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This is the first year I noticed the verbal boilerplate at the end of US political commercials states:

Group X is responsible for the content of this advertising.

compared to what I recall (and prefer) from previous years,

Group X is responsible for the content of this advertisement.

I understand advertisements to be the end result of advertising (supported here) - and my second example feels/sounds more right to me than the first.

However, I also found a number of definitions similar to the second definition on dictionary.com: paid announcements; advertisements suggesting the two words are completely interchangeable.

Is this a result of some crusade in the advertising business to change terminology, a result of the plurality of the times the advertisement is run, or am I just being overly picky and I need to get over my distinct preference for advertisement?

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They are interchangeable. Both are used as nouns. If there's any distinction between the two, it's that advertising (in this case) is a mass noun, but I don't think that has any effect on the legal side (IANAL). In both sentences, it is this ad. An advertising campaign may have multiple advertisements, but this draws attention to a particular ad, not necessarily the ad campaign as a whole. –  Zairja Nov 5 '12 at 18:06
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@Zairja, good points. I believe my preference (and frustration) stems from the use of the mass noun when speaking of this ad. While advertising can also be a verb, advertisement is always a noun - a simpler, clearer use, IMO. –  rand0m1 Nov 5 '12 at 18:36

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I believe that in this instance, "advertising" is still valid because while your seeing/listening to their (often ridiculous & outright false) advertisement, they're still responsible for the advertising that the given advertisement is a part of.

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Thanks - I agree it's valid. I just think it's the less clear choice and was hoping I'd get either some validation for my perspective or evidence to counter it. –  rand0m1 Nov 5 '12 at 20:25
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I think it's really a matter of opinion. Although, I prefer the "this advertisement" variation as well; it's more specific. Is it any surprise that politicians have been opting for the more ambiguous wording though? :-P –  Alexander Nov 5 '12 at 20:44

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