From Publishers Weekly
Sivulka (Soap, Sex, and Cigarettes) chronicles the rise of women in the world of advertising to demonstrate how women impact the promotional appeal of almost every consumer product in America today. Drawing upon archival sources, the book presents the stories of women who succeeded in traditional feminine occupations as well as those who challenged their limited social roles. Sivulka places these figures in the larger history of business and economic development and the entry of women into the professions. Sivulka divides the book into three key periods that are strongly linked with economics, politics and women's history in modern America (e.g. one era, 1880-1920 marked the rise of the modern consumer, the advertising industry and the suffrage movement). Of particular interest is the story of Mathilde C. Weil, the first known ad woman in America, who established her own general advertising agency in the 1880s. With numerous illustrations and photographs, this thoroughly-researched and well-written history of the evolution of women in advertising will appeal to those in the field and those interested in the women's movement.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This is professor-author (Stronger Than Dirt, 2001, and Soap, Sex, and Cigarettes, 1997) Sivulka’s latest contribution to advertising literature. It is a serious examination of women’s impact on and careers in the industry. Naming some of advertising’s female pioneers, it also covers the birth of marketing, brand names, trademarks, positioning, line extensions, and other related factors, along with the role of women in creating, for example, the concept of media buying (hats off to Matilde Weil in the late 1800s). It chronicles, for every significant decade or two, the maturation of the business via the discovery of the “hidden persuaders” (sex and symbolism) and targeting/segmentation. Notes follow each chapter; photo-realistic illustrations of ads populate every few pages. But for every citation, every brief synopsis of a career, there’s a missed opportunity to delve behind the scenes, uncover motivations and aspirations, and paint compelling portraits of these legends. Then, AMC’s Mad Men creators would have much to emulate . . . and borrow. --Barbara Jacobs