Advertising and Public Relations


Early Advertising

3000 B.C - The first advertising is seen when the Romans post announcements on city walls
1800 B.C. – Farm bulletin instructing farmers how to plant crops in Sumeria is earliest example of educational material.
50 B.C. – “Vox populi, vox dei,” which means “the voice of the people is the voice of God,” coined by the Romans in a very early example of public relations.
1468 AD- William Caxton produced a book with the first printed advertisement.
1585 – Thomas Harriot publishes A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia to gain public support for Sir Walter Raleigh’s expedition to Roanoke in present-day Virginia.
Thomas Harriot (c.1580s)
1609 - Even in its earliest years of settlement, America was “Open for business,” where commerce flourished.

1623 – College for Propagating the Faith is created by Pope Gregory XV to keep followers and attract new ones for the Catholic Church. This is believed to be the origin of the term, “Propaganda.”

Pope Gregory XV (c. 1620s)
1625- First newsbooks with ads

1641 - In the United States, Harvard begins the first fundraising effort.

1650s – Global expansion brings new and popular commodities from other countries

Coffee Advertisement (c.1657)

1704- The first newspaper advertisment was published in the Boston News-Letter. It was an announcement seeking a buyer for an Oyster Bay, Long Island estate.
1735 Ben Franklin sells space ad space in Pennsylvania Gazette
Picture of Ben Franklin

Ben Franklins Join or Die Ad

1773 Boston Tea Party
1784-The Pennsylvania Packet & Daily Advertiser, America's first successful daily newspaper, starts in Philadelphia.
1787-1788 – Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison write the Federalist Papers to gain public support for ratifying the Constitution of the United States.

Collection of the Federalist Papers (c.1787)


1842, Volney B. Palmer of Philadelphia, Pa created the first “Space Broker” Ad Agency.
1833- Andrew Jackson hires Amos Kendall, first presidential press secretary.

1836 - New York Herald publisher James Gordon Bennett increases cost of advertisements to lower cost of newspapers, a practice that occurs today.
James Gordon Bennett
1841- Palmer begins first ad agency

1842 – P.T. Barnum exhibits his “Fiji Mermaid” using many fantastical advertisements to attract an audience.
Advertisement for “Fiji Mermaid”

1850’s- National advertising begins in the U.S after the civil war.

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1856- Robert Bonner is the first to run a full-page ad in a paper, advertising his own literary, The New York Ledger.
May 29, 1886, the first Coca-Cola ad appeared in the Atlanta Journal

P.T. Barnum (c. 1850s)

1869, F. Wayland Ayer begins became the service Ad Agency
1874- John Wanamaker printed the first copyrighted store advertisement.
1872- Montgomery Ward begins mail order business by issuing their first catalog.
1878- J. Walter Thomas bought Carlton & Smith, an advertising broker that sold ads in religious journals, and expanded the company and began placing ads in women's magazines. He also began to create advertisements and aid to clients that wanted to develop trademarks and package designs.
1880- John Wanamaker hires John E. Powers to advertise for his department store. John E. Powers is known as the "father of honest advertising".

1880 Brands appear
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1882- Procter and Gamble Co. began advertising for Ivory Soap.

1883 Andrew Jackson hires Amos Kendall first presidential press secretary
Picture of Andrew Jackson
1888- George P. Rowell founded Printer's Ink.

1889- Westinghouse establishes first corporate public relations department

Westinghouse logo


1891 – In the new era of slogans, Kodak introduces the slogan, “You press the button, we do the rest.”

Kodak ad (c. 1891)

1891-OAAA is founded.
1893 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.
Picture of Frank Munsey
Munsey's Magazine
1896- William Jennings Bryan and William McKinley launch first national political campaigns

Famous political cartoon from the election of 1896


1900 - N.W. Ayer and J. Walter Thompson send advertisements to Latin America, in some of the first global advertisements.

Ad from the agency of J. Walter Thompson (c. 1900)

1903 Ivy Leadbetter Lee wrote the "Declaration of Principles" for openness and honesty in dealing with the public.
1903- Rollin C. Ayres became the first president of the San Francisco Advertising club.
1906- The Publicity Bureau, first publicity company
1906 W.K. Kellogg places his first ads for Corn Flakes in six midwestern newspapers. By 1915, he is spending $1 million on national advertising.
First Kellogg's Ad
1911 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.

1914, Federal Trade Commission

1915- Cadillac’s Penalty of Leadership

1916- Creel Committee created to keep American public happy with World War I and financially aid the Red Cross.

One of the most famous images in American history (c. 1910s)

1917- President Wilson establishes Committee on Public Information

1919- Bruce Barton, Roy Durstine, and Alex Osborn founded the Barton, Durstine, & Osborn agency, which became one of the leading advertising agencies in the world.
1919- Russell T. Gray founded the Engineering Advertiser's Association.
1922 first radio commercial
1923 The Hollywood sign was built above town for $21,000
first regular broadcast sponsored series
1923 Edward Bernays writes Crystallizing Public Opinion (and coins the term Public Relations)

Video of an interview with Edward Bernays

1923-Raymond Rubicam and James Orr Young founded Young and Rubicam.
1923 The Eveready Hour, first regularly scheduled broadcast sponsored series
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Eveready Hour Cast
1927- Ludel Sauvageot is the first women graduate of the journalism program from Ohio University

1929- Torches of Liberty

1929 – “Light’s Golden Jubilee,” created by Henry Ford, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the light bulb with festivities and prominent guests in one of the largest public relations events of the era.

Invitation to “Light’s Golden Jubilee” (c.1929)

1930s Great Depression - Franklin D. Roosevelt uses Fireside Chats to sway public opinion and introduce New Deal to American public.

Fireside Chat photo of Franklin D. Roosevelt

1932- Edward L.Bernays wrote “Criticizing Public Opinion”

Edward L. Bernays

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1933- Raymond O. Mithun founded Campbell-Mithun.

1936 Consumers union established
1938- Foreign Agents Registration Act

1938- Wheeler – Lea Act

1940- Ted Bates founded Bates Worldwide.
1941 War advertising council founded
1942- Neil H. Borden published the " The Economic Effects of Advertising".
1942 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.
1948 The Public Relations Society of America is founded.
1945 1st time beer com"nd's Narragansett Beer sponsored the first telecasts

World War II Lucky Strike cigarette ad (c.1945)

1945 – In a very sensitive and carefully planned press release, the United States government tells citizens that an atomic bomb has been dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

1946 Federal regulation of Lobbying Act
1947- Public Relations Society of America (PRSA): The Hucksters
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1948 Television to the public
1950 First Coca Cola ad appeared on TV
1954 CBS becomes the largest advertising medium in the world.

1954- PRSA Code of Ethics

1954 McDonald's Golden Arches were designed.
1955 The Marlboro Man campaign debuts.

1957 Packard’s the hidden persuaders
Picture of the book

1959- Quiz show scandal

1962- PRSA accreditation program

1964 After the U.S. surgeon general determines that smoking is "hazardous to your health," The New Yorker and other magazines ban cigarette ads.
1964- first color television ad for The Coca-Cola Company called “Refrigerator-Man
1969- Advertising Age named Mary Wells Lawrence one of the top 10 newsmakers of the 1960s.
1971 National advertising review board established: TV cigarette commercial ban
1972 Cigarette advertising banned from TV
1976 The Supreme Court grants advertising First Amendment protection.
1977- Nike introduces “There is no finish line” campaign.

1980 MADD started

1982- Campaign by Johnson & Johnson public relations firm saved the brand and restored trust in the product

1988- Nike Launches “Just Do it” campaign.
1989 – Exxon Valdez oil tanker runs aground causing one of the largest oil spills in U.S. history, creating a public relations nightmare for the Exxon Corporation.

Coca-Cola ads from abroad (c. 1990’s)
1993- "Northern Lights," introduced what would become one of the most popular symbols of Coca-Cola advertising: the animated polar bear
<nobr>Coca-Cola</nobr> polar bear advertisement
<nobr>Coca-Cola</nobr> polar bear advertisement

1996 Odwalla Crisis

1997- Joe Camel banned

1999 – Anheuser-Busch launches a campaign against drunk driving. This was a unique move for a company that sells alcohol.

One of Anheuser-Busch’s recent drunk driving ads (c.2009)


2001- Apple Computers publicly announces the iPod campaign.

First Generation ipod

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2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom
2004 Adbuster unbrand America
2005 MI4 imitated chaos scenario
2005- VNR controversy

2008 Internet ad spending exceeds radio's