26 JANUARY 1962, Page 10

Sin,---Mr \ Copland's advice • to the consumer-1f you don't

like the advertising, don't bay, the goods' —doesn't work. I've been applying it for years with- out visible result. Nothing on earth would induce me to purchase a variety of •products, including Knight's Castille (I want a toilet soap, not a tender embrace), Payne's Poppets (a pity, this, as 1 used to like them, but the implication that Poppets are impregnated with some powerful aphrodisiac makes Me abjure them), and Daz (those women always pretend to be sur- prised when they tear the paper off--don't they ever watch telly?). On the other hand 1 get added pleasure out of buying things like Omo, and only wish I. had some excuse to patronise Kennomeat.

But this system of withholding custom from Obnoxious and maddening advertisers, and rewarding clever and amusing ones by buying their product, has not the slightest effect. This is due (and here 1 must point out another of Mr. Copland's consumer- flattering fallacies) to the fact' that nobody could possibly underestimate the intelligence of the admass. They must be undiscriminating to a frightening degree, otherwise thousands of shops and thousands of manufacturers who purvey the mountains of trash littering the homes ,of this country would have gone out of business long ago. The vast majority of people want things cheap and cheerful, or else costly and showy; quality, crafts- manship, design, nutrition, beauty, or any form of excellence is the last effective criterion •

It seems to me that only by feeding the sight and praise of the best into the-eyes and ears of the public for years and years,. day after day, while at the same time depriving it of the gimcrack rubbish it dotes on at present, will the general demand for quality ever be created.

The problem remains of who is to decide what 'the best' is, and how is shoddy muck to be got rid of, without the assumption of authoritarian powers more objectionable than the muck itself. But Mr. Gordon's admirable ideas seem tO me to give a ray of hope.

. LYNNE REID BANK'S 11 St. Gorge's Terrace, Primrose Hill. NW!