This chapter argues that the case for free speech coverage of commercial speech in general, and advertising in particular, is weak. The best argument derives from the interests of consumers in product information, coupled with the disinclination, in this area as in others, to exclude from coverage communications that convey a meaning. After considering the arguments for the coverage of commercial speech by freedom of expression, the chapter looks at some types of advertising regulation, focusing on the protection of advertising, the quintessential type of commercial speech. Tobacco advertising is also examined, along with whether commercial speech should be covered by free speech clauses; the public interest in the free flow of commercial information; and paternalism (the attempt to prevent consumers from buying drugs from low-cost, low-quality pharmacies in order to keep high-quality pharmacists in business).
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