14 MARCH 1958, Page 20

SIR,—Advertising has indeed a legitimate and useful function to serve

in free-enterprise economy. It Is open to doubt, though, whether Mr. Day's straining of advertising raison d'etre to justify operations of the present detergent and soap powders kind will help the public at large to believe so.

If Mr. Day's argument of the case of mass produc- tion is carried to its logical conclusion it is clear that housewives can best help themselves to cheaper soap powders and detergents by concentrating their buying in one direction—not by sanctioning or succumbing to the barrage of blandishments of '4d. off' and `brand images' which, in total, are calculated to keep them hopping from one product to another at their own expense. The housewife has nothing to gain by waiting for the costly battle of the soap giants to resolve which will eventually corner the market.

If the quality differences between products are marginal (as the housewife knows them to be) then the consumer would not be the loser on that score if there were fewer brands competing for her favour. It is not likely that she would suddenly lose her capacity to recognise an inferior product.—Yours faithfully,