If we of advertising as a way of spreading information in order to do business—we might say advertising began ages ago. When a man brings some of his crops to market and stands there shouting his wares, isn’t he really delivering a “commercial”?
Long before printing was invented, traders would make signs on walls to call attention to their products. And merchants hung out signs with pictures of boots, or gloves, or whatever they sold, as a way of “advertising” their business. The town crier was also used to advertise in olden times.
Advertising as we know it, however, really began with the invention of printing. A small poster advertising a certain religious book was actually printed by William Caxton in 1480. With the coming of printing, and especially the newspaper, advertising developed from just being an announcement about something to being an argument and suggestion to make people buy the product.
Weekly papers printed in England as early as the 1650s had advertised for coffee, chocolate, and tea. In June 1666, the London Gazette actually issued a supplement, an addition to the regular newspaper, that contained nothing but advertising! Today, advertising is considered a “science” as well as an art. Research is done, studies are made of consumer tastes and habits, and ads are tested and checked so that there will be the greatest return for the
When Was The First Print Advertisement?
The first American newspaper advertisement was published in 1704 in The Boston News-Letter.