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 When a State regulates commercial messages to protect consumers from misleading, deceptive, or aggressive sales practices, or requires the disclosure of beneficial consumer information, the purpose of its regulation is consistent with the reasons for according constitutional protection to commercial speech and therefore justifies less than strict review. However, when a State entirely prohibits the dissemination of truthful, nonmisleading commercial messages for reasons unrelated to the preservation of a fair bargaining process, there is far less reason to depart from the rigorous review that the First Amendment generally demands. Commercial speech cases have recognized the dangers that attend governmental attempts to single out certain messages for suppression. For example, in Linmark, 431 U. S., at 92-94, it concluded that a ban on 'For Sale' signs 'though 'commercial' speech is involved, was 'content based' and failed to leave open 'satisfactory' alternative channels of communication; see also Virginia Bd. of Pharmacy, 425 U. S., at 771. 


The First Amendment, as applied to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment, protects commercial speech from unwarranted governmental regulation. Virginia Pharmacy Board, 425 U.S. at 425 U. S. 761-762. Commercial expression not only serves the economic interest of the ...

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