Our parents often told that “if you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.” Given the attack ads we’ve been subjected to during election years this year’s contests promise new lows in how the candidates will go after each other.

But should we follow their example with our company’s advertising? In the early days of TV, it was common practice not to mention the competitors by name. There was no law requiring this; it was simply a gentleman’s agreement among advertisers which fell by the wayside in the late 1960s and early 1970s. 

Today,  many companies use attack ads against the competition; should you? This short article from “Knowledge at Wharton” asks and answers the question “Are Attack Ads Effective?”

Maybe our parents were right.