Joseph Sugarman is a beloved advertiser. He was a leader in mail order and direct marketing in the 1970s and 1980s. You may remember his ads for microelectronics and “BluBlocker” sunglasses. These were text-heavy ads, imbued with dreamy optimism of an improved life through gadgetry. They are a delight to read and Sugarman’s style is widely copied (One read: “This is the story of an incredible product. So incredible that we know of no future consumer product that will have such a far reaching technological impact on society.”) The closest contemporary example of Sugarman-style copy is the Skymall catalog.
In 1979, the FTC’s Chicago Regional Office investigated Sugarman’s JS&A Group, Inc. for potential violations of the mail order rule. Sugarman felt greatly mistreated by the FTC investigation and went on the offensive. He took out ads lambasting the FTC in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times.