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When freewheeling sports reporter Bruce Foster becomes drunk in a speakeasy and forgets to cover the Dempsey-Tunney boxing match, he is fired by Zimmer, his editor. Although drunk and jobless, Bruce is befriended by Peggy Wilson, an unemployed, homeless British artist, who escorts Bruce to his apartment and spends the night on his couch. The next day, after discussing the importance of nonpossessive love with Peggy, a sober Bruce begs Zimmer for his job back but is rejected. As solace, Bruce returns to the speakeasy and, while drinking, overhears two men, Perkins and Smith, discussing a toothpaste advertising campaign. Without effort, Bruce rattles off a series of clever slogans and so impresses Perkins, the head of a struggling advertising agency, that he is hired as a copywriter. Soon after Perkins has made Bruce his partner, however, he accuses the former reporter of manipulating the public with negative advertising and using fear tactics to sell products of dubious quality. The egotistical Bruce dismisses Perkins' charges and, as proof of his abilities, bets him that he can snag any client in the country. At random, Bruce chooses Adrienne Deane's cosmetics company as his target and sets out to win over the reclusive businesswomen. Although Peggy, who works in the company's art department, and he have pledged their undemanding love for each other, Bruce romances Adrienne and proposes to her in Bermuda. When Bruce tells Peggy about his engagement, she withdraws from him, heartbroken. After a short time, Bruce becomes despondent over Adrienne's growing possessiveness and realizes that he really loves Peggy. Bruce then confesses his feelings to Adrienne, who nobly frees him from his obligations. Before Bruce can propose to Peggy, however, he learns that Adrienne has committed suicide. Dispirited by the pain that he has caused, Peggy rejects Bruce and leaves for Paris to study art. Bruce then quits the agency, admitting his lack of ethics, and returns to drinking at the speakeasy. There Peggy eventually reunites with him and accepts his proposal.