From the time Earle Pearson joined the Advertising Federation of America (AFA) in 1921 until his death in 1950, he gave his skill in organization and management to the development of advertising and to the furtherance of its objectives.
He entered wholeheartedly into the spirit of the crusade for truth in advertising and contributed much to its success and effectiveness.
He was named general manager of the AFA in 1926 and under his direction, the second phase of the federation’s campaign was initiated, namely, "The Truth About Advertising."
This phase of the campaign was a public-relations program aimed at creating a greater confidence and believability in advertising and educating the public about its functions and values. It is estimated that this program reached some 70 million people annually.
Pearson’s organizational abilities were further evinced by his creative work with the advertising clubs of the nation and the manner in which he helped to organize new clubs. He also assisted established clubs in their programs for the betterment of advertising.
It was due to the efforts of Pearson, more than those of any other, that the federation itself was kept alive and functioning during the difficult years of the depression and World War II.
In 1934 Pearson was honored with a medal from his alma mater, the University of Missouri, for distinguished service to journalism and advertising.
The citation accompanying the award read, "In recognition of distinguished service and achievement in managing the problems of organized advertising in its campaign for truth and effectiveness in the use of advertising, and for his exceptional skills, ability and diplomacy in bringing about higher standards of practice and closer cooperation among the competitive forms of advertising in furthering improved conditions in the field, and in strengthening public confidence in its use."