John Wanamaker famously observed that "half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half." Indeed, though advertising is pervasive in our society, how it works (if and when it works) is not a question most of us can answer. In this Very Short Introduction, Winston Fletcher, a seasoned advertising veteran with extensive inside knowledge, offers an illuminating look at this billion-dollar business, dispelling some of the myths and misunderstandings surrounding the industry.
Fletcher offers a short history of advertising and explains how the industry works and how each of the parties--the advertisers, the media, and the agencies--contribute to the process. He also looks at the financial side of advertising and asks how today's Wanamakers know if they have been successful, or whether their money has in fact been wasted. The book concludes with a discussion of controversial and unacceptable areas of advertising, such as advertising aimed at children and the promotion of products such as cigarettes and alcohol.