Advertising history PDF Print E-mail
Human Development - Advertising

Advertising history

Advertising history

Calling out your products and prices on a street market is not considered modern advertising. Neither is hanging out a sign in front of your shop although these two advertising methods, along with word of mouth, have been around as long as civilization has.

Modern advertising started with the printed word in the 15th and 16th centuries where pamphlets and other small leaflets and publications contained specialized messages. In the 17th century newspapers in London and on continental Europe started carrying ads for shops, artisans, hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues and events, including public notices and messages.

By the 18th century the printed word was used for all sorts of advertising purposes and proclamations. Governments saw the advantage of using ads, posters and articles as a way to influence the populace. This would be called propaganda rather than advertising but the same method of communication was used with the same goals - trying to influence people's attitude towards a product or idea (see Advertising versus Propaganda.

By the end of the 18th century, especially in the United States, advertising had become an industry and the first agencies, advertising agencies - companies specializing in helping you bring your product or service to market - sprang up.


These first agencies usually brokered space in publications such as newspapers and magazines but started producing the advertisements themselves. With the help of creative professionals, and after analysis of the clients' needs and wants, they designed ads for their clients and advised them in their placements and usage.

Advertising history

Ad*Access, database of over 7000 advertisements printed in the U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955 - Duke University, Texas.
Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850-1920 - John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History, Duke University, Texas.
Don't overestimate your target market! Advertising on specialist web sites makes more sense, a lot more, and can save you substantially in your promotion costs.
Ads by Links999
- a better deal.
The History of Advertising Trust Archive encourages and subsidises the study of UK advertising and brand communications.
A Taste of 19th Century Advertising - Harper's Weekly 1857-1872.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button