Abstract

The vast amount of product information available to consumers through online search renders most advertising obsolete as a tool for conveying product information. Advertising remains useful to firms only as a tool for persuading consumers to purchase advertised products. In the mid-twentieth century, courts applying the antitrust laws held that such persuasive advertising is anticompetitive and harmful to consumers, but the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was unable to pursue an antitrust campaign against persuasive advertising for fear of depriving consumers of advertising’s information value. Now that the information function of most advertising is obsolete, the FTC should renew its campaign against persuasive advertising by treating all advertising beyond the minimum required to ensure that product information is available to online searchers as monopolization in violation of section 2 of the Sherman Act.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2018

Notes/Citation Information

Ramsi A. Woodcock, The Obsolescence of Advertising in the Information Age, 127 Yale L.J. 2270 (2018).

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.