reader and only after he has read beyond the summary comments above. What can be said, perhaps, is that, despite the contributors' differences of opinion, there are certain ideas on which most appear to agree. One is the need for a cost-benefit evaluation of any proposed regulatory standard. Another is the idea that this evaluation requires a consideration of the media through which advertising is disseminated and of the firm's overall marketing strategy. Statistical associations between advertising, on the one hand, and concentration or profitability, on the other, may be meaningful, but only insofar as they reveal the effects of advertising on consumer welfare.
Advertising is, by design at least, persuasion. Yet, as we know, it is also information. Whether and how market incentives operate to make advertising a socially cost-effective way of disseminating information is a question around which the writings that follow are directly or indirectly united.
The publication of this volume has been made possible by the patience and cooperation of several people, in particular, the authors and commentators, who responded generously to repeated demands on their time. Richard W. Barrett, William Breit, and Kenneth Elzinga served as session chairmen for the conference at which the papers and comments were originally presented. I am especially grateful to my research assistant, Elizabeth Griffith, and my secretary, Lynn Martin, for their assistance in preparing the volume for publication.