Public opinion in the United States is sadly ill-disposed toward those noble souls who hew a living at the advertising agency coalface.

Indeed, Joe and Josephine Public have so little regard for adland's unsung heroes that they accord them only marginally greater respect than car salesmen - traditionally the dregs of the Gallup Organization's annual 'trust' survey.

According to this year's poll, a meager 10% of respondents rated the ethics of ad folk as "high" or "very high" - well below lawyers who (incredibly) scored 18%; while that eternal hate figure, car salesmen, scraped a derisory 9%.

Just over half the sample (51%) thought ad professionals' ethics were "average", while 35% rated them "low" or "very low "

Topping the poll, yet again, were nurses whose ethical standing scored 79%; while grade-school teachers (73%), pharmacists and military officers (72% each) joined them on the victory podium.

Dale Carnegie may be old-hat in such modish circles as Madison Avenue, but maybe a not-for-profit millionaire could sponsor the literary equivalent of a soup kitchen by distributing to needy adfolk a few thousand copies of the sage's perennial bestseller How to Win Friends and Influence People ?

Data sourced from AdAge (USA); additional content by WARC staff