May 31, 2020
For educational institutions
HIstory of ad
⟶ Updated 27 Sep 2017 ⟶
List of edits
The first newspaper advertisement, an announcement seeking a buyer for an Oyster Bay, Long Island, estate, is published in the Boston News-Letter.
Benjamin Franklin's General Magazine prints the first American magazine ads.
Benjamin Day publishes the Sun, the first successful "penny newspaper" in New York. By 1837, circulation reaches 30,000, making it the world's largest newspaper
With $250, Francis Wayland Ayer opens N.W. Ayer & Son (named after his father) in Philadelphia and implements the first commission system based on "open contracts." His clients include Montgomery Ward, John Wanamaker Department Stores, Singer Sewing Machines and Pond's Beauty Cream.
James Walter Thompson buys Carlton & Smith from William J. Carlton, paying $500 for the business and $800 for the office furniture. He renames it after himself and moves into general magazine advertising. Later, he invents the position of account executive.
Cyrus H.K. Curtis launches Ladies' Home Journal with his wife, Louisa Knapp Curtis, as editor.
Frank Munsey drops the price of Munsey's Magazine to 10� and the cost of subscriptions to $1, marking the first attempt at keeping a magazine afloat by advertising revenue rather than newsstand sales. Asa Briggs Chandler registers Coca-Cola as a trademark. George P. Rowell of Boston founds Printer's Ink, a magazine that serves as the "little schoolmaster in the art of advertising."
N.W. Ayer helps National Biscuit Co. launch the first prepackaged biscuit, Uneeda, with the slogan "Lest you forget, we say it yet, Uneeda Biscuit." Eventually, the company launches the first million-dollar advertising campaign for Uneeda.
W.K. Kellogg places his first ads for Corn Flakes in six midwestern newspapers. By 1915, he is spending $1 million on national advertising. Congress passes the Pure Food & Drug Act, forcing product labels to list the active ingredients.
Standard Oil, after being dissolved by the Supreme Court, invites Harrison King McCann to form an agency to service its dispersed divisions. For the first time in its history, P&G pays an outside agency, J. Walter Thompson Co., to launch Crisco, its new vegetable shortening. Woodbury Soap breaks its "The skin you love to touch" campaign in the Ladies' Home Journal, marking the first time sex appeal is used in advertising.
J. Walter Thompson retires; Stanley Resor and a group of colleagues buy him out for $500,000. Resor becomes president, establishes a market research department and closes the London office to save costs. A group of agencies forms the National Outdoor Advertising Bureau, which eventually controls about three-quarters of the outdoor national advertising in America.
AT&T's station WEAF in New York offers 10 minutes of radio time to anyone who would pay $100. The Queensboro Corp., a Long Island real estate firm, buys the first commercials in advertising history�four: 15 spots at $50 apiece. Following the ads extolling Hawthorne Court, a new tenant-owned apartment complex in Jackson Heights, sales total thousands of dollars.
Radio Corp. of America buys New York radio station WEAF from AT&T and renames it WNBC. It forms the first radio network with 19 stations within the year, and the National Broadcasting Co. is launched.
Advertising Age is launched in Chicago.
The War Advertising Council is organized to help prepare voluntary advertising campaigns for wartime efforts. The council garners $350 million in free public service messages. After the war it is renamed the Advertising Council.
The FCC lifts its ban on new TV stations after problems of signal interference are worked out. The Advertising Research Foundation endorses A.C. Nielsen's machine-based ratings system for TV. CBS opens its Television City production facilities in Hollywood.
In what would be one of the great marketing disasters of automotive history, Ford Motor Co.introduces the Edsel. Vance Packard's "The Hidden Persuaders," a potent attack on advertising, is published. It stays on the bestseller list for 18 weeks.
McCann restructures its agencies under the banner of Interpublic Group of Cos., allowing it to handle competing accounts under one corporate roof. Doyle Dane Bernbach introduces the "creative team" approach of combining a copywriter with an art director to create its "Think small" campaign for Volkswagen. Papert, Koenig, Lois is launched. In 1962, it becomes the first agency to go public.
After the U.S. surgeon general determines that smoking is "hazardous to your health," The New Yorker and other magazines ban cigarette ads. Ogilvy, Benson & Mather merges with London-based parent company Mather & Crowther, to form Ogilvy & Mather. NBC drops its ban on comparative advertising. ABC and CBS don't follow suit until 1972.
The Supreme Court grants advertising First Amendment protection.
Ted Turner creates CNN. Congress removes the FTC's power to stop "unfair" advertising.
Needham Harper Worldwide, BBDO International and Doyle Dane Bernbach merge to create Omnicom Group, the largest advertising company in the world. Bozell & Jacobs merges with Kenyon & Eckhardt. Saatchi & Saatchi buys Ted Bates Worldwide, becoming the world's largest agency holding company.
The Internet becomes a reality as 5 million users worldwide get online. Philip Morris announced plans to cut the price of its flagship Marlboro brand and heavy up on promotional outlays. The move, coined "Marlboro Friday," plunged Philip Morris' shares 23% and reverberated to other package goods stocks.
The Wells agency shuts its doors. Cigarette makers and state attorneys general draft a $206 billion deal that curbs marketing and settles lawsuits to recover Medicaid costs. Interpublic combines its Western International Media with Initiative Media in Paris to create the world's largest media management shop with $10 billion in billings.
Internet advertising breaks the $2 billion mark and heads toward $3 billion as the industry, under prodding from Procter & Gamble, moves to standardize all facets of the industry.
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