Advertising and the World Wide Web

Article excerpt

Advertising and the World Wide Web. David W. Schumann and Esther Thorson, eds. Mahwah, NJ & London, UK: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 1999.317 pp. $59.95 hbk.

The content of many textbooks on Internet advertising often consists of basic HTML markup tags and musings over the future of a brand new company called Amazon.com. A refreshing addition to current textbook offerings is Advertising and the World Wide Web, which avoids any discussion of the former and provides only minimal discussion of the latter. Instead, both theoretical issues and practical applications of the Web as an advertising medium are addressed in this volume.

David M. Schumann and Esther Thorson have edited a collection of papers that examine historical, legal, and theoretical foundations of Web advertising and investigate the effectiveness of the new medium from both an academic and practitioner perspective. Enduring issues such as privacy, persuasion, and salesmanship are addressed in light of the new communication context.

Concepts of interactivity and discussions of how interactivity changes the way we communicate are highlighted throughout the volume. The ability to create an interactive communication environment is perhaps the predominant difference between the Internet and traditional media, and the area where both students and practitioners both grapple with technique and application. Additionally, the book provides a strong link between traditional mass media and the Web through studies that incorporate traditional theories such as diffusion theory and parasocial interaction. These types of studies suggest that researchers need not "reinvent the wheel" when examining the Internet. …