The Birth of Advertising and
A summertime stroll down the street in a certain seaside resort on the Mediterranean was an excursion into unfettered commerce. Fresh produce, fine textiles and clothing, and manufactured goods from far and near were laid out to catch the eye of passersby, often with wares or signs hanging above a shopkeeper's stall to attract the most attention. Shoppers got an eyeful of the latest brand names and slogans. “One hundred percent pure,” promised the maker of one fish sauce, a specialty of the region. “Quality strained sauce” was the answer from another brand. Off the street, signs for establishments such as restaurants and sports arenas used striking images and famous personalities to draw in foot traffic. One spa boasted that it was “good enough for Venus,” while a tavern reminded sports fans that it was conveniently located on the way back from the stadium.
As the vacationer or local stroller continued down the street, sales pitches would reach the ear as well as the eye. The schedule for the day's races, the luxuriousness of the fabrics available at the corner stall, the number of comfortable beds at the local hotel—all were announced by hired orators, poets, and musicians. As it was nearly time for local elections in the city, political messages would have mingled with the commercial ones. “All the “city's” fruit sellers … urge you to