Advertising History


advertising, in general, any openly sponsored offering of goods, services, or ideas through any medium of public communication. At its inception advertising was merely an announcement; for example, entrepreneurs in ancient Egypt used criers to announce ship and cargo arrivals. The invention of printing, however, may be said to have ushered in modern advertising. After the influence of salesmanship began to insert itself into public notice in the 18th cent., the present elaborate form of advertising began to evolve. The advertising agency, working on a commission basis, has been chiefly responsible for this evolution. The largest group of advertisers are the food marketers, followed by marketers of drugs and cosmetics, soaps, automobiles, tobacco, appliances, and oil products. The major U.S. advertising media are newspapers, magazines, television and radio, business publications, billboards, and circulars sent through the mail. With the advent of the wide availability of electronic mail and access to the World Wide Web in the 1990s, the Internet has also become an important advertising venue. Since many large advertising agencies were once located on Madison Avenue in New York City, the term "Madison Avenue" is frequently used to symbolize the advertising business. The major criticisms of advertising are that it creates false values and impels people to buy things they neither need nor want and that, in fact, may be actually harmful (such as cigarettes). In reply, its defenders say that advertising is meant to sell products, not create values; that it can create a new market for products that fill a genuine, though latent, need; and that it furthers product improvement through free competition. The Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies, both founded in 1917, are the major associations.

See M. Mayer, Madison Avenue, U.S.A. (1958); R. Glatzer, The New Advertising (1970); R. Hovland and G. Wilcox, ed., Advertising in Society (1988); W. Wells et al., Advertising: Principles & Practice (4th ed. 1998); J. B. Twitchell, Adcult, USA (1995) and 20 Ads That Shook the World: The Century's Most Groundbreaking Advertising and How It Changed Us All (2000).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Advertising History: Selected full-text books and articles

Sold American: Consumption and Citizenship, 1890-1945 By Charles F. McGovern University of North Carolina Press, 2006
Librarian’s tip: Part I "Advertisers"
The Changing Consumer: Markets and Meanings By Steven Miles; Alison Anderson; Kevin Meethan Routledge, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Consuming Advertising, Consuming Cultural History"
Radio Active: Advertising and Consumer Activism, 1935-1947 By Kathy M. Newman University of California Press, 2004
The 1950s By William H. Young; Nancy K. Young Greenwood Press, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Advertising"
Packaging the Presidency: A History and Criticism of Presidential Campaign Advertising By Kathleen Hall Jamieson Oxford University Press, 1996 (3rd edition)
Unmasking Hidden Commercials in Broadcasting: Origins of the Sponsorship Identification Regulations, 1927-1963 By Kielbowicz, Richard; Lawson, Linda Federal Communications Law Journal, Vol. 56, No. 2, March 2004
Diversity in Advertising: Broadening the Scope of Research Directions By Jerome D. Williams; Wei-Na Lee; Curtis P. Haugtvedt Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Part I "Historical Perspectives on Diversity and Advertising: Where We've Been and Where We're Going"
Consuming Angels: Advertising and Victorian Women By Lori Anne Loeb Oxford University Press, 1994
Grub Street Commerce: Advertisements and Politics in the Early Modern British Press By Furdell, Elizabeth Lane The Historian, Vol. 63, No. 1, Fall 2000
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