'Persuading the publick to part with money they do not have in exchange for goods or services they neither need nor require.'
Thus Dr Johnson's definition of advertising in his famous dictionary, published after much labour in 1755. Well not quite (although the word is there, differently defined), but I like to think it's the sort of thing he might have come up with had he witnessed the modern advertising industry in the full vigour of its operations. Rather than the deception and malevolent guile which we are accustomed to today, I prefer the rather blunter methods of an earlier age - this no-nonsense advertising gem aimed at the farming community appeared in the Buckinghamshire Herald of 16 December 1949, and made me smile:
Rats cannot resist RODINE
They eat it greedily and die!
All it needed was a picture of one of the brutes writhing in its death throes, but the editor of the Herald spared us that.