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 include 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. An individual's interests, opinions, browsing history, and the like can be tracked and used by Internet firms to offer businesses, political organizations, and others the opportunity to target their advertising much more specifically than in the past. Such use has also been criticized as a violation of privacy, and is more restricted in the European Union. 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© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Advertising History: Selected full-text books and articles

As Seen in Vogue: A Century of American Fashion in Advertising By Daniel Delis Hill Texas Tech University Press, 2004
Sold American: Consumption and Citizenship, 1890-1945 By Charles F. McGovern University of North Carolina Press, 2006
Librarian's tip: Part I "Advertisers"
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"
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
Finding a Market for Suffrage: Advertising and the Revolution, 1868-70 By Harrington-Lueker, Donna Journalism History, Vol. 33, No. 3, Fall 2007
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