When radio programs first aired, advertising was considered taboo. Many people worried that any advertising would take away from the content of the program. It was compared to advertising in church or in a concert, i.e. a sermon interrupted by an advertisement, or having Beethoven's 9th Symphony interrupted half way through by a series of ads. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover said, "It is inconceivable that we should allow so great a possibility for service...to be drowned in advertising chatter." With the rise of brand name products in the late 1920's, advertisement started to become a familiar process by many big companies. By the late 1920s to early 1930s, radio was becoming a vehicle towards which advertisers flocked.
If a show acquired a sponsor, which many did, the sponsor took precedent over the show. The advertising company would hire the director and writers in order to have complete control over the scripts. Sponsors wanted to find shows that were popular across the nation in order to reach as many people as possible with their product. The "episode" shows were the most popular and drew the most corporate sponsorship. Some corporations, such as DuPont, wanted to advertise more than a product. DuPont wanted to clean up the image they had acquired from their increased profits during World War I. Their wartime profit was $238 million from supplying the US Army and the information was released in a Senate's report. Many people thought it was un-American to make money during a war in which so many Americans lost their lives. Through the ad agency Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborne, DuPont aired The Cavalcade of America with the superimposed image of a company concerned with "better things for better living".
There were specific boundaries for the scripts that included:
By using these perimeters and portraying the "American Hero", DuPont portrayed the image of a corporation that was not out to make money, but to make "better things for better living through Chemistry"!