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Advertising Progress: American Business and the Rise of Consumer Marketing (Studies in Industry and Society) Hardcover – August 20, 1998

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Editorial Reviews


"Well-researched, tightly argued, and lavishly illustrated... Laird's treatment is destined to become the standard one on the history of advertising between the Civil War and the beginning of the 'New Era.'." -- Ferdinando Fasce, Reviews in American History

"What gives the book its considerable depth and explanatory power is the nuanced and comprehensive way in which Laird discusses the shifting contexts of American advertising... A complex, sophisticated analysis of how entrepreneurs and professionals create messages designed to sell goods." -- Daniel Horowitz, Journal of American History

"The strength of this book lies in the depth of evidence Laird offers... [Advertising agents,] Laird argues, deliberately set out to 'create consumers' rather than 'inform customers.'." -- Matthew Hilton, Business History

About the Author

Pamela Walker Laird teaches history at the University of Colorado at Denver.


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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Industry and Society
  • Hardcover: 504 pages
  • Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press (August 20, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801858410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801858413
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,363,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Fricks on August 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pamela Walker Laird revises the ground rules for understanding and assessing advertising in the United States. She shows that advertising was more than just display ads in a few well-known magazines, that the subject encompasses a much larger and richer body of knowledge. She also accounts for transatlantic influences in marketing approaches, design and subject matter. Heretofore, the norm seemed to treat advertising as a largely US-home grown phenomenon. We see, however, that creative influences surged across borders. Good ideas were freely plagerized and put to work in a variety of markets. For example, we learn that the 'money-back guarantee' as a promotional feature started in the UK and Canada before being adopted in the United States. Walker Laird gives direct promotion (the term 'direct marketing' would only come along later) its due both as a formative influence in a growing industry and as a professional practice as rich and varied as that for display work. "Advertising Progress" is an outstanding piece of work and should be in the library of every practitioner in the industry and anyone interested in the development of 20th century consumer society.
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