
included among those yielding data for the study.
Publication suspended with June, 19^1 issue.
o
c Among others: Edward Reich, editor, The Consumer
Education Journal; Loda Mae Davis, Vice-President, Consumer
Association; Kenneth Dameron, Chairman, Committee on Consumer
Relations in Advertising, Inc.; and James E. Mendenh&ll,
Associate Director, Institute for Consumer Education, Stephens
College, Columbia, Missouri.
11
Selection of Criticisms .
A thorough search was made
of all the periodicals from which data were secured during
the three and one-half year period prior to July 1, 19^1.
All
guides and indices to periodical literature were searched for
references, and publications for
which no such service was
obtainable were studied issue by
issue.
As may be seen by reference to the definition of
criticism as interpreted for use in this study,-^
all statements
censuring consumer education, in its various phases, were re­
corded.
The investigator did not include in this study state­
ments of an entirely constructive nature, made without direct
implication of fault or mis-direction with respect to any
phase of consumer education.
However, in all cases in which
the investigatorrwas in doubt as
to whether or not the state­
ment was made with critical intent, the statement was recorded.
Tabulation of these criticisms is found in Table 1.
Class ificat ion of criticisms.
The need of classifying
criticisms found in periodicals was evident from the outset
of the study.
After some one hundred criticisms had been
recorded, the investigator consulted his advisor and Dr.
h.
Edward Reich,
and thereafter evolved the following skeleton
outline.
Under these principal and sub-topics specific
^ Chapter I.
^ Editor, The Consumer Education Journal (referred to
in Footnote 2).
12
criticisms were subsumed:
I.
II.
Criticisms of consumer leaders
Criticisms of the aims of the consumer ’’movement”
A.
Development of ’’consumer consciousness”
B.
Increased support of consumer objectives by
Government
C.
Grade labelling and product standardization
D.
Subversive and miscellaneous objectives
alleged to the consumer ’’movement”
III.
Criticisms of consumer organizations
A.
Government agencies and departments with
consumer activities
B.
TV.
Consumer groups in general
Criticisms of consumer education in schools
It was, of course, necessary to restate similar criti­
cisms into inclusive statements.
In a great majority of cases,
criticisms could be so consolidated very easily.
However, in
a few instances such classification was difficult, and rather
than arbitrarily class together criticisms with possible
differences in shades of meaning, the writer was inclined to
add statements.
Thus, in making the product of this" study
comprehensive, it was unavoidable that there should be con­
siderable overlapping among the critical statements included.
CHAPTER I I I
CRITICISMS OF CONSUMER LEADERS
Critics of consumer education have, very naturally,
found much fault with the leaders of the consumer movement.
A minority of such criticism has been directed against desig­
nated individuals; most criticism has been levelled against
consumer leaders as a group.
The weight of criticism falling on named individuals
has largely fallen on but a few heads.
attacked have been:
Those most frequently
Harold Rugg, author of textbooks on
advertising and business; Arthur Kallet, author of popular
books for consumers and founder of Consumer’s Union;^ Donald
Montgomery, head of Consumers’ Division of the Agricultural
Adjustment Administration; John M. Cassels, former director
of the Institute for Consumer Education,
p
and now on the staff
of the Consumer Advisor for the Council of National Defense;
and Leon Henderson, Federal Price Control Administrator.
As previously stated, however, direct criticism of
individuals has been rare compared to the bulk of general
criticisms of consumer leaders as a group.
Reference to
Consumer's Union: A consumer product testing cor­
poration issuing a variety of bulletins advising consumers on
the relative values of purchasable products.
2
Institute for Consumer Education, Stephens College,
Columbia, Missouri.
TABLE II
ABSOLUTE NUMBER AND PERCENTAGE OF CRITICISMS OF CONSUMER LEADERS
Criticisms of Consumer Leaders
1.
3.
6.
Per cent of
all
Criticisms
10
.141
Consumer leaders have no real
knowledge or understanding of
American business
9
.127
.02
Consumer leaders assume that
business is responsible for
all poverty and destitution
5
.07
.011
11
.155
.025
Consumer leaders are professional
agitators and demagogues
7
.099
.016
Consumer leaders want to indoc­
trinate not educate the consumer
3
.043
.007
Consumer leaders want to change,
fundamentally,, the American
economic system
5.
Per cent of
Criticisms of
Consumer Leaders
OJ
o
2.
The primary purpose of consumer
leaders is to accomplish broad
social and economic reforms
Number of
Critical
References
7.
Some consumer leaders are
communistic
10
.141
.02^
8.
A majority of consumer leaders are
communistic
14
.197
.032
2
.028
.005
71
1.000
.161
9.
Women leaders are often irrespon­
sible, finding a chance to play
"crusader" in consumer activities
TOTALS
M
-tr
15
Table II shows that the latter criticisms, as recorded in
this study, may be classified under four general heads:
1.
Consumer leaders are unappreciative of American
business institutions.
2.
Consumer leaders are merely opportunists.
3*
Consumer leaders are subversive.
4.
Women ,fleaders11 find a new f,fadl! in consumer
activities.
This chapter is devoted to a presentation of specific
criticisms found under each of the above mentioned groups.
Consumer leaders unappreciative of American business
institutions:
Most of the criticisms of consumer leaders
collected in the present study, explicitly or implicitly
charged consumer leaders with an intent to accomplish broad
social and
economic reforms.
sorious charge, but
In itself, this is not a cen­
specific criticisms bear more to a point.
Referring to Hellen Hull, Chairman, Consumers* National Fed­
eration, an article appearing in Nat ion *s Business remarked:
Her background, however, is that of a welfare
worker.
In common with most of her associates in
the Federation, she seems to proceed on the assump­
tion that business is responsible for all poverty
and destitution.5
This is but another side of the criticism that consumer
leaders have no real understanding of American institutions
^ Fred DeArmond, "Consumer Clans Are Gathering,"
Nation *s Business., 26:1:44, January, 1958*
16
and American business.
Thus Advertising and Selling. quoting
in part from a speech by George S. Sokolsky, maintained that
it had been shown that
professional consumer groups were not basically
interested in advertising truthfulness, but were
engaged in fan attempt to return us to crackerbarrel merchandising where recognition of the
genius of the merchandiser who protects, purifies,
and identifies his product is to be unrecognized.1^
This idea that consumer leaders fail to understand the
function and real contribution of the American business system
was succinctly summed up by Norman S. Rose, advertising manager,
Christian Sclence Monitor♦ and president, Advertising Federa­
tion of America, who stated:
Still others [consumer leadersj constantly picture
an imaginary conflict between the producer and the
consumer. Business is not perfect and business lead­
ers are the first to admit that improvements can be
made. . . . But the American economic system has
endured a long time and it must be presumed that it
is the best thus far d e v i s e d . 5
The writer believes that these statements typify
criticisms of consumer leaders as being unappreciative of
American business institutions.
Consumer leaders are opportunists.
movement
“The consumer
. . . logical, and good in itself, was seized upon
^ “Coping with the Consumer Movement,” (editorial),
Advertising and Selling, 32:8, July, 1939*
^ "Modern Teachings 'Slightly Red,1 Rose Charges,"
Advertising A g e . 11:16:25, April 15> 19^0.
17
by Subversive groups as an opportunity for those who live by
their wits to make a swell living out of it.*”
This state­
ment summarizes a large share of criticism of consumer leaders,
and was taken from the news story of the Advertising Age on a
talk by J. 0. Carson, of the advertising department of H. J.
Heinz Company, before the Women’s Advertising Club of Chicago.
This type of criticism of consumer leaders was given
its widest publicity upon the charge of Martin Dies, Congres­
sional Representative from Texas, Chairman of the Committee on
Un-American Activity.
In a public address on October 3 1 > 1939*
Representative Dies ’’threatened to investigate . . . consumer
groups and called for ’business leadership’ to drive out the
demagogues and racketeers who are able to sway the emotions of
uninformed people and teach them the damnable doctrines of
socialism and communism.”7
Speaking in the same tenor on con­
sumer cooperatives, Walter H. Bennett, general counsel secre­
tary, National Association of Insurance Agents, stated:
’’These
cooperatives have been seized upon by a number of professional
agitators whose organization would shame the best political
machine.
’’Carson Tears Into ’Career* Consumer, Subversive
Books,” Advertising A g e , 2:43^4, October 21, 1940.
7 Cited in ’’Dies vs. Consumers,” Business Week, 532:44,
November 11, 1939*
o
Cited in George H. Tichenor’s ’’War on Consumers,”
Forum, 103*^0, January, 1940.
18
A very logical corollary to such criticisms is the
frequent allegation that consumer leaders, under guise of
educating the consumer, have only inculcated him with a new
set of prejudices.
". . . Somewhere, en route to enlighten­
ment, the consumer jumped the tracks and wound up not so much
enlightened as indoctrinated.”9
Consumer leaders subversive.
While some critics are
content to stop with the charge that consumer leaders are
merely opportunists, profiting from the consumer movement,
many more charge consumer leaders with subversive activities.
Thirty-five out of seventy-one criticisms of consumer leaders
collected in the course of this study charged consumer leaders
with a desire to change, fundamentally, the American economic
system.
Twenty-four of these criticisms alleged that consumer
leaders were intent upon furthering socialism and/or communism
in the United States.
On the whole, criticisms in this category have been
worded rather loosely, in general terms.
Numerous prominent
critics of consumer education have applied such terms as "fifth
columnists," "leftists," and "communists" to consumer leaders.^
9 Stanley High,
1939-
"Guinea Pigs Left March," Forum, 102:
1 5 7 , October,
E.g., Irwin Robinson, "Consumer Problem Monopolizes
Attention at Admenfs Meeting," Advertising A g e . 11:21:4, May
20, 1940; "Consumers* Red Network, Business W e e k , 537:17“1§>
December 1 6 , 1939*
19
In his article,
"Guinea Pigs Left M a r c h , " H published in
Forum and re-published in Readers 1 Dig e s t Stanley High
summarizes almost all of these accusations in his charge that
outstanding consumer leaders are "leftists" bent upon capture
of the consumer movement to further socialistic and communis­
tic ends.
The propaganda of such leaders, wrote Mr. High,
leaves the consumer "where this propaganda aims to leave him-with the conclusion that not only advertising but the whole
structure and personnel of American business are dangerous,
t»13
fraudulent, and in dire need of replacement.
v
However, though such allegations are the most frequent­
ly sounded criticisms against consumer leaders, they are not
universally accepted even in business and advertising circles.
Indeed, an interesting criticism coming from a small percent­
age of business men lodges itself against those who impugn
the motives of consumer leaders.
In an editorial,
"Bungled Red Expose," Advertising
and Selling. commenting on consumer report for the Dies Com­
mittee, said:
The report threw down the gauntlet to too many
organizations.
Its effect was to label the whole
consumer movement as red--which is impossibly hard
to substantiate . . . especially when the evidence
H
High, o p ♦ cit. , p. 157.
Reader*s Digest, 35*210:1, October, 1939*
1-^ High, op., cit. , p. 15^.
20
cites little more than the communistic affiliations
or sympathies of a few officers of the groups under
at tack.
A statement to this same effect, already cited in this work,
was made by Allen L. Billingsley, retiring chairman, Asso­
ciated Advertising Agencies of America.
Women leaders find a new <!fad ."
Feminine leaders
of consumer education have not often been singled out for
criticism, either as individuals or as a group.
Whether their
activities have been less objectionable to critics of consumer
activities, or their efforts have been overshadowed by the
work of masculine leaders, are questions upon which the pre­
sent study sheds no light.
Only five criticisms of women
were found by the investigator in his study of periodical
literature.
Of these five criticisms, only two were evidently
meant to apply peculiarly to women.
In the case of the two criticisms aimed only at women,
one charges that "Women ’consumer crusaders1 are only follow­
ing latest
*fashion in agitating1 for all sorts of social
reform playthings.
The other charge, this made by
A. 0. Buckingham, Vice-President of Cluett-Peabody and Company,
is that
"Bungled Red Expose," (editorial), Advertising and
Selling. 3 3 :1 s8 , January, 1940.
^
DeArmond, pp.. cit. . p. 42.
feminine leaders in the consumer movement make sister
housewives unnecessarily facetious and suspicious of
products offered for sale.
If the consumer wants
peace of mind she can find it by having faith in the
advertiser.16
*|
Fred DeArmond, citing Buckingham, Gonsumer Con­
sciousness,” Nation's Business. 27*906, September, 1929-
CHAPTER I V
CRITICISMS OF THE AIMS OF THE CONSUMER "MOVEMENT"
Under the classification of criticisms set up by the
investigator, the avowed and alleged aims and objectives of
consumer education were found to be more heavily criticized
than any of the other headings under which criticisms were
tallied.
This chapter presents criticisms of the aims of the
consumer "movement, 11 considered under the following divisions:
Criticisms of the aim to develop "consumer consciousness,"
criticisms of the aim to secure increased support of consumer
objectives by government, and criticisms of aims to secure
grade labelling of products and product standardization.
Chapter V will be devoted to the final group of
criticisms of the aims of consumer education, i.e., criticisms
of subversive and miscellaneous aims alleged to the consumer
"movement."
Consumer "movement, " a misnomer.
At the outset of any
discussion of the aims of consumer education, it would be
well to note that many criticisms dealt with in this as well
as the following chapter are directed toward the consumer
movement. and the title to each of these chapters- has been
worded accordingly.
However, when in these criticisms the
term "movement" is applied to consumer organizations and
23
activities as though these latter were all parts of a unified
and concerted program of consumer education, the term "move­
ment" is misused.
The great diversity of unrelated activities classed as
consumer education has been pointed out by Lomax
1
and Harap.
2
Reference to the definition of consumer education used in
this study^ will show recognition of the fact that consumer
programs and activities show virtually no cohesion and little
uniformity of purpose.
Therefore, though criticisms of the aims of consumer
education have been faithfully rendered in keeping with their
original terminology, it should be borne in mind that criti­
cisms of consumer "movement" are not truly applicable to
consumer education If "movement" be thought of as being any­
thing more unified than a general trend, developing interest
in consumer problems .
In this connection, it would be apropos to note the
fact that consumer education has been uncoordinated, often
haphazard, which has served critics as a charge against it.
"The consumer movement has been handicapped by the lack of
^ Paul S. Lomax, "A National Study of Consumer Business
Education," Education. 58:219-24, December, 1937O
H
Henry Harap, a survey cited in The Consumer Move­
ment," Business W e e k . 503:^ 7 > April 22, 1939*
^ Chapter I.
TABLE III
ABSOLUTE NUMBER AND PERCENTAGE OF CRITICISMS OF THE
CONSUMER "MOVEMENT”
Criticisms of Consumer Movement
Number of
Critical
References
The so-called "movement" is, in
reality, made up of a great number
of uncoordinated organizations
4
.06 5
009
Various parts of the "movement"
engage in contradictory activities
3
.048
007
The movement tends to develop
a harmful "consumer consciousness."
4
.0 6 5
009
.03 2
005
The movement makes individuals
unnecessarily skeptical of those
from ¥hom they purchase
6
8
10
11
The movement includes a considerable
number of pressure groups, each out
id use the "movement" to gain its
own ends
4
.0 6 5
009
The movement uses "pressure group"
methods
2
.0 3 2
005
.016
002
The movement uses the same publicity
methods for which it condemns
business
7
,
Per cent of
Per cent of
all
Criticisms of
Consumer Movement Criticisms
The movement is based on the assump­
tion that the consumer needs help
in looking out for his interests
4
.065
009
If the movement attained its goals
it would burden a mass of consumers
with information and "helps" which
few consumers want
3
.048
007
The movement tends to undermine
the individual’s income as a "pro­
ducer "--more than it helps him as a
consumer
.016
002
The movement is being used to pro­
mote a new social order
.016
002
The movement has a goal: the
eventual elimination of advertising
8
.129
018
The movement tends to undermine
mass production efficiency and thus
to lower living standards
3
.048
007
14
The movement is anti-business
6
.0 9 6
014
15
The consumer movement is the "fifth
column" of business
.081
011
16
The movement has been seized by
subversive elements which only pre­
tend to serve the consuming public
.161
023
.016
002
1.000
140
12
13
17
,
10
The left-wing consumer movement
is a part of the red United Front
in America
TOTALS
62
ro
-£=-
25
a single organization to say:
fWe represent the United States
consumer.T ^
I.
CRITICISM OF THE AIM TO DEVELOP
CONSUMER CONSCIOUSNESS
While many consumer leaders and organizations have been
inclined to shy away from all proselyting activities, some of
the more aggressive have sought to stir people into an active
awareness of their position as consumers.
Consumers 1 Research and Consumers 1 Union, rival con­
sumer testing agencies, have been charged with using the same
tactics to attract subscribers for which they have condemned
business.
Raymond Rubicam, of Young and Rubleam, prominent
advertising agency, has broadened this charge to include many
critics of advertising:
Dramatic selling and free use of the imagination
are clearly recognized by the critics of advertising,
or they would never have taken such titles for their
books as "One Hundred Million Guinea P igs . 11 "Forty
Million Guinea Pig Children," "Skin Deep, ’ and "Part­
ners in Plunder." How much circulation do you suppose
these popular books would have had if they had been
given conservative titles and been written in factual
language ?
Imaginative persuasion is a crime only when it is
used by your opponents .5
^ "Consumers 1 Foundation Under Way," Business W e e k ,
4^6:20, January 8 , 1938*
5 Raymond Rubicam, cited in news account by Irwin
Robinson. "Consumer Problem Monopolizes Attention at Adm e n fs
Meeting, 1 Advert is ing A g e . 2:21:^, May 20, 19^0.
26
Basically, this type of criticism is the expressed fear
that the consumers become overly and unnecessarily suspicious
of those with whom they deal.
states:
A writer for Nation !s Bus iness
"A conflict between the interests of consumers and
producers is assumed in much of the current championship of
the former."^
And, far from being at the mercy of business,
it is the consumer himself who sometimes needs disciplining,
according to the same writer, in a later issue of the same
publicat ion:
Their [consumers'] record of buying first and
shopping afterward, abusing return goods privileges
and forcing unfair adjustments on retailers and
service companies, gives them no grounds for casting stones at business.7
But, many of these critics have insisted, it is the
consumer himself who suffers most from his skepticism.
For,
first, the businessman sometimes knows more about what is
best for the consumer than does the consumer or his repre­
sentative.
Stated Lee H. Briston, before the National Federa­
tion of Sales Executives:
We as manufacturers know more about the consumer
than these spokesmen [critics of advertising] do, or
than the consumer himself does, as the result of our
^ Fred DeArmond, "Consumer Clans Are Gathering,"
Nation fs Bus iness, 26:l:k2, January, 1938.
7 Fred DeArmond, "Consumer Consciousness," Nation fs
Business, 27:9 0 6 , September, 1939*
27
many transactions with him. We are faced with a big
public relations job and a battle for our rights .8
Further, with respect to women:
Women are induced to join crusades which may
injure their producer interests more than it can help
them as consumers, not realizing that it is difficult
if not impossible to separate the t w a i n . 9
while in Parents 1 Magazine the plea is found that care be taken
not to teach consumer education in such a way as to make chil­
dren overly-critical of advertising and the manufacturer,
"as
is often the case with adults."-*-^
II.
CRITICISMS OF AIM TO SECURE INCREASED
SUPPORT FROM GOVERNMENT
Some opponents of consumer education have had a double
reason for fearing increased government support for consumer
education.
Not only do many critics fear consumer education,
but in many instances they are even more fearful of govern­
m e n t ^ attitude toward business.
To those who see both
present-day consumer education and present-day government as
their enemies, a combination of the two may very well seem
deadly.
o
Quoted in an editorial, "Coping with the Consumer
Movement,' Advertising and Selling, 32:8, July, 1939*
^ "Consumers Have Money," Business W e e k , 592*36,
January 4, 1941
Margaret Dana, "Tomorrow They Buy," Parents f
Magazine. 15*2:24, February, 1940.
TABLE IV
CRITICISMS OF INCREASED SUPPORT OF CONSUMER OBJECTIVES BY GOVERNMENT
Criticisms of Increased Support of
Consumer Objectives by Government
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Number of
Critical
References
Government consumer agencies
give consumers an opportunity
to experiment with theories
and fads
.048
.005
Government consumer organiza­
tions give radical consumer
leaders a chance to get into
positions of power and influence
in the government
4
.095
.009
Consumer groups use governmental
power and political methods to gain
their ends
4
.095
.009
By further aiding consumer groups,
government would lose some of the
business man’s confidence, now so
badly needed
5
.119
.011
Further Legislation designed to
protect the consumer against "unfair"
labeling, advertising, etc., would
have a dangerous effect on the
business structure of the country
6
.143
.014
2
.048
.005
2
.048
.005
consumer class is coming into being
4
.0 9 5
.00 9
The government has never acknowledged
that the majority of business men
were making an honest effort to
comply with all laws affecting their
products and theirbusiness
1
.024
.002
Government agencies with consumer
activities serve political ends first
and the consumersecond
3
.071
.007
The New Deal has encouraged consumer
efforts as a means of holding business
down
4
.095
.009
5
.11 9
.011
42
1.000
,096
6. The establishment of a special
Consumer Bureau at Washington
would be the beginning of the end
of advertising and the profit and
loss system of economics
7.
2
Per cent of
Criticisms of
Per cent of
Increased
all
Government Support Criticisms
Consumers have as many reasons for
questioning information from
government sources as from business
sources
8 . A. paternalistic government has
taken so many liberties with
natural supply and demand that a
9.
10.
11.
12.
Government organizations with
consumer activities are known to
have worked with those seeking to
undermine the American economic
system
TOTALS
ro
oo
29
The following quotations may serve to illustrate the
form of the criticisms touched upon:
Neither the government nor the consumer groups has
ever acknowledged that the majority of manufacturers
were making an honest effort to comply with all laws
affecting their products and their business.
Instead,
these groups preferred to believe--and to broadcast-that all business men are rchiselers 1 who consistently
try to evade all federal and state regulations.il
. . . the establishment
Bureau at Washington would
end of advertising and the
economics with which it is
of a special Consumer
be the beginning.of the
profit and loss system of
interlocked . 1 2
What is back of all this organizing of consumers?
. . . First, a paternalistic government has taken so
many liberties with natural supply and demand that
& consumer class [italicsin the original] is coming
into being . . . 13
Stanley High accused the.New Deal of having taken consumer
"leftists” into its ranks in an effort to capture the consumer
movement, notably by the appointment, by the President, of
Leon Henderson,
”a burly, leftist social worker,” as Con.
ili
sumers T Advisor to the President.
It is commonly recognized that widespread development
of effective grade labelling and product standardization
11 npiQ(p picayunish, Cullen Charges at Proprietors *
Meet,” Advertising A g e , 11:22:1, May 27, 1940.
J. W. Reilly, "Arnold Philosophy Would Detract From
Human Happiness," Printers 1 Ink. 195 :i+, April 25, 1941.
■*3 Ralph K. Strassman,
194:5 0 2 , January 31, 194l.
Stanley High,
102:155, October, 1939-
"Time to Fight," Printers 1 Ink.
"Guinea Pigs Left March, " Forum.
30
cannot be effected without government aid.
This, it is
pointed out by critics, will open the door to regimentation
of private enterprise by government, as well as adding heavily
to the costs of government.
M r s . Richardson [of the Crowell-Collier Publishing
Company] told the Better Business Bureau conference
that grade labelling would call for the employment of
at least 4,500 Government inspectors.^5
And, consumers were warned by Charles 0. Hardy of the Brookings
Institution,
”. . .
the consumers have as many reasons for
questioning information from government sources as from busi­
ness sources.
While not quite ten per cent of all criticisms collected
in this study related the increased support for consumer edu­
cation by government, it may be seen that this question is
crucial in the eyes of critics of consumer education.
III.
CRITICISMS OF AIMS TO SECURE GRADE LABELLING
OF PRODUCTS AND PRODUCT STANDARDIZATION
The fear of many business and advertising men that
any insistent and far-reaching demand for grade labelling and
product standardization would mean further government control
of business has already been discussed in earlier paragraphs
of this chapter.
However, a number of other criticisms
^-5 Fred DeArmond, ‘’Consumer Consciousness,” Nat ion 1s
Business, 27*9:36* September, 1939*
1 6 Ibid.. fc. 3 6 .
TABLE *V
CRITICISMS OF GRADE LABELING AND PRODUCT STANDARDIZATION
Criticisms of grade labeling
and Product Standardization
Number of
Critical
References
Per cent of
Per cent of
Criticisms of grade
all
Labeling,etc. Criticisms
n
1.
Widespread use of grade labels
would be a handicap to most
consumers
3
.057
007
Grade labels are still experi­
mental and cannot provide accurate
information to consumers
3
.057
007
Grade labels now in use are
heeded by few consumers
2
.038
005
Widespread use of grade labels
would not materially change
buying habits
2
.0 3 8
005
Grade labels are unnecessary;
the reputations of companies and
products now provide just as good
an index to product values
2
.03 8
005
6. Grade Labels would be less valu­
able to consumers than the brand
names which they might replace
1
.019
002
7. Grade labels would destroy con­
sumer fatth in products and con­
cerns of long-standing reputations
2
.038
005
8 . Grade labels cannot be made
sufficiently accurate to justify
their use
5
.094
Oil
9 . Grade labels would destroy con­
sumer trust in advertising
2
.038
00.5
Grade labels tempt people to buy
on a basis of grade only, over­
looking such product virtues as style,
flavor, etc.
1
.019
002
Grade labels would place a pre­
mium upon deception, rather than
upon honesty, inmerchandising
3
.057
007
2
.03 8
005
5
.094
011
Government standards--establishing
them, keeping them up-to-date, and
enforcing them--would be prohibi­
tively burdensome to the American
taxpayer
6
,113
014
15. Government standards waiLd necessi­
tate a great expansion in govern­
ment control over business
5
.094
011
Government standards would mean
the end of free enterprise
5
.094
oil
17. Government standards are unnecessary;
for business is able and. willing to
regulate itself in the best interests
of the public
4
.075
009
53
1.000
120
2.
3.
4.
5.
10.
11.
12.
Grade labels would make it possible
for leaders of consumer groups to
impose their tastes and ideas upon
others
13. Grade labeling could not be effec­
tive unless government standards were
first established
14.
16.
TOTALS
32
applicable to grade labelling and product standardization
were collected in this study.
In all, there were fifty-three
criticisms classified under this heading--twelve per cent of
the total number of criticisms tabulated.
It is to be expected that those successful in merchan­
dising and advertising fields will be found defending the
merits of the status q u o ■
Nat ion1s Business for September,
1939, presented a symposium of business opinion on consumer
education,^-? yielding a number of we 1 1 -worded and typical
reactions from business representatives.
It was contended
that women who buy from reputable concerns need no consumer
"protection," and that nationally advertised brands are the
best guarantee of quality.
It was pointed out that quality
grades are sometimes inpossible of definition, and that what
is "good" is often a matter of individual taste.
Charles 0 .
Hardy of Brookings Institution was quoted as saying he "didn*t
relish having professional consumers try to impose their own
tastes on their constituencies,"^ while Mrs. Anna Steese
Richardson, of the Crowell-Collier Publishing Company, was
quoted to the effect that the great mass of women are not
interested in specifications and grade labelling for the
products they buy--for example,
^
Loc. cit.
I® Loc. cit.
"best practical opinion seems
33
to be a preference for buying sheets by feel and weight
rather than by thread count."^9
These abbreviated comments are typical of a consider­
able segment of opinion with respect to any objectives of
consumer education which might lead to widespread dependence
on grade labels as indices of value.
Magazine and newspaper
publishers fear grade labelling, said Business Week,
"because
consumers then would be tempted to buy only on basis of grade
and price--overlooking other product virtues, such as style,
flavor.
. . ”2 0
A n£ even from among those who are aggressive­
ly consumer-minded there is sometimes heard the thought that
there will always be "an area in buying where consumers cannot
be sufficiently expert to judge and must simply trust the
retailer and manufacturer.
Prom such statements, it is a short step to criticism
made upon the assumption that grade labelling does, and will,
injure rather than aid the consumer.
One such type of criti­
cism stresses alleged complexities involved in comprehensive
22
labelling and grading of products.
It must be acknowledged
Loc. c i t .
on
"The Consumer Movement," Business W e e k . 503:^ 9 >
April 22, 1939*
(Written by the Editorial Staff.)
O1
Ruth Wilson Tryon, "Case History of a Consumer,"
Journal of Home Economics. 30:628-30, November, 1938.
^ Anna Steese Richardson, "What It Means To' Be a
Consumer," Woman 1s Home Companion. 6 7 2 7 2 2 8 , July, 19^0.
54
by all parties, of course, that overly-technical labels will
defeat their own purpose.
Further, it is argued that widespread grade labelling
and product standardization would involve so many technical
aspects and complexities, that both producers and merchandisers
would be under constant temptation to deceive the consumer.
On this point
James L. Fri, managing director,
turers of the
U. S. A., stated
Toy Manufac­
If he [the retailerJ gives encouragement to the
thinking of some consumers that grading, specifications,
labeling and the like will designate in a practical
way different levels of consumer values . . . he will
not only deal himself out of his rightful place in the
marketing structure but will perform a most obvious
disservice to the consumer because such a system of
grading for most products will not only not safeguard
consumer values but will, in most cases, develop a
mechanism by which a premium will be placed upon d e ­
ception. [italicsnot in originalT]Better
Business Bureaus have beenactively
grade labels already in use.
critical of
Most active has been the Boston
Better Business Bureau, which had pointed out that the ac ­
cepted grade designations within various trades and indus­
tries are often misleading to consumers;^4 the same organiza­
tion has also publicized a limited investigation of the
labelling of canned fruits and vegetables by cooperatives.^
^5 James L. Fri, quoted in news story:
"Urges Caution
in Consideration of Consumer Demands,” Advertising A g e ,
11:13*4, May 25, 1941.
24 Reported in ,fBoston BBB Slaps Grade Tags Which Mix
Up Consumers," Advertising A g e , 11:47228, November 18, 1940.
25 Reported in "Grade Labels Not Accurate, BBB Study
Indicates," Advertising A g e , ll:3l2l> July 29> 1940.
The latter investigation, made by the Fruit and Vegetable
Grading Division, Agricultural Marketing Service of the
United States Department of Agriculture, Indicated that onethlrd of twenty-four sample cans sold by a consumer coopera­
tive retail store under the Co-op brand label were found to
be of a lower grade than Indicated by their labels.
The
Bureau did not contend that the results of this limited
investigation were decisive, but only that f!the system of
labeling Grade A, or B, or C, according to U. S. Standards,
has not been perfected . . .
While this investigation
was outstanding for its objectivity, similar tests have like­
wise served as the basis for many and repeated criticisms of
grade labeling and product standardization.
From the ranks of business, however, there has come
considerable support for the establishment of some kinds of
labels to be borne only by products whose qualities and whose
advertising meet accepted standards.
Byron G. Moon, president
of Byron G. Moon Company, textile manufacturers, told the
twentieth annual meeting of the New York State Home Economics
Association that manufacturers wish to comply with the con­
sumer’s desire for informative labelling, but are at the mercy
of the retailer.^ The year 19^0 saw the Institute of Standards
^
Ibid., page 29 •
’’Difficulties of Labeling Explained to Home Econ­
omists , 11 Advertising A g e > 11:18:13* April 29* 19^1 •
36
incorporated as a non-profit enterprise to which manufacturers
may submit their products; if certified as having been tested
and having met "accepted” standards, this merchandise may
pO
bear the seal of the Institute of Standards.
The Institute,
originally developed with the sole support of McCallfs
Magazine, was admittedly begun as an answer to consumer-minded
advocates of product standardization and the regulation of
advertising.
29
Since this was the case, it is not surprising
that Consumers 1 Research and the American Home Economics
Association took steps to indicate their disapproval of what
some labelled "Trojan horse tactics" on the part of business
30
and advertising interests.
2 8 »t
m
"Business Backs Consumer Testing,” Business W e e k ,
569:30-31, July 27, 19^0.
29
t!
Irwin Robinson,
Institute of Standards Set Up for
Voluntary Test of Goods, 1 Advertising A g e . 11:31:1, July 29>
1940.
^ M. C. Phillips, "is McCall’s New Institute a Trojan
Horse?” Consumers 1 Digest, >8:6:17-21. December, 1940.
"CR Attacks Plan for Institute of Standards,"
Advertising A g e . 11:4903# December 2, 1940.
CHAPTER V
SUBVERSIVE AND MISCELLANEOUS OBJECTIVES
ALLEGED TO THE CONSUMER "MOVEMENT”
Criticisms levelled against subversive and miscel­
laneous objectives of consumer education are found to differ
from others contained in the study in two respects.
First,
the general miscellany of criticisms in this group are not
especially contentious, since both advocates and opponents
were found to voice these criticisms; a majority in the ranks
of both factions are in substantial agreement on these points.
Second, allegations of subversive motives, the most widely
publicized criticisms of consumer education, have brought
rebuttals not only from the ranks of consumer education but
from business leaders as well.
Since the miscellaneous
criticisms embraced in this division of the study are rarely
controverted, this chapter will be principally devoted to a
consideration of the subversive objectives alleged to groups
in consumer education.
Allegations of subversive motives.
Subversive atti­
tudes and activities alleged to unidentified consumer groups
will be considered in Chapter VI,
However, it is typical of
many charges of subversive intent that blanket accusations
are made, or general terms are used, with the result that
absolute identification of those charged is impossible.
38
Also, in general the charges of subversive purpose are
likewise worded in such general or vague terminology that it
is dangerous to attempt to assign any exact meaning to any
particular accusation.
Mrs. Wilbur E. Fribley, president, Chicago Housewives
League, st at ed :
Consumer education . . . is designed to aid . . .
the average buyer. The consumer movement [Italics
not in the original} is based on political and social
philosophies. It uses the problems and dissatisfac­
tions of consumers merely as vehicles for spreading
ideas designed to_ create a new social order [italics
not in the original}
In discussing w o m e n 1s consumer groups, an article in
a leading business journal stated;
"The pinks
Qitalics not
in the originalj have really crashed the parlor at last."^
The Advertising Age commented editorially:
". . . the
problem of anti-advertising and anti-business activity is
still with us, no matter how much it may temporarily be overshadowed by war and politics . ^
Others brand the consumer movement as "communistic"
and "fifth column."^
■*- Statement quoted in news story, "Local Campaigns Held
Best to Educate Consumer," Advertising Age > 11:20:39* May 13*
1940.
2 Fred DeArmond, "Consumer Clans Are Gathering,"
N a t i o n ^ Business. 26:1:42, January, 1938.
5 Editorial, "The Textbook Problem," Advert is ing Age *
11:39:12, September 23* 1940.
^ "What About the Consumer Movement?" Advertising Age,
11:1:142, January 8 , 1940.
39
The latter half of 1939 was the high-water-mark of
vituperative charges of subversive intent against personnal
and organizations of the consumer movement.
In October, 1939,
Stanley High summed up virtually all charges of subversive
activity in his article "Guinea Pigs Left March."5
The
article traced the consumer movement from 1 9 2 7 to 1 9 3 9 , and
is the most comprehensive treatment to be found from the group
who see destruction of the American economic order as a pur­
pose behind much consumer activity.
The thesis of "Guinea
Pigs Left March," may be briefly presented by quotation of
the following paragraphs:
More than ever before, the average American has
turned--by force of depression circumstances--from
the making of money to the proper spending of i t .
The consumer movement was an inevitable and (when
shed of other aims) a desirable result of that shift.
It includes sincere and public-spirited groups with
no other motive than to combat the excessive claims
of some advertising.
But also, pressure groups have invaded the con­
sumer movement. There they are waging an ideological
war.
Their object is not to increase the effective­
ness of the consumer in the American economic system.
They are out to discredit, if not to destroy, the
system. . . .
This aspect of the consumer movement begins by
attacking advertising. Shortcomings of the adver­
tiser and his product are exposed, enlarged and often
made the basis for erroneous generalizations. Honest
advertisers and their products come in for scant
attention. The eager consumer is left where this
propaganda aims to leave him— with the conclusion
5 Stanley High, "Guinea Pigs Left March," Forum» 102:
133-57, October, 1939-
that not only advertising but the whole structure
and personnel of American business are dangerous,
fraudulent and in dire need of replacement [italics
in the original]•
While it is not within the scope of this study to
evaluate the criticisms presented, it may be said that on
their face value the above statements fairly summarize, for
the opposition, the case against the consumer movement for
its subversive intent and activities.
It should be noted
that the author of these statements has made the assumption
that the acknowledged aims of the consumer movement are desir­
able, and he does not allege that the entire consumer movement
is fraught with subversive purposes.
Many other critics have
made blanket charges of subversive intent and activities
against the consumer movement, without any qualification
whatsoever.
However, though the comprehensive charges of the article
under discussion may be said to be illustrative of criticismnot entirely sweeping in its denunciation of ’’consumer^," it
consists, nevertheless, of generalizations rather than specific
allegations.
The battle ground on which such criticisms play
an important part is so confused that both critics and their
opponents find it difficult to draw lines of contention.
The latter point may also be Illustrated from High's
^ Stanley High, ’’Guinea Pigs Left March,” as condensed
in Header!s Digest, 35:210:1-5* October, 1939*
41
article,
’’Guinea Pigs Left March.”
. . . J. B. Matthews, as Far-Left vice-president
of Consumers 1 Research, pointed out that !the com­
plete case against business civilization can only
be stated by enumerating the violated interests of
consumer . 1 Matthews foresaw, through the consumer
movement, capitalism destroyed and a consumer soci­
ety, more Marxian than Marx, established in its
place.7
This, then, was an estimate of J. B. Matthews published in
October, 1939•
Yet by December of the same year, Matthews,
as special investigator for the Dies Committee on un-American
Activities, released such statements as:
”a greater part of
. . . [thej attack upon advertising is the direct result of
communistic propaganda in the field of consumer organizations . ”8
The same release named more than a dozen consumer organizations
as serving to further ’’communistic” objectives
One month after this release of the Dies Committee,
Advertising and Belling published an editorial,
’’Bungled Red
Expose,” in which the opinion was expressed that the Matthews 1
consumer report for the Dies Committee
threw down the gauntlet to too many organizations.
Its effect was to label the whole consumer movement
as red— which is impossibly hard to substantiate
. . . especially when the evidence cites little more
^ High, op.cit., Forum. 102:155*
® Cited in ’’Consumers f Red Network, ” Business W e e k .
537:17-18, December 1 6 , 1939*
^ Quoted in ’’Consumers 1 Red Network,” Business W e e k .
537-17-18, December 16, 1939*
42
than the communistic affiliation or sympathies of
a few officers of the groups under attack . 3-0
Symptomatic of a changing attitude toward consumer
education on the part of business leaders are the many state­
ments of which the following are interesting samples:
New York, Aug. 29«”~In spite of the fact that
subversive elements have seized upon the situation
to ply their subtle techniques, the consumer move­
ment at its heart is not subversive and should not
be dealt with as such by business, Howard M. Cool,
director of the division of consumer interests of
the National Better Business Bureau, told the
American National Retail Jewelers Association con­
vention here today . 11
Declaring that these people [in consumer movement]
are positively n o t 1 the crackpots or radicals that
some consider them to be . . . instead 'they are the
very people whom advertising leaders have always
claimed they were influencing most. Somewhere there
has been a m i s s . f 12
"Bungled Red Expose,” (editorial), Advertising and
Selling, 3 3 :1 :B, January, 1940.
^ "Consumer Moves Not Subversive, Jewelers Told,"
Advertising A g e . 11:36:5, September 2, 1940.
^ Quotation from an address by Frank R. Countant,
director of Marketing, Pedlar and Ryan, cited in "stop
Defending Bad Advertising, Countant Advises," Advertising A g e .
11:25:1, June 17, 1940.
CHAPTER V I
CRITICISMS OP CONSUMER GROUPS AND
ORGANIZATIONS
Criticisms of consumer groups and organizations com­
pose an approximate twenty-seven per cent of all criticisms
collected in the study, as may be seen by reference to Table
VI.
As in the case of other objects of criticism within the
consumer movement, consumer groups and organizations have
received both clear-cut and specific criticisms, in which
definite activities, groups, and organizations have been men
tioned, and broad allegations of fault levelled broadside
against consumer groups and activities in general.
A further clouding of differences between consumer
organizations and their critics has resulted from widespread
inability to separate admittedly pro-consumer organizations
from pseudo-consumer organizations.
Virtually every avowed
consumer organization has in some instance been accused of
operating for some purpose other than its publicized purpose
Some organizations have been criticized both by consumer
leaders for sacrificing the interests of consumer to the
interests of business, and by business leaders for being
radically opposed to business.
As might be expected, organi
zations having consumer activities have hurled charges at
rival organizations.
Referring to pseudo-organizations,
TABLE VI
CRITICISMS OF CONSUMER GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS
Criticisms of Consumer Groups
and Organizations
1.
Number of
Critical
References
Many nominally independent con­
sumer organizations are actually
"kept" or "company11 organizations
Per cent of
Criticisms of
Consumer Gropps
etc.
Per cent of
all
Criticisms
10
.O83
.023
Some apparently legitimate consumer
agencies and organizations are main­
tained to fight real consumer educa­
tion
11
.092
.025
17
.142
038
3
.025
007
5. Consumer activities of the Better
Business Bureaus are subdued through
fear of business
.3
.025
007
6. The original sponsors of Consumers'
Foundation were big drug and variety
chains
6
.050
014
5
.042
011
14
.117
032
6
.050
014
7
.058
016
.050
014
.158
043
2.
3 . The activities of pseudo-consumer
groups, supported by commercial
interests, stand in the way of es­
tablishing good relations between
business and consumer education
4.
7.
Activities of the American Home
Eaohomics Association are dangerous
to advertising
The League of Women Shoppers and
the Consumers' League of New York
make only a gesture at a fair study
of labor disputes before resorting
to pro-labor action
8 . From the first, Consumers' Research
has been on the warpath against the
"big, bad wolves"of advertising and'
commerce
9 . Consumers' Research and Consumers'
Union were both started by radicals
10. Consumers' Research and Consumers'
Union are simply "rackets," making
money for those who run them
11. When Consumer agencies make price
analyses, they continually overlook
the various forms of service ren­
dered by the producer and theseller
6
12. No product testing agency today has
at its command the facilities to
appraise products accurately and fairly 19
13. The underlying aim of consumer
"testing" agencies is to undermine
the profit system
6
.050
014
14. The award of the seal of approval
of Good Housekeeping is in part
contingent upon willingness to buy
advertising space
4
.035
009
15. The award of the seal of approval
of the American Medical Association
Journal is in part contingent upon
willingness to buy advertising space
3
.025
007
120
1.000
272
TOTALS
4=4=-
^5
Woodward, who reports considerable investigation of this prob­
lem, has stated:
,fEach ["pseudo-consumer organization] argues
for the cleaning up and fair practices enforcement of the
other fellow fs business . 1,1
The problem of identifying consumer organizations with
their real and underlying activities and purposes would, in
itself, be suitable as a topic for a Master’s thesis; however,
comments of authorities on this subject are pertinent to this
study.
Donald Montgomery, then head of the Consumers 1 Division,
Agricultural Adjustment Administration, suggested four questions
for those seeking to determine the underlying purposes of any
consumer organization:
of income?
(l) What is the organization’s source
(2) What is its source of information?
(3 ) Who runs
it? (4) What are the qualifications of those doing the work?^
In earlier chapters, effort has been made to set forth
a wide variety of criticism of the consumer movement in its
various phases and aspects
In this chapter an attempt will
be made to set forth sample criticisms of types which are
^ Helen Woodward,
June 10, 1959.
"Pocket Guide,” Nat ion. 148:671*
^ Donald E. Montgomery, "You Must Ask-Quest ions,”
Journal of Home Economics, 30:688-91, December, 1938. Also,
Donald E. Montgomery* "Consumers Under Way,” Survey Graphic.
27:90-92, February, 1938.
^ Especially pertinent are the following:
"Guinea P i g s 1
Friends,” Time, 32:43~5> September 26, 1938; "Consumers 1 Red
Network,” Business Week, 537:17”l8, December 16, 1939; Frank
Jellinick, Dies, Hearst and the Consumer," New Republic,
102-10-13, January 1, 1940.
46
significant in indicating trend of criticism and counter­
criticism relating to leading consumer organizations.
I.
IMPORTANT GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS
CRITICIZED
To cite and quote representative and significant
criticisms of leading consumer groups and organizations will,
perhaps, aid in giving a complete picture of criticisms of
consumer education appearing in periodical literature.
American Home Economics Association.
To illustrate
that not even the most reputable and conservative organiza­
tions are always held above reproach for their consumer
activities, occasional criticisms of the American Home
Economics Association may be cited.
Such critical references
stop short of actual criticism of the Association, by label­
ling some one or more of its activities "ill-advised" or
"misguided . 11
The Crowell Publishing Company, however, has
gone a step further by stating that "some of the activities
nil
are dangerous to advertising.
Nat ional Associat ion of Better Business Bureaus.
While
the Better Business Bureau acknowledges itself as an instrument
^ Cited in editorial, "Consumer-Retailer Relations
Council," Journal of Home Economics, :50:247~9> April, 1938.
^7
of business--though it has been aware of activities designed
to foster constructive business attitudes toward consumers —
this association has been condemned for its alleged unwilling­
ness to take any consumer stand which might be opposed by
”Bfg Business.11^
Woodward, whose studies of the real and
professed purposes of organizations with consumer activities
have already been mentioned, takes this point of view.
Consumers 1 Foundation.
The question as to whether
or not Consumers 1 Foundation was a legitimate consumer organi­
zation remained in the forefront of consumer criticisms for
several years.
The creation of this organization, in 1937*
brought much criticism from those who considered themselves
friends of the consumer.
Lynd greeted the establishment of Consumers 1 Founda­
tion with statements of which the following may be considered
representative .
At this critical stage of consumer organization,
the movement faces precisely the danger which labor
has been facing in the form of the Company union . 1
The whole movement can be aborted if the present
plans of manufacturing and trade associations to set
up fkept' consumer ..pressure groups is allowed to go
forward unchecked.®
5 Helen Woodward,
June 2k, 1939-
”Pocket Guide,” Nation, l48:726-7>
^ Robert S. Lynd, Business W e e k , 405“l6, June
quoted from the New York Times of May 10, 1937*
1937>
48
Under the title ’’Consumers* Foundation Under Way, ”
Business Week commented:
"[ThisJ occasions mutterings from
the more militant consumer groups that it*s an A-l opportunity
to make the whole consumer movement simply a catspaw for varim7
ous commercial interests, 1 while as late as eighteen months
later (June 10, 1939) the same magazine stated:
’’The original
sponsors [of Consumers 1 Foundation] appeared to be the big
drug and variety chains that operated through the offices of
f|o
astute public relations counsellors.
Institute of Standards.
The criticisms brought against
Consumers* Foundation may be seen to be in the same tenor as
those criticisms applied to the Institute of Standards, dis­
cussed in Chapter IV.
Avowedly McCall*s has pushed the institute because
of the belief that it provides a sound weapon for
business to use in regaining the confidence of con­
sumers and in turning the consumer movement from a
liability into a merchandising a s s e t .9
It was inevitable that such organizations as these, which
openly— or behind the scenes--worked to bring consumer problems
^ ’’Consumers* Foundation Under W a y , ” Business W e e k .
4 3 6 *2 3 9 January 8, 1938*
® "Business and Consumers,” Business W e e k . 510*28,
June 10, 1939.
9 "Business Backs Consumer Testing," Business W e e k ,
569:30, July 27, 1940.
49
and activities within the fold of business, should be met
with allegations of bad faith and "Trojan horse tactics."*^
Consumers f Research and Consumers 1 Union.
These two
organizations have been criticized most frequently within
the consumer movement.
importance.
This fact alone will indicate their
Though rival enterprises, their similarity of
purposes and services have caused most critics to criticize
both in the same breath.
Consumers 1 Research and Consumers 1 Union have been
most frequently criticized for their alleged purpose to under­
mine advertising and commerce.
Such criticisms have been more
completely discussed in Chapter V, so three illustrative
criticisms may here suffice.
From the first it [Consumers* ResearchJ sought to
mobilize and arm the nation’s marketers and get them
on the warpath against the big, bad wolves of adver­
tising and commerce.^3-
M. C. Phillips, "is McCall’s New Institute a
Trojan Horse?" Consumers ’ Digest. 8 :6 :17-21, December, 1940.
Irwin, Robinson, "institute of Standards Set Up for
Voluntary Test of Goods," Advert is ing A g e , 11:21:1, May 20,
1940.
"CR Attacks Plan for Institute of Standards," Adver­
tising A g e , 11:49:33> December 2, 1940.
56900,
"Business Backs Consumer Testing," Business W e e k .
July 27, 1940.
Stanley High,
102:154, October, 1939.
"Guinea Pigs Left March," Forum.
50
Officers of Consumers f Union are connected with
organizations with communistic alignments.^
Consumers 1 Research and Consumers 1 Union were
both started by radicals . 2
Other criticisms of the two organizations under d i s ­
cussion, are usually directed against the policy and means
by which these agencies test and rate well-known products
for the benefit of their subscribers.
Of course, such criti­
cisms vary greatly, but the following statements will illus­
trate elements most commonly touched upon.
. . . manufacturers, some of whom spend millions
on laboratory research and who figure that neither
Consumers 1 Research or Consumers 1 Union can gross
more than $2 0 0 , 0 0 0 a year (most of which must go for
salaries and printing), are sometimes pretty acid
about the quality of research on which these organi­
zations undertake to pass judgements that may cost
businessmen thousands of dollars.™
While I believe they try to give honest informa­
tion, they haven !t the facilities to make exhaustive
tests in all lines and I feel that a great deal of
what they pass on to the consumer is not founded on
sufficient fact.^5
12 Ibid.. p. 155.
” Fred DeArmond, "Consumer Clans Are Gathering,"
Nation *s Business» 26:44, January, 1958.
"Guinea Pigs* Friends," Time, 32:45, September 26,
1938.
^ "Buying Problems in Forefront at Clubwomen*s Meet,”
Advertising Age, 11:22:2, May 27, 1940, from a speech before
the 49th annual meeting of the General Federation of Women *s
Clubs, by Donald M. Nelson, Vice-president, Sears, Roebuck,
and Conpany.
51
These analysts of consumer service organizat ions
of advertising costs versus the cost of ingredients
always give* me a pain in the neck, because they always
leave out the great service which is the principal
thing the consumer buys.^
Organizations Issuing "Seals of Approval."
Among those
organizations and groups most heavily criticized by those who
count themselves as being "with" the consumer movement are
institutions and publications which issue "seals of approval"
to products which have, presumably, passed certain tests and
met-certain standards.
Citing the "seals of approval" of Good
Housekeeping and American Medical Association Journal. con­
sumer groups have alleged that the award of seals of approval
is in part contingent upon willingness to buy advertising
space.To
a very limited extent, this stand is substantiated
by the complaint issued by the Federal Trade Commission against
Hearst Publications (Good Housekeeping) in August, 1939, charg­
ing Good Housekeeping with "mis-leading and deceptive acts and
practices in the issuance of guarantees, Seals of Approval,
and the publication in advertising pages of grossly exaggerated
and false claims for products advertised therein.
-1-6 "Get Advertising Off Defensive, Speakers Insist,"
Advertising A g e , 11:27*26, July 1, 1940, quoted from a speech by
Richard H. Grant, Vice-president, General Motors Corporation, to
the annual convention of the Advertising Federation of America.
n "The Consumer Movement," (editorial), Business W e e k ,
503:49, April 22, 195918 "What Is False Advertising?" Business Week, 538:24,
December 23, 1939. See also: Frank Jellinick, "Dies, Hearst,
and the Consumer," New Republic. 102:10, January 1, 1940; ffAdvertising!s Month." Advertising and Selling, 32:2, Sept., 1939.
52
Miscellaneous groups and organizations crit icized .
During the past few years a multitude of consumer groups and
organizations has arisen in the United States.
Though less
prominent than those selected for treatment in this study,
they have been no less deserving of criticism..
Many of these
organizations have been little criticized; some have been
heavily criticized;
19
some have been driven out of operation
by the pressure of criticism and legal action.
?o
However,
the criticisms included in this chapter, which have been
sounded against the most important consumer groups and organi­
zations, are apparently fully representative of the run of
criticism which has been directed toward a multitude of less
important consumer enterprises.
II.
CRITICISMS OP COUNTER-MOVEMENTS
A criticism often heard from those in the consumer
movement is that many nominally-independent consumer organi­
zations are actually "kept” or "company” organizations.
In
this chapter, such charges against Consumer*s Foundation,
Institute of Standards, and the consumer activities of Good
^
"Consumer Interests and the New York World's Pair,”
Journal of Home Economics, 3 1 :322-3> May, 1939; "Consumer
Groups," Nation, 148:204, February 18, 1939*
20 "What About the Consumer Movement?"
A g e , 11:1:4, January 8, 1940.
Advertising
53
Housekeeping and American Medical Association Journal have
been cited.
In editorial comment, Advertising and Selling
quoted John M. Cassels of the Institute for Consumer Education
at Stephens College, and now a member of the Advisory Commis­
sion, Council of National Defense:
It is this kind of activity by particular groups
L"kept" consumer organizations] which, more than
anything else, stands in the way of establishment
of right relations between business and consumer
education.^'*In the opinion of Cassels, such counter-movements are in the
long run likely to cause greater problems for business and
the consumer movement than "an open and bitter hostility which
seeks to crush the consumer movement out of existence.
Other consumer leaders allege that most publicized criticisms
of consumer education may be attributed to insurance, adver­
tising, and business interests, who are engaged in all-out
2‘3
efforts to spike the competition of consumer organizations. ^
Blanket denials of any intent on the part of business
to sabotage the consumer movement, as such, have been forthcom­
ing from business.
A competent spokesman, Mrs. Richardson, in
charge of consumer activities for Crowell-Collier Publishing
^ "Coping with the Consumer Movement," (editorial)
Advert is ing and Selling. 32:8, July, 1939*
22 Ibid.
^3 George H. Tichenor,
103•28-5 I* January, 19^0.
"War on Consumers," Forum.
Company, has stated:
The charge Cthat industry, manufacturing, and
advertising have combined to liquidate the consumer
movement} is heard most frequently at conventions
of lay women and teachers. Yet for the past five
years, both manufacturer and advertiser have devoted
time, energy, and money to the task of analyzing the
consumer movement, to analyzing its complaints and
demands. . . . No voice has been raised against the .
legitimate consumer movement or its l e a d e r s . 24
^ Anna Steese Richardson, "Who Is.Fighting the
Consumer Movement?” Advert is ing and Selling.
October
1940.
CHAPTER V I I
CRITICISMS OP CONSUMER EDUCATION
IN THE SCHOOL
Throughout the depression years of the past decade,'
increasing economic pressures have had telling effect upon
traditional school curricula.
Among the results were a speed­
ing up of the adoption of consumer courses and the inclusion
of much material of consumer significance in social studies
and home economics courses.
These results have, in turn,
created new problems and economic pressures.
Various business
and professional interests have felt or anticipated ill effects
from such consumer education.
New problems in administration
and teaching have fallen to the educator.
It is the purpose of this chapter to set forth repre­
sentative criticisms of consumer education in the school.
First will be presented the criticisms from those in education,
and second, the criticisms of those outside the school.
I.
CRITICISMS FROM THOSE IN EDUCATION
The unanticipated rise of the consumer movement during
depression years found curricula and educators alike without
suitable backgrounds for the teaching of consumer information
and skills.
Further, the educational philosophy of many
educators was in transition.
Ten years earlier, perhaps,
TABLE VII
CRITICISMS OF CONSUMER EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS
-u
tvt
Criticisms of Consumer Education
in Schools
1.
.p
Per
cent of
Number of
Criticisms of
Critical consumer Education
References
eto_
„
„
.
Per cent of
„
Criticisms
At present consumer education in
the schools is so ineffectually
taught--even in the few schools in
which it is attempted--that it has
negligible effect on business and
business practices
2
.021
.005
Consumer courses often picture con­
flict between the interests of the
producer and the consumer--in
reality the real interests of the
consumer and the producer are almost
identical
7
.075
.016
5
.054
.011
Teachers of consumer courses are
very inadequately trained in their
field
7
.075
.016
No really worthwhile methods and
procedures have been found for
teaching consumer courses
3
.032
.007
As a group, teachers of consumer
courses are biased against business
8
.086
.018
As a group, teachers are biased
against business
4
.043
.009
8. Attacks against business and adver­
tising would have died of their own
weight but for the propaganda which
is being spread by school textbooks
7
.075
.016
Consumer courses have as their commnn
denominator the inculcation.of con­
firmed skepticism about advertising
11
.118
.025
Books used in consumer courses are
often sensational rather than factual 12 .
.129
.027
2.
3 . Business education in the schools
should continue to be devoted almost
entirely to the skills and economics
of production--with only incidental
teaching of the economics of consump­
tion
4.
5.
6.
7.
9.
10.
11.
12.
Courses, books, and materials written
for consumers frequently employ the
same sensational and unscientific de­
vices for which they condemn business
and advertising
Materials and books distributed or
recommended to consumers by business
organizations--sometimes used in
schools--often contain sales or gen­
eral business propaganda
5
.054
.011
v*
6
.064
.014
13. Because of the technical difficulties
involved, schools should attempt only
such product analysis and testing as
may be well within the limits of their
facilities and the teachers' abilities 4
.043
.009
3
.032
.007
9
.097
.020
1.000
.211
14.
Because of the technical nature of
product analysis and testing, nothing
of this sort should be attempted in
the school, high school, college, or
university
15. Consumer courses in high school and
college are often used as a means of
teaching subversive doctrines, such
as communism
TOTALS
93
57
consumer courses would have been established, departments set
up, and consumer education neatly departmentalized.
this was the answer,
I
p s o
Though
facto, in some schools, the trend
toward integration and fusion of subject matter irrespective
of traditional subject-matter areas had begun.
The door was
open for established courses to seize and incorporate into
their spheres various phases and aspects of consumer education.
Unfortunately, this was often done without planning and co­
ordination.
In many schools, fundamentals of consumer educa­
tion have been overlooked because attention has been focused
upon sub-topics dealt out to individual teachers and subjects.
Surveys found a total of seventy-one different kinds
of consumer courses being offered in 1938-39^
They were
mainly offered under the title of home economics, but a num­
ber were listed under "commercial” and "economics” titles.^
Consumer courses lack common objectives .
The hit-and-
miss character of the consumer programs of most schools has
been recognized by a number of authorities.
Cline holds that,
even while applying themselves to "consumer” education, most
educators remain "producer” minded; he points out the need
^ Editorial staff, "The Consumer Movement," Business
Week, 5 0 3 5 ^ 7 , April 22, 19392
L o c . clt.
See also:
"What About the Consumer Movement,"
Advertising A g e . 11:1:5', January 8 , 19^0.
58
to orient and correlate much educational procedure around the
broad implications of "consumer” education.-^
Lomax recommends
a national study of consumer business education to determine
what objectives it seeks and where it has fallen short of such
4
objectives as appear to be dominant.
Blackstone has advanced
a plan which makes definite provision for consumer business
education, economic citizenship, and vocational education for
every student.
Expressly or by implication, each of these
authorities is critical of the status of consumer education
which leaves its segments and individual courses without com­
mon objectives toward which to move.
Consumer courses handicapped by wide diversity in
standards and methods.
Despite general lip service paid to
the cause of consumer education, stated Lomax, to date no
effective means of promoting this kind of training has been
evolved.
Though perhaps this statement is not so true today
as it was in 1937* this conclusion stands as a fair criticism
of present-day methods and procedures in consumer courses.
Study and search for suitable techniques for developing
^ E. C. Cline, "Consumer Education," School Review,
47:497-500, September, 1939^ Paul S. Lomax, "A National Study of Consumer Business
Education," Education, 58:219-24, December, 19375 E. G. Blackstone, "Remodeling Your Commercial Depart­
ment," School Review, 47:17”23> January, 1939^ Lomax, op., cit. , p. 219*
59
"economic efficiency" in Metropolitan Hew York secondary
students, ended in a determination to "proceed experimentally"
until satisfactory methods and procedures could be developed.7
At the college level, Gordon found consumer courses
"handicapped by lack of materials, organization, and exchange
tiR
of ideas between schools, ° while survey of 196 high schools
in California showed that, despite rapid expansion of interest
in and attempts at consumer courses, no accepted standards or
methods of teaching consumer courses had d e v e l o p e d . 9
Such criticisms from those closest to its problems
indicate that consumer education in the school remains in its
infancy.
Study and experiment must produce a body of trained
teachers, adequate methods and techniques for instruction,
and a large body of material, before consumer education in
the school can begin to realize its potentialities.
II.
CRITICISMS FROM THOSE OUTSIDE EDUCATION
Consumer courses mis-directed.
From the standpoint of
many business and professional interests, the whole philosophy
of "consumer" education is mis-directed.
It has been the
7 "Suggest Two-Year 1Consumer Course* in N.Y. Schools,"
Advertising Age, 11:24:1, June 10, 1940.
® Leland J. Gordon, f,A College Course in Economics for
Consumers," School and Society. 5 0 :6 3 0 -3 , November 11, 19599 John B. Thomas,
46:191-5. March, 1938.
"Consumer Buying," School Review,
60
contention of some that the American economic system is based
upon wholehearted emphasis upon production, and that any move­
ment which might have as a result the undermining of this
emphasis will react disastrously on the American way of life.
Thus, a resolution adopted by the Advertising Federation of
America is cited by DeArmond:
That because of their obligation ’to sustain at
full tide the flow of goods from producer to consumer,*
advertisers are justified in employing any appeal,
within the limits of honestynand decency, that will
sell goods at minimum cost.
Others have deplored the growth of "consumer1’ education
on the grounds that such education is based on "an imaginary
conflict between the producer and the consumer. " H
In the
opinion of such critics, economic processes should be studied
in their entirety rather than from the standpoint of the con­
sumer.
Others do not find fault with consumer education, as
such, but endeavor to revel its mis-direction.
"There is
undoubtedly a need for consumer education," stated one critic,
"but it is subordinate to the need for education in economic
sc ience.
1® Fred DeArmond, "Consumer Consciousness," Nation1s
Business, 2729*36, September, 1939*
H "Modern Teachings ‘Slightly Red,* Rose Charges,"
Advertising A g e . 11:16:25, April 15, 19^0.
12 DeArmond, op., cit. , p. 3 6 /
61
Classroom experimentation unwise.
Among the phases of
consumer education in the school receiving pointed criticism
has been classroom experimentation.
Considerable logic has
been mustered in pointing out the dangers of ”a little
knowledge.”
Not only may amateurs misinform themselves, but
inadequate ”testing” of products in the classroom may result
in analyses which are unfair to the products and to those
who manufacture and sell them.
Very naturally, this has
aroused the antagonism of those who feel that their interests
may be adversely affected.^
Advertising interests have long been sensitive to
classroom experimentation, especially when the results of
product testing are compared to advertising claims.
The
following may be taken as a statement fairly typical of the
attitude of the more critical group in advertising.
Some of these courses-- particularly in colleges-are of a highly technical nature, but all of them
have as their common denominator the inculcation of
a confirmed skepticism about advertising--thanks to
. . . amateur experimentation with product testing
in the classroom.!^-
’’Get Advertising Off Defensive, Speakers Insist,”
Advertising A g e , 11:27226, July 1, 19^0.
’’Guinea Pigs* Friends,” Time. 32:13
> September 26,
1938.
I**' Editorial staff, ’’The Consumer Movement,” Business
Week, 503:^7, April 22, 1939.
62
Instruction and materials biased.
I have heard some businessmen express a critical
view of consumer education because they claim that
teachers are not objective and that many of them are
special pleaders.
I do not have facts to justify
this;; viewpoint on the part of business but it is
entirely possible for the teacher to give both sides
of a question in such a manner as to make one side
appear true and the other false.^5
Thus has Dameron set forth the significant elements of
the controversy around the teaching of consumer education in
the schools.
Only occasionally is the charge directly made that
teachers of consumer courses are inadequately trained (though
this probably cannot be denied) and that these teachers have
predilections against business; such allegations, however, are
implicit in many criticisms of consumer education in the
school.
For example, much criticism in recent years has been
directed at texts used in consumer courses.
Typical is one
advertising m a n fs statement:
If you don't know what is being taught these days
under the guise of consumer education, you have a
rude awakening in store for you.
freferring to textbooks written by Harold Rugg of
Columbia UniversityJ We d o n ft want totalitarianism
-^5 Dameron, Kenneth, ’’Business Attitudes toward Con­
sumer Education.” Reprinted .for private circulation from
Business Education for What?, edited by Arthur W. Kbrnhauser,
Proceedings of the Seventh University of Chicago Conference
on Business Education, 19^0.” (The University of Chicago
Press, 19^1)
63
in this country, but that is what this type of book
is leading to.l6
Less antagonistic business and advertising men have
gone only so far as to point out that books often used in
consumer courses are guilty of the same unscientific and
sensational devices for which business and advertising are.
frequently blamed.
. . . One Hundred Million Guinea Pigs., Forty
Million Guinea Fig Children. Skin D e e p , and Partners
in Plunder. How much circulation do you suppose these
popular books would have had if they had been given
conservative titles and been written in factual
language
All of them consumer courses have as their common
denominator the inculcation of confirmed skepticism
about advert ising--thanks to required reading of the
’guinea p i g 1 books .1 ^
The Advertising Federation of America has taken several
steps to keep "dangerous,f materials and methods out of consumer
courses.
Committees responsible for scrutinizing books of
schools and libraries were appointed early in 1 9 4 0 .1^
■I Z T
Other
||
Carson Tears into ’Career 1 Consumer, Subversive
Books," Advertising A g e , 11:43*4, October 21, 1940.
(Statement
made by J. 0. Carson, advertising department, H. J. Heinz Com­
pany, before W o m e n ’s Advertising Club of Chicago.
Robinson, Irwin, "Consumer Problem Monopolizes
Attention at A d m e n ’s Meetings," Advertising A g e , 11:21:2,
May 20, 1940.
(Address by Raymond Rubicam, Chairman of the
Board, Young and Rubicam, before the 1940 Business-Consumer
Relations Conference.)
18 "The Consumer Movement," Business W e e k . 503*47*
April 22, 193919’George H. Tichenor, "War on Consumers," Forum,
103 228-31* January, 1940; "Tenth District to Carry Fight to
Antagonists," Advertising A g e , 11:44*33* October 28, 1940.
64
such
groups have kept pace by authorizing members and
committees to make regular checks on work relative to advertising in the schools.
20
Such activities and attitudes are not only criticisms
of the particular books and methods condemned, but must,
n ecessar%, be criticisms of the instructors who employ the
materials and teaching devices criticized.
Educators,
though frankly admitting the shortcomings of the present
consumer offerings, insist that recriminations and witch­
hunts agitated by business men represent as serious a
’negative” attitude as may be laid at the door of mis-led
instructors of consumer courses.
Fortunately, the cooperative and constructive atti­
tudes of such periodicals as
Printers 1 Ink and Advert ising
A g e . and the literal scientific approach of the Committee on
Consumer Relations in Advertising, sponsored by the Associated
Advertising Agencies of America, are thought by many educators
and business men to herald a new day of joint understanding
and problem-solving effort on the part of both business and
school for consumer education in the schools.
”p a c a Considers 7~Point Move on Consumer Front,”
Advertising A g e . 11:4^232, October 21, 1940.
CHAPTER VIII
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
I.
SUMMARY
Opinions on controversial issues of consumer education
appearing in periodical literature have been, for the most
part, general statements.
As a rule these statements have
been'loosely worded and have employed vague terminology.
However, a minority of opinions have been specific and have
borne directly on definite issues.
Criticisms of consumer leaders.
The bulk of critical
opinion on consumer leaders has been levelled against them
as a group, rather than as individuals.
Outstanding leaders,
however, have been singled out for criticism.
Thirty-five
statements, approximately 49 per cent of the critical refer­
ences collected, alleged that consumer leaders were intent
upon changing, fundamentally, the American economic system.
Such statements ranged from allegations that consumer leaders
want to accomplish "social and economic reforms" to accusa­
tions of "communism."
The balance of the criticisms (thirty^six in number,
an approximate 5 1 per cent) were that consumer leaders were
prompted only by selfish motives, finding in the consumer move­
ment a means of furthering their own economic, political, or
social advancement.
These latter statements were applied to
66
TABLE V I I I
SUMMARY OP CRITICISMS OP CONSUMER EDUCATION
Clas s ifIcat ions
1.
2.
3*
4.
5•
6.
Number of
Critical
References
Per cent of
all
Crit ic isms
Criticisms of consumer
leaders
71
.161
Criticisms of consumer
“movement”
62
.140
Criticisms of grade
labelling and product
standardizat ion
53
.120
Criticisms of increased
support of consumer
objectives by government
42
.096
Criticisms of consumer
groups and organizations
12 0
.272
93
.211
441
1 .0 00
Criticisms of consumer
education in schools
TOTALS
67
both men and women engaged in consumer education, though
only women were said to seek social advancement through con­
sumer activities.
Criticisms of the aims of the consumer "movement. "
By far the greatest percentage of the criticisms collected in
this study was levelled at the aims of consumer education.
One hundred fifty-seven criticisms, 3 5 * 6 per cent of all
criticisms collected, were found to apply to the aims of con­
sumer education.
Sixty-two criticisms, 1^ per cent of the
total number of critical references, were general charges
brought against a miscellany of "aims," alleged to the con­
sumer "movement."
Fifty-three criticisms, 12 per cent of the
total number of critical references, were brought against the
consumer objectives of graded labelling and standardization
of products.
Forty-two criticisms, 9*6 per cent of the total
number of critical references, were brought against the con­
sumer aim for increased support of consumer objectives by
government.
Criticisms of the aims of the consumer "movement"
were found to fall into two categories.
Approximately three-
fourths of such criticisms were allegations branding consumer
activity in general as being "dangerous" to business and the
consumer,
"fifth column," "subversive," and serving the ends
of recalcitrant pressure groups.
On the other hand, the
68
remaining one-fourth of such criticisms, charged the "move­
ment" with being "uncoordinated," at odds with itself, and
engaged in "contradictoryff activities.
That consumer education in the United States is not
a unified movement may be readily discerned by even a casual
student.
It follows, therefore, that charges that consumer
education is disorganized and its various segments do not
work toward like objectives, are largely true; but, by the
same logic, it must be acknowledged that the large number of
criticisms brought categorically against the consumer "move­
ment" can, at best, be applied only to groups or segments of
the sum and total of consumer education.
Those advancing the
latter criticisms can hardly be said to be acquainted with the
entire consumer "movement.w
The term consumer "movement" is,
in fact, a misnomer.
In connection with the charges of subversive activities
on the part of consumer education, it is interesting to note
that, as shown in Chapter V of this study, leading business and
advertising men, as well as outstanding business and advertis­
ing journals, are among those who indict critics of consumer
education for vituperative attitudes and "red-baiting."
Criticisms of consumer educationfs aim to secure in­
creased support from government arise largely from those with
business interests which, some believe, would be injured by
increased government aid to the consumer.
The criticisms of
69
such people may be summarized as follows :
that government
support for consumer objectives would indicate a suspicious
and anti-business attitude on the part of government, and
would over“balance the American economic structure in favor
of mass-consumer control of business— and socialism.
To
those who see both present“day consumer education and presentday government as their enemies, a combination of the two
seems deadly.
Criticisms of grade labelling and product standardiza­
tion can be readily understood from the viewpoint of many
business and advertising men to whom such steps would mean,
inevitably, further government control of business.
However,
not only do businessmen point out that great government ex­
pense and control of industry would be necessitated‘by grade
labelling and product standardization, but criticism is also
heaped upon the "inadequacies" of such efforts and the "con­
fusion” to be foisted upon the "yielding consumer" who p e r ­
mits either government or private enterprise to be coerced
into these moves by "minority consumer groups.
Criticisms of consumer groups and organizations.
Criticisms of consumer groups and organizations compose an
approximate twenty-seven per cent ( 1 2 0 criticisms) of all
those collected in the study.
These criticisms are, in
general, the most vituperative appearing in the periodicals
701
searched.
Further, the counter-charges from those con­
cerned with consumer groups and organizations were found to
be equally as charged with vituperation.
This situation may be explained by the fact that con­
servative and company-kept consumer organizations and the
aggressive and allegedly-radical organizations are at cross
purposes, both as to some of their objectives and the pro­
cedures which they follow in working toward their objectives.
A clouding of the real differences between consumer organiza­
tions and their critics has resulted from widespread confusion
as to which organizations are really pro-consumer and which
organizations are serving the purposes of radicals, or the
purposes of anti-consumer interests bent upon sabotaging
consumer education by ’’Trojan horse tactics.”
Consumers 1 Union and Consumers 1 Research, product test­
ing organizations, have been the most frequently criticized.
Critics aver that these rival organizations are ’’radical,” and
that, since their facilities for testing consumer products are
limited, they are little better than ’’rackets.”
A number of consumer organizations, both small and
large, have been frequently accused of being maintained only
to fight real consumer education.
Among these The Consumers 1
Foundation and the Institute of Standards have been named.
Organizations awarding ’’seals of approval” to products,
such as the Good Housekeeping Institute and the American
71
Medical Association Journal, have been charged with making
their awards in part contingent upon willingness to buy
advertising space.
Such organizations as the League of Women Shoppers
and the Consumers* League of New York are said to have made
only nominal study of consumer issues, and resorted to p r o ­
labor action after only a gesture toward a fair study of
labor disputes.
Even such conservative and reputable organizations as
the American Home Economics Association and the Better Business
Bureau are not above criticism.
The former has been charged
with taking certain attitudes "dangerous to advertising";
the latter, for subduing its consumer activities through
"fear of big business."
While it was not within the scope of this study to
evaluate criticisms of the leading consumer groups and organi­
zations named above, both charges and counter-charges, and
replies, have been set forth in considerable detail.
Criticisms of consumer education in the school.
Criti­
cisms of consumer education in the school have come both from
within the school and from those on the outside.
Educators who may speak authoritatively on matters of
consumer education point out that the many kinds of courses
offering "consumer education" are at great variance, in
72
objectives, standards, and methods.
Studies and plans are
proposed by such experts, but few of these are being widely
attempted.
In view of the inadequacy of present consumer
curricula and methods, it is apparent that failure on the part
of education to move aggressively in the directions proposed
indicates that consumer education will remain for some time
in its infancy.
For, before consumer education in the school
can begin to realize its potentialities, study and experiment
must produce, for consumer education, a body of adequatelytrained teachers, new and proved methods and techniques for
instruction, and a large body of proved consumer-materials.
Critics from outside the school seldom protest against
consumer education in principle; but they often protest
vigorously against what they consider various aspects of its
"mis -direction . 11
Such "mis-direct ion” is often, and perhaps
fairly, attributed to teacher bias, or to inadequate teacher
training and the ineffectual methods, materials, and equipment
employed.
Specifically, it is charged that consumer courses make
students "consumer-minded.w
Such students, it is insisted, do
not grasp the fundamental inter-relationship of production
and consumption; they get a one-sided picture of the American
economic system, by studying it from the standpoint of the
consumer rather than in its entirety.
Various critics have
stated that, as concomitants of the methods employed in con­
sumer courses,
"confirmed skepticism about advertising,"
73
"anti-business attitudes," and bias toward "subversive d o c ­
trines" are engendered.
A small percentage of the criticisms dealt with
product analysis and testing in the classroom.
A few critics
have insisted that nothing of this sort should be attempted,
because of the inadequacy of present-day classroom instruction
and equipment.
Others held that only such analysis and testing
as was well within the limits of the teachervs abilities and
the classroom^ facilities should be attempted.
II.
1.
CONCLUSIONS
That, for the most part, critical references to
consumer education, as found in representative periodicals,
employ such general terms that they cannot be considered as
thoughtful, or studied, opinions.
2.
That, in the main, the published statements of
businessmen and business spokesmen, critical of consumer
education or some of its aspects, are excessively pungent,
rather than definitive and explicit.
3.
That conclusions 1 and 2, above, indicate that,
in the main, critical opinion of consumer education appearing
in periodical literature has been prompted by a desire to
protect economic interests, rather than by objective
motives.
74
4.
That, in view of conclusions 1, 2, and 3 > above,
it is important to note than an outstanding minority of
advertising and business leaders and publications are dis­
tinguished by their objective treatment of controversial
issues of consumer education.
5-
That, in view of conclusion 4, above, leaders of
consumer groups and organizations should become increasingly
attentive to the suggestions and criticisms of these outstand­
ing leaders and journals.
6.
That, those directly connected with consumer
education in the schools have, to date, launched not even a
determined effort to bring consumer education in the schools
within any measurable distance of its potentialities.
7-
That, upon the findings of this study, subsequent
studies should be undertaken:
(l) to evaluate the criticisms
of consumer education which have been presented;
(2 ) to
evaluate current practices in consumer education in the light
of the criticisms which have been presented.
B I B L I O G R A P H Y
BIBLIOGRAPHY
A.
PERIODICALS
"Advertising's Month," Advertising and Selling, 32:2,
September, 1939( Advertising's Month is a column of
miscellaneous editorial comment appearing in each issue.
It is not on the editorial page.)
Blackstone, E. G., "Remodeling Your Commercial Department."
School Review* 47:17“23, January, 1939•
"Boston BBB Slaps Grade Tags Which Mix Up Consumers,"
Advertising A g e , 11:47:28, November 18, 1940.
"Bungled Red Expose," (editorial), Advertising and Selling,
3 3 :1 ;8, January, 1940.
"Business and Consumers," Business W e e k , 510:28, June 10, 1939Business Backs Consumer Testing," Business W e e k , 569:30”3 1 ,
July 27, 1940.
"Buying Problems in Forefront at Clubwomen's Meet,"
Advertising A g e . 11:22:2, May 27, 1940.
"Carson Tears into 'Career 1 Consumer, Subversive Books,"
Advertising A g e * 11:43:4, October 21, 1940.
Cline, E. C., "Consumer Education," School Review, 47:497-300,
September, 1939*
"Consumer Groups," Nation, 148:204, February 1 8 , 1939"Consumer Interests and the New York World's Fair," Journal
of Home Economics, 3 1 :322~3, May, 1939"Consumer Movement," Business W e e k , 503:40-52, April 22, 1939*
"Consumer Moves Not Subversive, Jewelers Told," Advert is ing
A g e , 11:36:5, September 2, 1940.
"Consumer-Retailer Relations Council," Journal of Home
Economics, 30:247~9, April, 1938.
"Consumer Rivalry," Business W e e k , 405 *16, June 5, 1937•
76
"Consumers 1 Foundation Under Way," Business W e e k , 456:20,
January 8 , 1938*
"Consumers Have Money," Business W e e k , 592:56-58, January 4,
1941.
"Consumers’ Red Network," Business W e e k , 537*17-18,
December 16, 1939.
"Consumers' Rights," (editorial), Advertising and Selling.
335:36, June, 1940.
"Coping with the Consumer Movement," (editorial),
Advert is ing and Selling. 52:8, July, 1939*
f,CR Attacks Plan for Institute of Standards," Advert is ing
A g e . 11:49:53* December 2, 1940.
Dana, Margaret, "Tomorrow They Buy," Parents' Magazine,
15:2:24, February, 1940.
DeArmond, Fred, "Consumer Consciousness," Nation’s Business.
27:9:36, September, 1939*
_______ , "Consumer Clans Are Gathering," Nation’s Business.
26:1:42-44, January, 1938.
"Dies vs. Consumers," Business W eek, 532:44, November 11,
1939.
"Difficulties in Grade Labelling Explained to Home Econ­
omists," Advertising A g e , 11:18:13, April 29, 194l.
"FTC Picayunish, Cullen Charges at Proprietors' Meet,"
Advertising A g e , 11:22:1, May 27, 1940.
"Get Advertising Off Defensive, Speakers Insist,"
Advertising A g e , 11:27:26, July 1, 1940.
Gordon, Leland J., "A College Course in Economics for Con­
sumers," School and Society, 5 0 :6 5 0 -5 , November 11, 1959*
"Grade Labels Not Accurate, BBB Study Indicates,"
Advertising A g e , 11:51:1* July 29, 1940.
"Guinea Pigs' Friends," Time, 52:15:45-5* September 26, 1958.
77
High, Stanley, "Guinea Pigs Left March," Forum, 102:153“57,
October, 1939- Same article, condensed, Readers 1 Digest.
3 5 :2 1 0 *1 -6 , October, 1939Jellinick, Frank, "Dies, Hearst and the Consumer," New
Republic, 102:10-13, January 1, 1940.
"Local Campaigns Held Best to Educate Consumer," Advertising
A g e , 11:20:29, May 13, 1940.
Lomax, Paul S.. "A National Study of Consumer Business
Educat ion, 1 Educat ion, 58:219-24, December, 1937*
"Modern Teachings 'Slightly Red,' Rose Charges," Advertising
Age, 11:16:25, April 15, 1940.
Montgomery, Donald E., "Consumers Under Way," Survey Graphic,
27 290-92, February, 1938.
_______ , "You Must Ask Questions," Journal of Home Econ­
omics , 30:688-91, December, 1938.
"PACA Considers 7~Point Move on Consumer Front," Advertising
A g e , 11:43:32, October 21, 1940.
Phillips, M. C., "is McCall's New Institute a Trojan Horse?"
Consumers' Digest, 8:6:17-21, December, 1940.
Reilly, J. W., "Arnold Philosophy Would Detract from Human
Happiness," Printers ' Ink. 195:4:81, April 25, 1941.
Richardson, Anna Steese, "What It Means to Be a Consumer,"
W o m a n 's Home Companion. 67:7:28, July, 1940.
_______ , "Who Is Fighting the Consumer Movement?" Advert is ing
and Selling. 33:38, October, 1940.
Robinson, Irwin, "Consumer Problem Monopolizes Attention
at Admen's Meeting," Advertising A g e , 11:21:1-3, May
2 0 , 1940.
_______ , "institute of Standards Set Up for Voluntary Test
of Goods," Advertising A g e , 11:31:1-2, July 29, 1940.
"Stop Defending Bad Advertising, Countant Advises," Adver­
tising A g e . 11:25:1, June 17, 1940.
Strassman, Ralph K., "Time to Fight," Printers ' Ink, 194:
5:32, January 31, 194l.
78
"Suggest Two-Year Consumer Course 1 in N.Y. Schools,"
Advertising A g e , 11:24:1, June 10, 1940.
"Tenth District to Carry Fight to Antagonists," Advertising
Age., 11:44:33, October 28, 1940.
"The Textbook Problem," (editorial), Advertising A g e . 11:
39:12, September 23, 1940.
Thomas, John B.,
March, 1938.
"Consumer Buying," School Review. 46:191_5,
Tichenor, George H., "War on Consumers," Forum. 103:28-31,
January, 1940.
Tryon, Ruth Wilson, "Case History of a Consumer," Journal
of Home Economics. 3 0 :8 2 8 -3 0 , November, 1938.
"Urges Caution in Consideration of Consumer Demands,"
Advertising Age. 11:13:4, May 25, 1941.
"What About the Consumer Movement?" Advert is ing A g e . 11:1:
1 -6 , January 8 , 1940.
"What Is False Advertising?" Business W e e k . 538:24, December
23, 1939.
Woodward, Helen, "Pocket Guide," Nation. 148:671, June 10,
1939, and 148:726-7, June 24, 1939(The "Pocket Guide"
was a series of weekly columns on consumer news which
ran in The Nat ion from October 15, 1938 to June 24, 1939•)
B.
PAMPHLETS AND BULLETINS
Agnew, P. G., An address made in panel discussion of the
topic, "Should Business Favor or Oppose Consumer Education?"
Report on the National Conference on Consumer Education,
Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri, Bulletin N o . ,1,
Los Angeles: Ward-Ritchie Press, 1939* 200 pp.
Dameron, Kenneth, "Business Attitudes toward Consumer Educa­
tion." Reprinted -for private circulation from Business
Education for What ? edited by Arthur W. Kbrnhauser,
"Proceedings of the Seventh University of Chicago Con­
ference on Business Education, 1940." Chicago: The
University of Chicago Press, 1941.
79
Filene, Edward A., The Consumer's Dollar, The John Day
Pamphlets, No. 4l. New York: The Stratford Press, 193^- •
C.
UNPUBLISHED MATERIALS
Davidson, Mildred L . , "Recent Trends in Business Education."
Unpublished Master's thesis, The University of Southern
California, Los Angeles, 1936.
133 P P •
Edgerton, Avis E., "Health Claims -in Advertising with
Specific Reference to the Beliefs of Certain Women Con­
sumers .” Unpublished Doctor's dissertation, New York
University, New York, 1938.
l 6 l pp.
Edgeworth, Clyde Baltzer, ,fA Community Survey of Opinion on
Consumer Education.” Unpublished Master's thesis, The
University of Maryland, College Park and Baltimore, 1939*
54 pp.
Smith, Alice L., "Consumer Emphasis in Business Education.”
Unpublished Master’s thesis, The University of Southern
California, Los Angeles, 1939*
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