Academic journal article Journalism History

Advertising in the '60S

Academic journal article Journalism History

Advertising in the '60S

Article excerpt

Warlaumont, Hazel G. Advertising in the '60s. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2001. 244 pp. $65.

Institutions in order to survive tend to adopt the mantle of the broader culture in ways both obvious and subtle. Advertising in the 1960s became the fawning cousin of this turbulent decade, becoming at times radical, antiestablishment, and antimaterialistic, yet protecting its core values. At the heart of advertising then as now is a strategy in support of a consumption ethic and its place in a capitalistic economy.

At the heart of Professor Hazel Warlaumont's thesis is the non-revolutionary idea that "advertising feigned distance [in the 1960s] in order to maintain, preserve, and promote the consumption ethic and the role of business in society, suggesting that advertising can appear to change allegiances at times, morphing itself into new shapes and styles quite convincingly to validate itself and seduce us into more consumption while it remains ultimately and unquestionably bound to the established order and its ideology." Indeed.

This book argues persuasively that advertising in the 1960s successfully adopted a "turncoat" strategy to maintain its power and influence in a time when it was constantly under fire for representing the antithesis of the cultural revolution, with its bizarre fashions, music, and ideas, prevalent during the decade. Advertising was an outward manifestation of everything the counterculture found wrong with America in the 1960s. According to Warlaumont, advertising was seen as a "waste maker' by the counterculture radicals of the decade, pressured by government regulators, undermined by internal warfare, and viewed suspiciously by a wary public. …

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