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Tim Ambler


Advertising has been defined as “Any paid form of non personal communication about an organization, product, service, or idea by an identified sponsor” ( Alexander 1965 , 9). Advertising intrudes into our lives and is not always welcome. Some scholars suspect that we are being manipulated by dark arts (e.g., Packard 1957 ). This entry examines current practice from three perspectives: the advertiser, the consumer, and society at large. Advertisers know, roughly, what they want to achieve and seek to do so efficiently. A situation vacant ad may be read by 1,000 people but if the firm finds one successful candidate and that was the cheapest solution, then the “waste” of the other 999 is immaterial. That is why the most often quoted adage about advertising, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half” (attributed to John Wanamaker and Lord Leverhulme), is so unhelpful. To understand what the advertiser can expect for the money leads to the exploration of how advertising works, how ad performance can and should be measured, and how to improve that performance (→  Advertising Effectiveness ; Advertising Effectiveness, Measurement of ). We then take the perspective of the consumer . Advertising provides some benefits to consumers but some argue that it also encourages them to spend money on products they do not need and/or inflates the ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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