Herbert S. Houston was an internationally famous editor and publisher of newspapers, magazines and syndicates. He was never an active advertising practitioner, but his interest in and work on behalf of advertising were unceasing. He was an active leader in organized advertising for 40 years.
An early and militant fighter for truth in advertising, he helped organize the first vigilance committee in New York to clean up the abuses in advertising. Later, he spearheaded the formation of the New York Better Business Bureau.
From 1915 to 1916 as president of the Associated Advertising Clubs of the World (AACW), he set up headquarters, a budget and a staff for the national vigilance committee. At the Berlin Convention in 1929, he headed the department of ethics and honesty in advertising. He traveled and spoke throughout the world on favorite subject: truth in advertising.
During the period from 1914 to 1915 as educational committee chairman of the AACW, he spearheaded the writing and publishing of a number of books on advertising. He was an active member of the U. S. Government Committee on Information in World War I and did much in the use of advertising to promote war causes.