In the ruins of ancient Pompeii and Arabia, messages have been found with an emphasis on commercial and political aspects and themes.The Egyptians used a thick paper-like material called papyrus to create sales slogans and wall posters. This material was also used in various forms of advertising, such as requesting information relating to lost individuals and items, and was common in Ancient Rome and Greece. Another form of ancient commercial advertising include the paintings, on walls or even rock, depicting various scenes which are evident, even to this day, in many parts of Asia, Africa and South America. Indian rock art, which dates back to 4000 BC, may well form the basis for this tradition of painting on walls and rocks.
With the development of the methods used in printing, particularly evident in the 15th and 16th century, the sphere of advertising expanded to include handbills. In England, during the early to mid17th century, various forms of advertising began to appear, incorporated within weekly newspapers. With advances in printing techniques, books and newspapers had become much more affordable to the wider public. As a result, this early form of advertising using a printed medium was used extensively to promote items such as other books and newspapers. Also, with disease ravaging much of Europe, the promotion of medicines was increasingly sought after.
However, the existence of misleading advertisements, which had come to be known as “quack” advertisements, was becoming an increasing problem. Consequently, this brought about the introduction of regulation in terms of advertising content.
With the growth of Western economies during the 19th century, this gave a new impetus for the growth of advertising. In the United States, for example, this led to the introduction and success of mail-order advertising.
The French newspaper La Presse, in 1836, was the first to incorporate the concept of pre-paid advertising. This additional form of revenue allowed it to lower its price, which resulted in increased readership and higher profits. This led to the widespread adoption by all its competitors.
In Boston, around 1840, Volney Palmer was the first to introduce what would later come to be known as the advertising agency. During this period, the French news agency Havas increased the services offered by including, for the first time in France, advertising brokerage. In the beginning, such agencies acted purely as brokers for advertising space in newspapers. However, all this changed in 1869 when N.W.Ayer & Son opened the first full-service agency, in Philadelphia, which took responsibility for all advertising content in respect of its customers.
In the early 1900’s, advertising was one of the few career choices for women who wanted to progress in business. Since most of the household purchases were in the hands of women, it was quickly realised, by advertisers and agencies alike, the value offered by women in respect of their insight in relation to the creative process involved in advertising. In fact, the first American advertisement to employ a theme incorporating sexual appeal was created by a woman for a soap product, with copy that extolled the message: “The skin you love to touch”
Advertising – How To Succeed
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