Saturday, March 10, 2018

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 10

*March 10, 1913 – Governor Eberhart today signed the Nolan-Dwinnell bill, which prohibits fraudulent advertising in the state of Minnesota.

The governor had barely attached his signature to the measure, when copies of the law and letters of warnings from the vigilance committee of the Minnesota Advertising Forum, addressed to every advertiser in Minneapolis, were placed in the mails. It is the beginning of a statewide campaign to eliminate dishonest and deceptive advertising.

The vigilance committee is asking the cooperation of the public in its efforts to enforce the law, requesting that anyone who has evidence of dishonest advertising forward the details to the committee in care of the Civic and Commerce Association. This information is expected to contain the name of the advertiser, the publication in which the advertisement is inserted and should explain in detail just how and why the statements made were untrue, misleading or deceptive.

The new law primarily places the obligation on the advertiser for untrue statements, although the advertising agent can be held responsible in case of necessity.

The Minnesota law is being introduced in several state legislatures. The purpose is to make the law uniform across the country.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “Governor Signs a Bill to Bar Fake Advertising. Minneapolis Advertising Forum Enters Upon a State-Wide Campaign. New Law Places Obligation for Untrue Statements on the Advertiser.”; March 11, 1913; p. 1.

Many of the deceptive ads offered cures for ills that cannot be cured, such as colds, rheumatism and even cancer. Here are just a few examples:

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; March 11, 1910; p. 4.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; March 11, 1911; p. 2.

The Minneapolis Tribune; March 12, 1901; p. 5.

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