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January 30, 1960


JAMA. 1960;172(5):456. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020050048015

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THE TRADE of advertising is now so near perfection, that it is not easy to propose any improvement. But as every art ought to be exercised in due subordination to the public good, I cannot but propose it as a moral question to these masters of the public ear, whether they do not sometime play too wantonly with our passions." Thus wrote Samuel Johnson 250 years ago, according to his biographer, James Boswell.

A documented set of standards for acceptance of advertising in A. M. A. scientific periodicals has been compiled. It appears in this issue. The need for a carefully prepared and succinctly defined code needs little elaboration. Prior to 1955 a stamp of approval was required for each product advertised in A. M. A. scientific publications. The abandonment of the stamp of approval did not mean abandonment of critical review of advertising copy submitted; quite the contrary. Rigid

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