It is sometimes argued that more advertising raises consumption which in turn stimulates output and so economic growth. We test this hypothe- sis using annual German data expressed in terms of GDP for the period 1950-2000. We find that advertising does not Granger-cause growth but Granger-causes consumption. Consumption, in turn, Granger-causes GDP growth. The data imply that the immediate impact of more advertising on consumption is positive. However, the long-run effect is negative. Further- more, the immediate impact of higher consumption on growth is negative. But the long-run effect is positive. These results raise interesting questions for standard theory, political debates and advertising practioners.